Abby in her own words:
“Growing up, the outdoors wasn't a place I spent much time, unless you count doing all nighters in the park guzzling Bacardi Breezers and shivering into my Jane Norman parka as a teenager.
It wasn't a place I felt I belonged. I hated exercise and actively avoided it at all costs, so much so, I'd hide in the showers to bunk PE lessons.
During lockdown, my dad gave me his 23 year old mountain bike and I set myself a challenge to cycle the distance from John O' Groats to Lands End around my hometown to keep myself from melting into the sofa.
I LOVED it! I felt strong and alive as I whooshed through the isolated streets. Is this what it felt like to enjoy exercise? Had I finally found 'my sport’? 300 miles in, I discovered an enormous Ovarian Tumour.
2 weeks later I was having surgery and my virtual cycle adventure was paused.
The tumour turned out to be a rare form of Ovarian Cancer. I was lucky, it hadn’t spread to other organs which meant surgery was all I needed, however, I discovered the dire stats surrounding Ovarian Cancer and feeling lucky to be alive, I wanted to do something to raise awareness and vital funds for the disease.
I decided to cycle John O' Groats to Lands End for real, but this time, I'd make it as fun and spicy as possible. I strapped my gear to the bike and headed for an off road route following GB Divide and Great North Trail. I’d be camping most nights and carrying everything I needed.
I didn’t train, I didn’t even cycle much before I left, I just had blind faith that if I pedalled one foot at a time I’d eventually get there.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Listen to Abby Now!
Click here if you can't see the link below.
Who is Abby in her own words
Growing up in a non-sporty family
Her teenage years
Hating all sports but enjoy skiing
Started climbing in Northumberland
Climbing and hiking with her ex
Spending a month in Grampians National Park
Breaking up with her ex and going out on her own
Plans to go together to Hampi in India
Being uncomfortable going out by herself
Driving a camper van to the North Island and South Island for two months
Back to working in the events industry
Wanting to do more
Feeling uncomfortable being seen as a climber
Pushing through the fear
GB Divide - her first ever bike packing trip
Cycling as a kid
Deciding to cycle from John o'Groats to Land's End
Discovering a big tumour in her ovary
Not having any symptoms aside from bloating
Finding out about her cancer at the start of COVID
Being isolated alone before surgery
Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action
Why is she raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Action
Getting support from her mum after her surgery
When did she decide to give back
Being unable to engage in any activities for six weeks
Missing the bike ride around her area
Feeling lucky despite going through a traumatic period
More details about GB Divide and how she learned about this challenge
Taking on the challenge on her father's old mountain bike
Borrowing and purchasing necessary equipment
Planning the cycle challenge
Procrastinating and panicking about being unprepared
Getting fit as she goes
Driving with her friends from Edinburgh to John O'Groats
Getting nervous and figuring out things as she goes
Her first night of the challenge
Enjoying cycling and feeling proud
Staying in Scotland
Doing the Cairnwell Pass
Being able to do 580 miles on the trail
Learned lessons that she can apply to the second half of the challenge
Having knee pain
Having no knowledge about nutrition
Where did @adventure_logistics_queen come from
Final words of advice
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.