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Ness Knight - Accidental adventurer & explorer whose cycled solo + unsupported 2000 miles across USA

Over the last few years Ness Knight has firmly established herself as an Adventure and Endurance athlete of incredible determination, fortitude and international renown.

During this podcast we learn more about Ness, growing up in South Africa, the experiences, both positive and negatives that have shaped who she is today. We learn why she decided to follow this route and we look into detail at the challenges she has undertaken and what she has learnt most from them. Ness also provides advice and tips to help you go after your own adventure and how you can lead the best life possible.


“I believe it is when we challenge ourselves, and step outside our comfort zone, that we grow.”



• First female to stand up paddle board 1000 miles (Missouri river, USA)

• Cycled solo + unsupported 2000 miles across the USA

• First female in history to swim the length of the Thames River (UK)

• 400 mile run – 15 marathons back-to-back (London to Land’s End, UK)

• Namib Desert solo fatbike expedition (2016)

• Upcoming: Record attempt – first female to row the Pacific Ocean solo and non-stop


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Show notes

  • Not being a natural adventurer

  • Coming to exploring later on in life

  • Being an accidental adventurer

  • Deciding to change her life

  • Looking for her passion in life

  • Losing her best friend at university

  • Deciding she no longer wanted to be an introvert and what she did to change it

  • What would you do, if you could not fail?

  • Her conservative family and growing up in South Africa

  • Why we need more females in endurance sports getting the spot light

  • Her list of how to live rather than things to do

  • Her fear of failure

  • Losing her best friend at 20 years old

  • Deciding to live her life her way

  • Deciding to do SUP - Missouri River - 1,000 miles

  • Being inspired by Roz Savage - (Listen to Roz on the Tough Girl Podcast)

  • Enjoying the solo journey

  • Courage & confidence

  • Her fears before her first solo cycle

  • Trusting her gut instincts and how it improved her confidence

  • How she’s been building her career and what she’s been focusing on

  • Having her vision of what she wants to do with her life

  • How she decides on what to do

  • Swimming the Thames and the challenges she faced; the cold, dealing with Raynaud’s Disease, spending 10 hours in the water, dealing with the isolation and the pressure

  • What’s going on in her head while she's doing these challenges and why she ends up writing books in her head

  • What she’s learnt about her mindset and her mental resilience

  • Why her strength in life is to see everything positively

  • Why you need to smile!

  • Watch an Amy Cuddy TED Talk - Your body language shapes who you are

  • 2016 challenges - Joining Laura Bingham in Bolivia for her cycle (with no money) challenge

  • Heading to Namibia - to be the first person ever to solo cycle across the world’s oldest desert, the Namib.

  • The worst decision she has ever made while being on an adventure