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Jessica Hepburn - Author of 21 Miles and The Pursuit of Motherhood. She’s swan the English Channel..

Tough Girl - Jessica Hepburn - Author of 21 Miles and The Pursuit of Motherhood. She’s swan the English Channel, run the London Marathon and is going after Mount Everest next!

Jessica is an Author, and Adventure Activist.

In her early forties after the eleventh round of unsuccessful IVF, she decided it was time to take on another adventure. It became the start of a journey in pursuit of the answer to the question: ‘Does motherhood make you happy or can you have a fulfilling life without children?’

What she’s learning is that there are many routes to creating a family if you want one but also that life is full of many different adventures. That’s what led her to dedicating the fourth decade of her life to taking on some of the world’s most iconic endurance challenges to raise awareness and money for both adults and children without the families they long for.

In 2015, Jessica swam the English Channel in 17 hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds, raising over £25,000 for adults and children without the families they long for. She said it was like her version of 'giving birth.' Read about it in her new book: 21 Miles: Swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood.

In 2017, Jessica ran the London Marathon for Fertility Network UK, raising over £5,000 for the charity.

In 2020, Jessica plans on summiting Mount Everest, which when she completed, will make her the first women to have ever completed these two challenges called “Pond to Peak”.

**Please note during this episode we do talk about fertility, IVF and miscarriages. If you are in a sensitive place right now regarding these issues, please make sure you feel strong enough to listen, and have support available. This episode will always be available for you to listen to at a later date.**


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Show notes

  • How Jessica would describe herself

  • Coming from an arts family

  • Running a theatre by her early 30s

  • Not being sporty when she was younger

  • Meeting the man she wanted to have a family with

  • Trying to get pregnant

  • A decade long struggle to conceive

  • Her mission to become a mother and how it took over her life

  • Wanting to take back control in her 40s

  • How she got through it while living her life in limbo

  • The shame around fertility problems for both men and women

  • The impact on her marriage

  • Turning 40 and starting to write her first book - The Pursuit of Motherhood

  • 43 - and getting on with the rest of your life

  • Exercise and the role it played during her quest for motherhood.

  • Reaching 43 and deciding to stop IVF

  • Deciding to swim the English Channel!

  • All the reasons why she could not do this challenge

  • Mental toughness and mental resilience

  • What she thinks about while swimming

  • Why the challenge is always going to be harder than the training

  • The 7 & 6 in training (7 hours swimming on Saturday and 6 hour swimming on Sunday)

  • Swimming in the dark - getting sick while swimming - dealing with jelly fish!!

  • Finishing the channel swim and reaching French soil

  • Adventure Activism and doing challenges!

  • Going back to her bucket list for her next challenge

  • Her 3rd and Final challenge…. climbing Everest in 2020!

  • The Pond to Peak Challenge!

  • Fertility Fest

  • Deciding to climb Kilimanjaro at Christmas

  • How’s she training for Everest & why she knows herself

  • Confidence after a challenge!

  • Dealing with sadness in your life

  • Dealing with people’s sympathy

  • Grief


Social Media

Twitter - @JessicaPursuit


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