We recently interviewed Sophie Radcliffe from the site 'Challenge Sophie, her inspirational blog where she challenges herself, pushes her own boundaries and shares her experiences along the way. Sophie was one of the first to follow Smacking Fish on Twitter, and we've been following her progress and build up to her unique challenge ever since... The Alpine Coast to Coast. Sophie talks past, present and future of her journey and how she hopes to be an inspiration to others.
What were you doing with life before Challenge Sophie came along?
I was Managing commercial teams for the UK's fastest growing technology startup
What gave you the idea to create Challenge Sophie?
My love of challenges! The first one was in 2008 when i decided to get fit and signed up for this adventure race in the jungle of Borneo. I was hooked! For years Challenge Sophie was about me going and challenging myself as a way to see what I was capable of. Since I started my blog in 2013, it's become a platform for me to help and inspire others to do the same. It's now my job!
What are your stand out achievements so far?
Finishing Ironman Wales 2 times, cycling London to Paris in 24 hours 6 times and of course, most recently the Alpine Coast to Coast, a world-first expedition to climb the highest mountain in the 8 alpine countries and cycle between them. Somedays I can't believe it happened!
How do you choose the type of adventures you take on?
I always give it space to breathe and happen naturally. My adventures evolve from the sports, places and people that inspire me.
What was the inspiration for the Alpine Coast 2 Coast?
It was a unique combination of my favourite sports; cycling and climbing, the chance to explore places I'd never been to, an incredible and accessible adventure. It was the idea that lit the fire within!
What sort of planning goes into a project like that?
A lot of planning goes into the mental and physical preparation. I needed to know that I was ready for whatever would come my way and up for the challenge! In terms of the route and logistics, we worked a lot of that out day by day as we needed to be flexible to how I was feeling and what I thought I could manage. Turns out I could do a lot more than I thought which meant that by the time we were 15 days in and half way through the adventure, we were 6 days ahead of schedule. On the other hand, I slipped and hurt myself whilst climbing Mont Blanc in the middle of the night, meaning we had to come down, rest and go for it again a day later. Being flexible in your planning is key!
All the details!
Sophie completing the Alpine C2C
What is it about pushing the boundaries and the physical limits of your body and mind that motivates you?
It's the most empowering feeling in the world. Unleashing your true potential, investing the time and effort to understand yourself, your limits and what drives you. I just love it and get so much from it.
You must of hit ‘The Wall’! What’s your secret to getting over it?
You've got to give yourself the space and time to get through it, try not to fight it, just let it all happen and let the emotion flow. BUT, you have to believe that you can do it and you have to keep going. Other little treats like listening to motivating music, stopping off for a sugary treat or reading messages from people on social media and my family really help.
You work with some great brands, the likes of adidas, brew dog, haglofs, how do you go about building relationships with brands and have you chose them or the other way around?
It's a combination of both, I chose brands I want to work with and they also come to me. I love building relationships with people and brands as that's my professional background. It's all about understanding what's important to them, how you can help them achieve it and then delivering on that.
What was filming with Adidas like?
Filming with Adidas was amazing! Like a dream come true. They sent out a 5 person film crew and professional photographer, took incredible photos and now use them on their social media channels and on the Adidas website.
Take a look at the video...
Smacking Fish is all about Believing in your ideas, dreams and goals, going out, Achieving them and Inspiring others with your stories. You are doing just that. What would you say to all those dreamers/believers out there reading this and thinking they could never do such a thing?
Believe! Dream big, shoot for the moon and don't stop until you get there.
Sophie with husband Charlie (@digitalsteak) on top of the world!
Comparing your life 5 years ago to today what are the most noticeable changes within you?
Now I work for myself rather than for my boss, I live in Chamonix rather than London, I am much more certain about the direction I'm moving in and what i want to do, I am married to the most amazing man I've ever met. He makes me very happy!
You were amongst the first to find out about Smacking Fish a while back with our initial teaser campaign. What was it that excited you about our brand and vision?
It's so important to help people believe they can create the life they dream of. I totally support your mission!