In August 2016, I was interviewed  by Sarah Williams, from the Tough Girl Podcast, UK – 2016.  I was totally humbled to be invited onto the podcast, sharing the airwaves with Tough Girls who had climbed Everest, rowed the Atlantic and generally done some pretty tough stuff.  I had a great chat with Sarah, talking about how I got started adventuring, and how I have explored the Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, riding almost 5,000kms from Canada to Mexico, and a whole lot of things in between.  We had a great chat about mindset, and how we get through the tough days.  And best of all, I got to share with her my plans for Escaping Your Comfort Zone!

Your size has no bearing on what you are capable of. No one knows this better than body positive adventure advocate Richelle Olsen. To be part of her plus size adventure community you don’t need to be fit, you don’t need to “look the part”, it doesn’t matter what size you are, all you need is a sense of adventure, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. We love what Richelle is all about and recently caught up with her.  Read it here.

In the words of Jen Brown, host of Sparta Chicks Radio:  Richelle Olsen is one of the most real, honest and authentic people I know.
An everyday woman with an adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors, Richelle has packed a lot into her 30-something years.
From travelling solo around South America for 5 weeks at 21, to competing in triathlon and mountain biking as well as hiking the Inca Trail and to Everest Base Camp, Richelle is happiest when on her bike - or bikes; she owns about 5.

In 2015, Richelle and her then partner Shane rode 5,000km from Canada all the way to Mexico on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route over the course of 5 months. #Mindblowing

Richelle’s “adventure bio” is equal parts impressive and daunting.  But like most of us, the reality is that Richelle has struggled with fear, self-doubt and body image too.  When she stayed at our house a few weeks ago, she admitted that even after finishing her 5,000km ride across the USA that she didn’t feel like a “cyclist”.

A “chubby kid” whose parents decided she “had” to have a sport, Richelle has always viewed the world (and herself) through “these body image ‘I’m bigger’ glasses”. It’s only been in recent years that Richelle has focused her attention and energy on what her body can do, as opposed to what it looks like, and so she is starting to appreciate and accept her body (as we discuss on this episode, she’s not quite there yet). 

In 2016, Richelle also established Escaping Your Comfort Zone, a non-profit organisation dedicated to introducing more plus-sized women to the outdoors and adventure in a safe and supported environment. What I love about Escaping Your Comfort Zone is that the focus is not on training, distances, speeds or even diets.  It’s simply a group of women hanging out and exploring the outdoors together.

Listen to the podcast here.

Our final Plus Performance podcast episode of 2017 features with Richelle Olsen, a plus size global adventurist who has conquered many continents and trails on her bike, feet and in the water.  In this episode, Richelle shares her personal stories and experiences that have led to her quitting her full-time job and starting her own adventure business for plus size women, Escaping Your Comfort Zone.  See the details, and listen tho the podcast here.