Achieving Your Extraordinary With Challenge Sophie
What happens when you leave the 9-5, redefine your limits and go beyond the walls of your office?
Meet Challenge Sophie. A woman who believes that life has limitless opportunities in store for all of us if we dare to venture out there and see what they might be.
Hey Sophie, thanks so much for agreeing to share some thoughts with us. To start things off, can you tell everyone about yourself? When did you become “Challenge Sophie”?
I’m an adventure athlete, blogger and motivational speaker but this wasn’t always the way! My journey with Challenge Sophie began in 2008 when I was working 9-5 in London and took on my first challenge of an adventure race through the jungle of Borneo.
In January 2013, I decided to quit my job at a London tech startup in pursuit of a new life on my terms. I wanted to explore the world, to not be confined by the walls of my office, I dreamed of creating something of value, and above all - something that was mine.
What is it about adventures and endurance sports that have you hooked?
Adventures and endurance sports are a super fun way to explore the world, make new friends and try new things that totally enrich my life. Beyond that, The mountains gave me an opportunity to push myself, redefine my limits and develop confidence. Yes, climbing a mountain or doing a triathlon can be hugely demanding both mentally and physically, but that feeling of accomplishment once you finish it makes it all worth it.
Photo: Dean Alexander
What’s your main motivation for what you do, what are you seeking? Fitness, adrenaline, freedom…?
So many motivations! I have a huge zest for life! I love exploring my limits, the world outside my computer (or the walls of an office) and I believe that life has limitless opportunities in store for us all if we dare to venture out there and see what they might be.
You’re the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, climbing five times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days. Did you experience setbacks on these adventures? If so, how did you overcome them?
Some of the hardest moments on that challenge came when I had no energy left, whether that was 4000m up Mont Blanc, or cycling into the night through Austria with only a small head torch lighting the road ahead. It was incredibly challenging and I had many moments of self-doubt where I had to harness all my willpower to quiet the voice within my head. I overcame them by believing that I could and knowing that I wanted to prove to myself that I could keep going when everything felt inordinately difficult.
You have an amazing TEDx talk on ‘Achieving Your Extraordinary’. If you could summaries how to do this in one sentence, what would you say?
Something I said during my Ted Talk sums it up the best: “I stopped looking to the world to tell me who I should be or what extraordinary feels like, and only then did I find it. Your journey to extraordinary is yours to define and create. You’ve got One life, Live it”.
Photo: James Carnegie
Body Confidence is a hot topic here at Women Want Adventure. What’s your advice for women wanting to break out of their comfort zones and move away from fears they are “not good enough” in their own skin?
Go for it! Don’t wait for someone else to come with you or give you permission. Fitness is about what my body can do, not what it looks like. I would urge anyone to focus on functionality rather than aesthetics, on developing a strong mind instead of focusing on negatives.
3 adventure training tips to keep at the top of your game mentally and physically:
1. Find something you love
2. Set yourself a challenge to inspire and motivate you to go big and commit to your training
3. Embrace the journey; meet new people, learn about nutrition, travel with your fitness and go for it! You never know how one small step might change your life in a monumental way
Where do you see yourself adventuring in the near future?
That’s a good question! Up until I finally went to Hawaii last month, it was always there. I’d love to spend some time in Alaska and explore the Kenai Fjords National Park, which is home to some of the most beautiful glaciers on the planet. I’m also desperate to go to Norway and of course Australia and NZ. Perhaps I could come on an adventure with you ladies??
Photo: Alaxander James
Do you have plans to visit us in Australia?
Of course! Send me some ideas…
Where can we learn more, read more and feel inspired by Challenge Sophie?
Head over to my blog at www.challengesophie.com/blog where you can follow my adventures and also on social media @challengesophie. Thanks so much!