708 episodes

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU!

I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges.

Tough Girl Podcast Sarah Williams

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU!

I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges.

    Gráinne Moss: Navigating Open Waters - Expert Advice from arguably Irelands most accomplished female open water swimmer. First Irish woman to swim Cook Strait (2001) Foveaux (2022), Lake Taupō (2021) and the Channel of Bones in Hawaii (2023).

    Gráinne Moss: Navigating Open Waters - Expert Advice from arguably Irelands most accomplished female open water swimmer. First Irish woman to swim Cook Strait (2001) Foveaux (2022), Lake Taupō (2021) and the Channel of Bones in Hawaii (2023).

    Gráinne Moss is arguably Irelands most accomplished female open water swimmer. 
    At 16 she was the first female to represent Ireland in open water swimming at the World Championships. 
    At 17 she became the first Irish woman to swim the English Channel. She has continued to achieve many firsts including the first Irish woman to swim Cook Strait (2001) Foveaux (2022), Lake Taupō (2021) and the Channel of Bones in Hawaii (2023). 
    Gráinne holds three Triple Crowns of Open Water Swimming (awarded when a swimmer has completed three of the toughest swims in any nation) - including appropriately the Irish and New Zealand Triple Crowns given she was born in Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 1998.
    Since 2022 Gráinne has teamed up with Kenzie's Gift to use her swims as an opportunity to raise vital funds for this important charity which cares for children and young people who have experienced serious loss and grief. 
    Her next adventure is in May this year when she will swim the famous straits of Gibraltar crossing from Africa to Spain.
    ***
     Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Gráinne Being born in Ireland Emigrating to New Zealand at the end of the 90s Living in Wellington, New Zealand Representing Ireland and the first Open Water Swimming Championships (1986) Her early years and memories of water  Being spotted as talented at swimming at 6 years old Wanting to better herself and try new things Swimming for Bangor Swim Club  Making the transition to open water swimming Meeting people from around the world who loved open water swimming The pressure of swimming competitively and wanting to swim well Getting married and having 4 children  Swimming through out the years Getting back into big swims in 2021 Lessons learning from the big swims Making an emotional commitment to the swim Keeping motivated while waiting to compete the big swims Having her family involved in the big swims What the journey of a swim looks like  Swimming the Channel of Bones in Hawaii (43km) Having anxiety and neves before the swim and feeling full of doubt  Taking medication for sea sickness Swimming for charity - Kenzie’s Gift  Training and maintaining swim fitness Working with a swim coach (Phillip Rush) and the importance of stretching The importance of recovery  Handing changes in her body over the years Being aware of her body Not using a watch or GPS Learning how to train smart  Nutrition while swimming and getting the fuel needed to complete the big swims Homemade leek and potato swims for the cold swims PURE Sports Nutrition  The importance of feeding fast  Digging deep and getting through the dark/tough moments Taking it one stroke at a time The next swim challenge in May Swimming from Spain to Morocco - The Straits of Gibraltar  How to connect with Gráinne  Final words of advice for new swimmers and swimmers who want to take it to the next level The power of finding your community  
    Social Media
    Website: grainnemoss.com 
    Instagram: @swimirishkiwi 
    Charity: Kenzie’s Gift supports the mental health of tamariki (children) and mātātahi (young people) affected by serious illness or grief.
    Link to Fundraising: winter-swim-challenge-2024.raiselysite.com/grainne-moss
     

    • 47 min
    Fatima Haidari: Shattering Stereotypes, Embracing Opportunities, and Pursuing Dreams as Afghanistan's First Female Tour Guide.

    Fatima Haidari: Shattering Stereotypes, Embracing Opportunities, and Pursuing Dreams as Afghanistan's First Female Tour Guide.

    In this episode of Tough Girl Podcast, we explore the incredible journey of Fatima, from her early years in Afghanistan to her pursuit of education, independence, and empowerment in Italy.
    Fatima's childhood was marked by challenges, but her curiosity and determination to learn led her to secretly educate herself. As Afghanistan's first female tour guide, she defied expectations and empowered herself economically.
    Threatened by the Taliban, Fatima made the courageous decision to flee to Italy, where she faced new obstacles but persisted in pursuing higher education. Now, as a refugee with a passion for sharing her experiences, she continues to inspire others as a unique tour guide.
    Fatima's story is a testament to the power of resilience and the unwavering spirit of women. Tune in to Tough Girl Podcast to hear her journey firsthand.
    ***
    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Fatima Studying in Italy and working as a tour guide Her early years in Afghanistan Having 4 older brothers and 2 older sisters Working with the sheep as a shepherdess at age 7  Not having school and not being able to study  Being inspired by hearing people on the radio  How her curiosity grew and her desire to learn more  Starting to learn secretly  Practicing her reading and writing in the sand Being able to go to school and study Thinking about her own future  Witnessing the suffering of women in Afghanistan Wanting to live for herself Wanting to be independent and the person of her choice Becoming Afghanistan’s first female tour guide Graduating high school and wanting to go to University to become a journalist  Convincing her mother first Researching the history of Afghanistan Making a Facebook account and connecting with people who travel and how that connection led to her tourist work Untamed Borders - an adventure travel company providing unparalleled access to some of the world’s most interesting and inaccessible places.  Being able to earn more than her brothers and help to support her family Wanting to encourage more women to enter the tourist industry in Afghanistan  Sharing her story on CNN  Her journey to Italy  Receiving warning that she was a target of the Taliban  Not being able to say a proper goodbye to her family  The challenges of getting into the airport to get on the plane Moving to Italy and building a new life  Feeling mentally and physically lost and struggling to sleep Dealing with the aftermath and reliving the trauma Deciding to make changes in her life; getting a job, sorting out a university place, reading books and focusing on improving herself  Her passion for continuing her education and getting accepted with a fully funded scholarship to study at University in Milan (BA in International Politics and Government) Being a refugee and having travel documents which allows her travel in Europe Visiting Iran and meeting up with her family Continuing to be a tour guide in a unique way How to connect with Fatima Her reason for wanting to travel to every country in the world.  Final words of advice  “You are powerful as a woman, don’t underestimate your power.”    
    Social Media
    Instagram: @fatima.haidari786 
    Youtube: youtube.com/@fatimahaidari?si=6Tep5bklgaTWCUr4 

     
     

    • 39 min
    Dr. Kaz Williams - Performance Psychologist, Certified Running Coach and Ultra Runner. Striving to help people discover their mettle.

    Dr. Kaz Williams - Performance Psychologist, Certified Running Coach and Ultra Runner. Striving to help people discover their mettle.

    Listen to Kaz on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares her passion for running and helping individuals discover their inner strength. Kaz founded Mettle—a platform dedicated to empowering runners to conquer personal challenges, chase personal records, and train for specific distances. Mettle isn't just about running; it's about equipping runners with coaching plans, mental strategies, and unwavering support to thrive both on the track and in life. Drawing from her extensive academic background—holding a PhD in human behaviour and an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology—Kaz delves into the intricacies of human performance, particularly in the face of adversity.
    Driven by a profound belief in the power of self-belief and self-discipline, Kaz shuns shortcuts in favour of cultivating a mindset geared towards achieving one's goals. Her relentless pursuit of excellence extends beyond coaching; it's woven into the fabric of her own running endeavours.
    Kaz's trail running journey is nothing short of awe-inspiring. From the rugged trails of Chamonix, France, where she tackled the Mont Blanc Marathon and UTMB races, to epic adventures like the Tahoe 200 (3rd F), Moab 240 (2nd F), and Ouray 100 (1st F), she continually pushes her limits. 
    Notably, Kaz completed 1 crazy loop at the legendary Barkley Marathon, and recently completed the daunting Last Annual Vol State, a 500K self-supported race across Tennessee.
    Through it all, Kaz's message remains clear: When we harness our best selves and embrace the challenges that come our way, extraordinary achievements become possible.
    Listen to Kaz share her story on the Tough Girl Podcast. 
    ***
    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Kaz Living in Chamonix, France in 2010 Studying architecture at University  Joining  the TA - Territorial Army and becoming a Personal Training Instructor (PTI)  Doing a MSc in  Sport and Exercise Psychology Working full time while studying and running  Her trail running journey Learning about trail races  Wanting to run the UTMB  Running the Marathon de Mont Blanc  Struggling with the UTMB in 2014 Realising her mental game had let her down  Wanting to learn/understand more about the mental side of physical challenges Losing focus and not being present while training and what you can do about it Ending up in a dark place and questioning what you are doing Why you need a strong WHY Signing up to do Tahoe 200  The sacrifices and hard work which goes into training Suffering with audio and visual hallucinations Bears and Pizza! Running throughout the year Recovery after big races Being a plant based athlete  Food and nutrition Using Training Peaks  Where the name Mettle came from Coaching athletes and runners  “We are stronger, braver and more capable than we realise” Being a fan of David Goggins  Learning how to endure  How to connect with Kaz Tips for self belief  Our lives are the sum of our choices. The future depends on what we do in the present.  Think about what you want to be doing and what you can do now to achieve that.   
    Social Media
    Website www.mettlerunning.com
    Instagram @mettlerunning
    Personal Instagram @mountainkaz
    Facebook www.facebook.com/mettlerunning

     

    • 37 min
    Emma Hull - Unleashing Confidence, Embracing Change, and Fearlessly Pursuing Adventure and Dreams with Life Untethered

    Emma Hull - Unleashing Confidence, Embracing Change, and Fearlessly Pursuing Adventure and Dreams with Life Untethered

    In this episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of Emma Hull, a confidence coach who discovered her true potential in her 40s and embarked on a transformative path towards self-empowerment. From grappling with anxiety and self-doubt to embracing a life of purpose and fulfilment, Emma's story is one of resilience, courage, and unwavering determination.
    Emma's journey to confidence began with a desire for change, fuelled by a reluctance to rely on medication for anxiety and depression indefinitely. With a commitment to self-improvement, she gradually introduced yoga into her routine, finding solace in the safety of a supportive environment that allowed her to embrace vulnerability and authenticity.
    Seeking guidance from a life coach, Emma embarked on a healing journey, realising that the power to effect change lay within her own hands. Amidst the tumult of the pandemic, she made the life-altering decision to leave her marriage and relocate to Canada, where she discovered a newfound sense of freedom and independence.
    Embracing her newfound autonomy, Emma prioritised self-care and personal growth, establishing a morning routine centred around gratitude and mindfulness. With the support of tools like the Beach Body App and the companionship of her beloved dog, Jonny Cash, she embarked on a transformative road trip through the North of Canada, embracing the thrill of adventure and the freedom of the open road.
    As she looks ahead to future adventures, including plans to purchase an RV and explore new horizons, Emma offers invaluable advice for women seeking to define and achieve their goals. From setting clear objectives to taking decisive action and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, Emma's journey exemplifies the transformative power of courage, resilience, and self-belief.
    ***
    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Emma Hull the confidence coach Gaining her confidence in her 40s Having a tough time accepting who she was Wanting to make a change in her life Not liking the feeling associated with being anxious  Not wanting to take anxiety and depression medication for the rest of her life Her journey of making changes in her life Why the changes happened gradually over time Starting her transformation with yoga  The power of being in a safe environment  Being allowed to be herself and to be vulnerable  Starting her healing journey  Working with a life coach Why it’s within your power to make changes  Being on the treadmill of life  The HOW of making a change in your life Making the decision to leave her marriage during the pandemic Ending up in Canada  Living in British Columbia  Starting to dream through journalling  Re-training as a life coach and setting up her own business Creating a life where she puts herself first  Why living on her own really suits her Developing her morning routine and starting her day right Doing a morning gratitude practice Beach Body App Her dog Jonny Cash Being inspired to take a road trip  Driving up to the North of Canada - Tuktoyaktuk Taking a month to travel and working while on the road. Advice for working while travelling  Planning to buy an RV for an adventure in October 2025 The importance of setting a date Advice for planning  Advice for women who need help figuring out what their goals are Having a 3 goals per year - a big one, a medium one and a small one How can I make this happ

    • 49 min
    Dr. Meera Velankar  - Scientist turned tandem cyclist. Exploring India since 2015. First woman to complete India’s Golden Quadrilateral, which connects Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, on a tandem bike (6,000km in 41 days).

    Dr. Meera Velankar  - Scientist turned tandem cyclist. Exploring India since 2015. First woman to complete India’s Golden Quadrilateral, which connects Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, on a tandem bike (6,000km in 41 days).

    Dr. Meera Velankar, a mother of two with a doctorate in life sciences, embarked on a transformative journey over a decade ago. Feeling unfit and discontent, she turned to cycling, becoming a seasoned endurance athlete since. 
    Her achievements include completing numerous running and cycling events, earning the title of an Ironman 70.3 finisher, and conquering the Super Randonneur norm three times, with a podium finish at the Tour of Nilgiris.
    In 2022, Meera made history by setting a Guinness World Record for a self-supported cycling journey from Agra to Umlingla, covering a distance of 1,835 km in 19 days, 7 hours, and 18 minutes. This remarkable feat, accomplished with Utkarsh Verma, traversed five passes with an elevation of 19,000 meters, equivalent to climbing Mount Everest twice.
    During this podcast, Meera shares insights into her journey, emphasising the importance of setting goals and pushing boundaries. Drawing inspiration from fellow cyclists, she advocates for spending more time outdoors and pursuing dreams. 
    Learn more about Meera's adventures and her passion for motivating other mothers by listening to her story on the Tough Girl Podcast.
    ***
    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Meera Getting her doctorate in life sciences at 26 Having 2 daughters Realising that she was obese  Starting to walk and to get into running Setting her first cycling challenge Cycling 800km in 8 days with a lot of off roading and climbing in 2011 Receiving support from the male participants Wanting to take her cycling further The importance of working towards goals Taking part in stage events  2012 getting involved in Super Randonneur Getting use to cycling on her own Taking on new challenges every year Wanting to move away from organised events and create her own challenges Deciding on challenges/events and the planning and preparation involved. Using her research skills from her PhD to plan her routes  Being inspired by Cat Dixon and Raz Marsden. The women’s tandem around the GWR holders. (You can listen to Cat and Raz on the TGP) Meeting Laura from SteLa Tandem - Around the word - mixed pair GWR holder. You can listen to Laura Massey-Pugh on the TGP - Her Inspiring Journey Around the World - 180 days on the back of a tandem.  Book: The Next Everest by Jim Davidson  Taking on 3 different routes/challenges with different partners, self supported.  Riding Kanyakumari to Kashmir Route (K2K) 3,800km in 18 days, self supported. Riding The Golden Qualdilateral (network of national highways connecting Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai in four directions) 6,000+ km in 41 days Riding East to West - known as the "the other k2k" in cycling circuits.  Having a supportive husband  Social issues of riding a tandem bike with a male partner who is not her husband.  The challenges of tandem cycling  Riding Umling La Pass on a tandem bicycle, which is the highest motorable pass (19,024ft) in the world. The many names of the tandem bike Having support from the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Communication and needing to rely on local people and their local knowledge Fitting in cycling around her life and family  Focusing on high altitude cycling and the lessons she’s learned  How to connect with Meera  Final words of advice to encourage you to spend more time in the outdoors and to follow your dreams Take the first steps to pursue you

    • 38 min
    Arlette Laan aka “Apple Pie”. First woman to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails in USA. 35,000+ miles hiked!

    Arlette Laan aka “Apple Pie”. First woman to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails in USA. 35,000+ miles hiked!

    Join us for an exhilarating journey into the world of long-distance hiking with Arlette Laan, affectionately known as "Apple Pie." 
    In this episode, Arlette shares her awe-inspiring tale of becoming the first woman to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails in the USA, covering over 35,000 miles on foot. From her childhood adventures in Holland to navigating the rugged terrains of America's most iconic trails, Arlette's story is one of perseverance, passion, and the sheer joy of exploration. 
    Tune in as she delves into the essence of long-distance hiking, the challenges she faced along the way, and the profound lessons she learned from her epic adventures. Whether you're an avid hiker or simply someone who loves a good adventure story, this episode is sure to leave you inspired and itching to hit the trails!
    ***
     Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
     By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. 
    Thank you for your invaluable support!
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Arlette? Being born in Holland Living in Boston, USA Getting the trail name ‘Apple Pie’ Growing up in Holland and having a typical childhood Moving over to California after college  Visiting Switzerland and getting into backpacking  The hiking culture in the Netherlands  Starting with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in America in 2003 Learning more about the long distance trails What she loves about long distance hiking  Being empowered after reaching her goals How hiking has changed over the years The social aspect of hiking Not being an ultra light fast packer What a typical day hiking looks like Having dinner at 5pm and then carrying on hiking  Finishing up the 11 National Scenic Trails  Not giving her body the rest she needed  Pushing harder while hiking  Dealing with the heat and humidity and struggling to hit the 25 miles per day needed Advice for recovery and why taking time off is a good thing Eating well while hiking  Cooking v cold soaking  Food chat! Wearing dresses while hiking  Hiking through all seasons Tips for winter hiking  Feet and shoes for hiking  Road walking with a pack Hiking with poles  Fitting hiking into her life and working as a hiking guide Hiking all of the 11 National Scenic Trails in the States  Putting a plan in place in 2018   Speaking with ‘Buck 30’ (Brian Tanzman) Planning and preparation for the final few hikes  Dealing with aggressive barking dogs North Country Trail (4,600 miles)  Advice for when it gets tough on a hike  Making her goals smaller  Keeping track of expenses while on trail Paying for breakfast as it’s a better deal than dinner Advice for hiking the Te Araroa (TA), New Zealand  Skipping the road walks in New Zealand Hiking in Nepal Hiking in Europe Preferring to hike in the wilderness Going back to hike the Arizona trail Wanting to thru-hikes the trails that she section hiked  Wanting to ‘redlining’ the White Mountains guide book (1,440.4 miles )  How to connect with Arlette on social media #ApplePieHikes Selling sock dolls (only sold/shipped to the US) Redline Guiding Final words of advice   
    Social Media
    Website:  www.arlettelaan.com
    Instagram: @arlette_laan 
     

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

@ahikiwi1 ,

Inspirational stories

I just recently discovered this podcast after meeting Sarah while she was hiking Te Araroa. Love her approach and the guests that she gets on her podcasts. Have started making my way through her back catalogue

Freewheeling Kiwi ,

Best adventure podcast EVER!

Sarah Williams interviews a diverse range of women adventurers from across the globe showcasing their adventures, the planning, skills acquired, motivations, challenges, obstacles, lessons learnt, fun had, setbacks, funding and more.

Whether you’re interested in their particular passion or not, every interview informs, motivates, inspires and offers important take aways that can be transferred to your own life.

There’s a reason this is a three time award winning podcast, do yourself a favour, you’re in for a treat :)

Well done Sarah, thanks for bringing these stories to us all.

Best adventure podcast EVER!

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