Fuelled by her philosophy...
Sophie went from running the commercial division at the UK’s fastest growing technology startup to becoming an endurance athlete, blogger, marketeer, model and motivational speaker.
She has become the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, climbing five times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days. She’s cycled 300km from London to Paris in 24 hours on nine occasions, completed multi-sport adventure races around the world, raced her bike coast to coast across the USA, completed 100km ultra-marathons, and is a two-time Ironman finisher!
Sophieis on a mission to create something that leaves a lasting impact on this world by helping people to find their fire and use it.
It was very exciting to have a chat with Sophie and bring you our conversation, you can’t help but be inspired and motivated by this wonderful woman with a love for life, big dreams and a HUGE drive to make them happen.
If you were an ice cream flavour, which one would you be and why?
Mint chocolate chip, as it combines the best of both worlds. You always need a refreshing kick which mint provides and chocolate is just a great addition. It’s what I try to offer.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done recently?
I was the first speaker at TedX Liverpool in June and had to stand in front of 900 people! It was an amazing day and experience, one that made me really happy.
My greatest fear is losing people that I feel I cannot live without, such as my family.
I spend so much time challenging my fears, that my other fear is not living up to my potential and making the most of my time here on Earth.
If you could only bring 1 piece of kit with you on an adventure what would it be and why?
My down jacket. I am open to pushing myself hard and putting myself in extreme environments with lack of sleep.
Once piece of kit that provides comfort is a life saver and I feel so much better when I put on my down.
The Alpine Coast to Coast adventure, which was a world first expedition to climb to the summits of the highest mountains in each of the eight Alpine countries and cycle between them, starting on the coast of Italy and ending on the coast of France in Monaco.
I spent 8 years sitting at my desk following unbelievable adventurers having amazing lives and being inspired by adventure films, festivals and talks.
I dreamt that one day I may have the guts to go on my own big adventure and I DID!
Between 31st July and 31st August 2013 I cycled through and climbed to the highest points of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy and Monaco, covering 1669kms by bike, 141kms by foot and 45,530 metres of ascent!
1. What did you initially escape from?
I didn’t escape. I took the plunge to start a new path.
I suddenly realised that I was following a path in which I couldn’t achieve what I wanted to and this forced me to reassess how I could create a path that would enable me to develop an authentic life and make a positive impact in this world.
2. What were your biggest motivations in becoming an endurance athlete and adventurer?
My biggest motivation was to discover the potential that each of us have and find out what we are capable of doing.
I set up a blog called Challenge Sophie and created my social media channels to build a platform to connect with people and see if it was something that they were interested in.
3. You talk a lot about pushing pass your mind’s barrier and achieving the extraordinary. Do you have any mindfulness practices to increase your resilience when on an endurance adventure?
Manage the voices in your head. Recognise that they are there for a reason. They are there to challenge us and make sure that we make the right decisions.
I believe in making the choices that are right for you, I’m not an advocate of quitting your job. You have to think carefully about the important decisions that you make.
Practice by placing yourself in situations where the voices get loud and then fight them back with positive attitude.
Mental resilience is like a muscle, you have to practice to get strong and improve your performance. Just like cycling and yoga.
4. Do you have any daily rituals to get you in the right mind set to kick ass as an athlete, adventurer and entrepreneur?
I’m an early riser and go to the gym first thing. I find that by starting the day feeling productive, it sets a positive filter into everything else that you do that day.
By 9am I’ve been to the gym, sent emails and done social media. It’s a great place to start the day with.
5. What are your top 3 tips for a women who wants to start getting outside more, but have little experience and lack the confidence?
First. Know that everyone starts at the back. No one starts by being the best. Everyone has to learn from the people around them — don’t be scared of starting and talking to people who are doing what you want to achieve.
So many people are passionate about the sport that participate in, love sharing their enthusiasm with others and bringing them into it.
Second. Surround yourself with the people who believe in what you want to do and they will help you.
Third. Do something that you love. Make sure that you are motivated to do it and will stick it out — don’t get caught up in someone else’s dream.
6. What’s the one book, film or podcast that’s had the biggest impact on your life?
7. Who is your wild woman heroine?
Any historic women mountaineer, when it was a sport dominated by men who would try to make you fail.
I’m inspired by all of my social media followers — they’re real people achieving amazing things with families, illnesses and injuries.
8. Do you have an exciting project that we should be looking out for?
I am championing the idea that ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary and it’s a project that you can join and get involved in!