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Susan Conrad - Kayaking ‘the Inside Passage’, 1,200 miles down the western coast of North America

Charlene Gibson - Oldest British women to summit Cho Oyu in 2016 and now heading to climb Ama Dablam in 2018!

In the spring of 2010, Susan decided to take on the Inside Passage which is an extraordinary coastal route, with some of the most spectacular fjords and convoluted coastlines in the world. It’s a narrow artery that connects with and is part of the sixty-four million square miles that comprise the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most scenic and most challenging paddling trip in North America, it’s been touted as a holy grail for paddlers.

Her journey, was a 1200 mile, mostly solo paddle adventure down the western coast of North America from Anacortes, Washington to Juneau, Alaska. During the 66 day she was out there, she experienced the astounding power and beauty of nature. She paddled in drenching rains, fierce winds, and violent seas.

Susan had scaled her world down to an 18-foot sea kayak and started to run toward her dreams. Her dream wasn’t only to paddle the Inside Passage. It was also to challenge herself and see how she would handle adversity and discover how that adversity would make her a better version of herself. It was about experiencing that heady sense of freedom that comes from being alone in the wilderness and making her own decisions, relying on her abilities, her strength and courage … Listen to the tough girl podcast, it’s pretty powerful stuff!


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Show notes

  • Where Susan is based

  • Who Susan is?

  • Growing up on a farm in Upstate New York

  • Getting into paddling and the outdoors

  • Her passion for white water kayaking

  • Starting her own paddle sports company

  • What it was like becoming a guide and why she was terrified at the start

  • Being taken by the solo experience

  • The Inside Passage

  • Her inspiration and the power of having someone believe in you

  • Losing her father and going through a painful time

  • Starting to make poor choices in her life

  • Looking for a new goal and wanting to press that reset button

  • Being prepared both physically, mentally, logistically and also on an emotional level

  • Being a firm believer in positive visualisation

  • 66 Days on the water

  • Talking about fear and her fears before the journey started

  • The first day of the challenge, what it was like

  • When reality set in and the ‘challenge’ started

  • Learning patience from the sea

  • The magical moments verses the miserable moments

  • Hitting the reset button and being able to centre herself

  • The ultimate magical moment which sticks in her memory

  • Having 15 miles left to go

  • The inner and outer journey

  • Reflecting back on the journey and what she’s learned on the way

  • Why the sea can be such a good teacher

  • Writing her book and reliving the memories

  • Itching to do a new challenge - and setting a new goal!

  • Get the book!

  • Final word of advice and why you need to get clear on what you want to accomplish!


Social Media

Twitter - @SusanMConrad

Instagram - @susanmarieconrad


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