There’s been so many amazing women making changes in the last year, It’s great to see Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech and many other social media campaigns giving a stage for conversation over gender and equality.
One of our favourite women in the world of adventure sport is Sophie Radcliffe, who made a leap forward for women everywhere by making the BBC’s and the British public think twice over restrictions for women in endurance sports.
Sophie’s blog persuaded the BBC to open their new challenge up to all the strong, kick-ass women out who want to compete alongside the guys.
We can all sit there and dream of things that we want to do but they’ll always stay a dream unless we take action
In the spirit of this year’s International Women’s Day motto ‘make it happen’, we decided to chase Sophie up to ask her how she became a full time adventurer, how it felt to get the UK talking about women in endurance sports and how we all can make the first start to make it happen and go on our dream adventures too.
Where did the idea for your adventures come from?
“I was just out of university, working in sales business development and I decided I wanted something outside of my work that I could focus on and that was mine. That would get me fit and motivated to go out there and create cool experiences.”
“My first adventure, a race in the jungle of Borneo got me hooked, it made me feel this amazing sense of achievement. I was out there, meeting new people and experiencing the world.”
At the end of the day, we all do have a lot of time on our hands and we often just spend it going to the pub
“It opened my eyes and I thought, if you can set yourself a challenge and go off and achieve it, maybe you can set yourself another challenge, ask more from your work and ask more from yourself. It created this spiral where I was just like really inspired to do new challenges all the time.”
Is it difficult to fit in training with a full time job?
“At the end of the day we all do have a lot of time on our hands and we often just spend it going to the pub. If I wasn’t out training, I’d have been with mates in the pub instead.”
“I would get up, train with British military fitness in the parks in London and cycle to work. By the time I got to work I’d have done my training for the day. That way you can go out in the evening and do whatever you want.”
“I guess the term weekend warrior is what I was, not every weekend but some weekends, I’d go out and go climb mountains or do my next challenge. Then I’d use my holidays as well so if a challenge required me to go away for a week.”
How did it feel to change the BBC’s policy on women?
“I guess when I first got rejected, I thought it was really ridiculous because they hadn’t been clear about women not being accepted in the form. So i wrote about it, because that’s what i do.”
they were shocked that women would apply for something so physically tough.
“It blew up immediately- what I’m really pleased about is that they changed their minds.”
“The big thing for me was that they assumed that women wouldn’t apply, they hadn’t even suggested anything about women and they were shocked that we would apply for something so physically tough. I think its really brilliant that they’ve changed the policy, i really do.”
“There’s still a massive media lack of representation for women’s sport. Last year i did Ironman wales and 8.9% of the applicants were women, so there’s no denying the fact that there is a lot less women.”
“That’s only going to change if women see other women go for it, so they think, if she can do it then i can do it as well.”
“In the London to Paris event that I’m running, 40% of applicants are currently women, its unusual for an endurance event and it’s great!”
How can we all make the first move to going on an adventure?
“Choose something that inspires you.There’s so many amazing ways that you can get fit so go do something you enjoy and really gets you excited.”
“There’s free classes all over all cities and just go and try and few things out and see what takes your fancy.”
“We can all sit there and dream of things that we want to do, but they’ll always stay a dream unless we take action. We need to put a plan in place and make it happen.”
“The more that you do and the more you face your fears, the easier it becomes and the more confident you become about doing it.”
“Of course its scary, of course there’s unknowns , of course there’s doubts, but going and making it happen is the only way to discover the stuff you really want to do in life.”
Follow all of Sophie’s Adventures here!