Kelda started her sporting career playing netball at a national level as a teenager. Sport very quickly became the thing that defined who she was and the person she wanted to be. Her real passion lay with horses and her ultimate goal was to ride for her country and represent Great Britain at the Olympics.
Unfortunately, after a serious leg injury in 2002, Kelda’s hopes of competing at an international level seemed to have disappeared. The leg injury had a huge impact on her life, leaving her no longer able to run or play many of the sports that meant so much to her. This had a huge impact on her confidence and self-belief, and she spent nearly 10years fighting to accept who she was.
In 2002 she decided to climb Kilimanjaro, and this proved to be the start of a new direction in life. She returned and began retraining as an outdoor instructor. As a result of the dramatic effect the outdoors had on her own mental and physical recovery, Kelda decided she wanted to help others facing similar challenges to herself, and this led her to set up the charity Climbing Out.
Kelda went on to represent Great Britain in Paracanoe and competed at the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World Championships. The ultimate goal was the Rio Paralympics.
Unfortunately she just missed out on selection for Rio, but she went on to join an Adaptive Team attempting to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America at 7,000m.
On the 19th January 2017 she became the first recorded adaptive female to summit the mountain.
In summiting, Kelda found many of the answers she’d been searching for since her injury and this inspired her to attempt a solo row of the Atlantic. After 76 days unsupported at sea, Kelda became the first adaptive person to ever solo row any ocean.
But the challenges didn’t stop there. 12 months ago Kelda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to set herself the goal of completing a triathlon as motivation to push through her recovery.
She completed her first triathlon just 4 months post mastectomy and went on to complete 2 further triathlons last year, including the Snowman Triathlon, known for being the toughest triathlon in the country. She now has her sights set on completing a half ironman in 2022.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out.
To help increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a patron! www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
Listen to Kelda Now!
Click here if you can't see the link below.
Who is Kelda
Being based in Shropshire
Her 4 legged family
Her early years and her passions for sports
Playing netball at a national level
Her dream of wanting to ride at the Olympics
Hanging around the local stables
Getting her first horse at 16
The riders who inspired her
Being in an accident with her horse
Dealing with the trauma after the accident
The start of her resilience journey at 21
Losing her confidence and going back to riding too soon
Moving away from horse and going travelling to Australia
Getting into eventing and gaining her confidence
The accident that changed her life completely
Trying to be the person she was before the injury
Feeling like a failure
Deciding to climb Kilimanjaro and why that was the start of her recovery
Not being able to get the mental health support that was needed
Video resources to help with resilience
Lessons from climbing Kilimanjaro
Needing to change her attitude and focus more on what she could do
Deciding to retrain as an outdoor instructor
Figuring out how to get sport back in her life
Aiming for the para-olympics for 2016
Meeting Martin Hewitt - Adaptive Grand Slam
“It’s not about saying I can’t, it’s about saying how can I”
How can I make it possible to climb Aconcagua?
Figuring out the how
Advice for people who are feeling like a failure
The importance of being honest with yourself
Being brave enough to try
Being judged by people and why it doesn’t matter
Deciding to solo row the Atlantic
Finding peace on the mountain
Fundraising for Climbing Out and wanting to raise £50K
Advice regarding sponsorship
Being super clear on her WHY
3 questions about the row
The challenge of the solitude while out on the row
The challenges of 2020/2021
Being diagnosed with cancer and having a single mastectomy
Wanting to get back to normal and feel like herself again
Getting back into exercise and following a routine again
Why you have to try
Training for 4 triathlons in 2022
Challenging the belief that she had that she couldn’t run
Swimming after a mastectomy
Doing an half Ironman in June 2022
Connect with Kelda
Final words of advice - Keep Moving
Website: Climbing Out
Feeling inspired week after week?
You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love.
Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!
Want to do more?
Please become a Patron and donate US$5 a month to help fund the runnings costs. Thank you.