You’ve met so many different people through your adventures, are there any people that really stand out in your memories?
When I did the adventure around America, I used a website that is basically couchsurfing for cycle tourists. I stayed with people who had put themselves on this website, and then I was carried along by their friends, siblings, parents who live further down the route in the different towns. In the last third of the trip, I honestly only had 10 nights where I wasn’t hosted by a complete stranger. From one dinner table to the next, meeting grannies, kissing babies, being taken out to pubs, it was amazing – exhausting – but amazing.
There are about ten to fifteen people from each adventure who really stick in my mind and who I know I will see again, somewhere down the line. It might be ten years down the line, but when you make those connections, you’ve really shared something and it’s really special.
“I just trained to get to the point where my body was happy to be on its feet for that amount of time”
A lot of your adventuring is based around running, swimming and cycling. Do you have one sport out of these that allows you to feel the most free and natural above the others?
I’d love to do a swimming adventure! But it’s always going be running. Cycling is technically a better way to travel, but if you were to say to me that you were going to take running out of my life, I would crawl up into a ball and cry forever.
There’s something so free and simple, all you need is a pair of trainers or your bare feet and I love that. I love that you can get to places you couldn’t take your bike, so you can really get off the beaten track and find beautiful wild camping spots. Running is just the ultimate freedom, it gets you back to being a wild woman.
You’ve spoken before about injury and pain while training, even before you did any long runs. How did you manage them to run those long distances?
I started just training with a different mindset. Instead of thinking of going out to run everyday, I started leaving the house with the mindset of just move on my feet for a certain amount of time, not walking, but often doing really slow runs. It took the impact off my body and the pressure off myself.
The other thing was to look at my body and accept that things were going to break down and I wasn’t going to be able to prevent that. Instead I decided to start exploring and being curious about the pain, where exactly it was and did it move around.
In getting to know my body as best as I could the little niggles become more of a source of knowledge and intrigue than a pain in the butt. If you’re trying to take your body to places its never been before, of course its going to hurt and of course it’s going to moan.