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Karen Darke - British Paraplegic adventurer, athlete and author.

Michelle Griffith-Robinson - Former GB Olympian, wife, mother of 3, lifestyle coach, personal trainer and Ambassador for Diabetes UK

Karen Darke is a British Paraplegic adventurer, athlete and author. Karen was a keen runner and mountaineer (climbing both Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn), however, at 21 years old, she was paralysed from the chest down following an accident, whilst sea cliff climbing.

Karen has continues to go follow her interests and passions and loves going on adventures, which have included, hand cycling over 2,000 miles from Canada to Mexico down the Pacific Coast Highway, which she did in 2017.

Karen also become the first paraplegic woman to handcycle across the Himalayas, sea kayak from Canada to Alaska (1500 km, 2003), skied across the Greenland Ice Cap (a trip of over 600 kilometres, 2006), and climbed the kilometre high overhanging rock-face of El Capitan. She has also hand-cycled down the Silk Route, the length of Japan and across Tibet.

During this episode Karen share more about her personal challenges, Quest 79 and the Pole of Possibility.

You can listen to Karen on the Tough Girl Podcast, new episodes are every Tuesday at 7am UK time!


Listen to Karen Now!

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Show notes

  • Being a modern day Alchemist

  • Why 79 is such a special number

  • What quest 79 is

  • Wanting to encourage other people to step outside their comfort zone

  • Winning the gold medal at Rio

  • The defining moments in her career

  • Surprising herself with her performance

  • Working with a sports psychologist

  • Asking the question - Who am I? Who are you?

  • The Wild Way

  • Having something to look forward to after the Rio Olympics

  • Getting resupply on the route

  • Struggling to wild camp in Chile

  • Loving the Himalayas

  • Dealing with descents

  • Riding into Katmandu

  • Not being supported by a team

  • Doing adventures and journeys with people you don’t know

  • Overcoming challenges

  • Working towards a common goal

  • The pole of possibility

  • The importance of having a purpose

  • Partnering with the Polar Academy

  • Dealing with the cold

  • Regulating her body temperature

  • 79 is the atomic number for gold

  • Inner gold

  • Why it’s always about the journey

  • The connection of the inner and outer worlds

  • Learning from every journey

  • Why you have to feel your emotions

  • How Covid has impacted on Karen

  • Writing books

  • The Adventure Mindset Program

  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Facebook @karenquest79

Instagram @handbikedarke

Twitter @kdarke


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