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  • Writer's pictureTania & Adam

Adventurer, Endurance Athlete & Solo Female Van Lifer - Challenge Sophie

Updated: May 18, 2023

The Inspiring Journey of Sophie Roberts aka ‘Challenge Sophie’


Building Confidence & Resilience Through Challenges

In episode 12 of The Adventure Mindset Podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing fellow van lifer and friend, Sophie Roberts, also known as "Challenge Sophie,"; an adventurer and endurance athlete who lives in her converted camper van in the UK. Sophie has accomplished incredible feats, such as climbing the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycling between them in just 32 days. She's also completed adventure races, ultramarathons, and Ironman races. What's truly inspiring is that Sophie didn't come from an athletic background, but she's all about building confidence and pushing outside of her comfort zone. In other words, she is all about cultivating an Adventure Mindset - a perfect guest for our podcast! She's also the founder of Trailblazers, a project focused on helping school girls gain confidence through adventure and community.

Challenge Sophie pushing her physical boundaries on a snow run

After forming an online friendship, Adam and I had the pleasure to meet Sophie on a Summer’s day in a campsite in Cornwall, UK. We parked our tiny homes on wheels and enjoyed being neighbours for a night. We loved hosting Sophie in Jits for chats over dinner and a Sunset walk. The next day, we hit record on our conversation where we were moved by her humility, down-to-earth nature, and willingness to share advice on achieving your goals. Listen to the full episode here to delve into Sophie's captivating story and get motivated by her journey of pushing boundaries and following her passions.

Challenge Sophie and Tania from Jits into the Sunset recording an interview for the Adventure Mindset Podcast

“We all have these doubts that kick in and say, I don't know if I can do this, but that voice will kick in and say, yes, you can because you pushed through that time when you thought that you really couldn't do it and you proved to yourself that you could.”

Challenge Sophie loves to break records on her bike

About Challenge Sophie: From Office Worker to Endurance Athlete

Sophie used to work in a high-powered corporate job in London, which she admits she loved but eventually she began to feel undervalued and unfulfilled. Seeking adventure as a way to find out who she is and what she's capable of, she signed up for an adventure race in Borneo, which completely changed her outlook on life. “When I went and did the challenge, it completely changed my life. It was this light bulb moment where I was standing on top of the mountain where the race finished and I just felt like, this is how I'm going to find out how to be the person that I've always wanted to be.”

The Challenge & Adventure Mindset

Sophie shared her experience with the Three Peaks Challenge, where she climbed the highest peaks of Scotland, England, and Wales in 24 hours, cycling 450 miles between each peak as well, despite not having a background in sports or adventure activities “I was overweight and unfit before then and spending lazy time in the pub”. Sophie emphasized the importance of having a clear vision and a strong "why" behind the challenges we undertake to stay consistent and motivated in the long term.

“I want to achieve things in my life. I want to be energized, I want to be motivated”

One of Sophie's greatest achievements is the Alpine coast to coast challenge, where she cycled through the eight Alpine countries to Asia, climbing the highest mountains in each country along the way. She believes that pushing outside of her comfort zone and constantly challenging herself has helped her grow as a person and achieve things she never thought possible.

"She belived she could, so she did"

Even with such an impressive resume, Sophie isn’t immune to fear and doubt “I'm climbing a mountain, it's dark, it's cold. I'd be petrified and thinking of all the things that could go wrong and how I was going to feel and how hard this was”. She uses personal mantras during her challenges to ward off negative thoughts including "One day I will not be able to do this, but today is not that day." and "She believed she could, so she did"

Boosting Confidence Through Adventure

Apart from her personal achievements, Sophie is also the founder of Trailblazers, a project focused on helping school girls through adventure and community. She believes that adventure can be a powerful tool for building confidence and resilience in young girls, and she's passionate about empowering them to pursue their own dreams and challenges.

“A big part of trailblazers is to be away from all the noise of life and take the time and feel supported enough that they can actually start to figure out who they actually are rather than who the world is constantly telling them to be.”

Locals in Africa helping Dot push her transit van, BlueBelle out of the sand.

Lessons Learned

Sophie's journey as "Challenge Sophie" from being an office worker to an endurance athlete is a remarkable story of pushing boundaries, building confidence, and following passions. Her story is an inspiration to anyone who is looking to break out of their comfort zone and pursue their dreams. Through her adventures and challenges, Sophie has shown that with determination, consistency, and a clear vision, it is possible to achieve incredible feats and live a fulfilling life. Her advocacy for empowering young girls through adventure and community also highlights her commitment to making a positive impact on others. Sophie's story is a true testament to the power of resilience, passion, and the human spirit.

Listen to the full episode here

Learn more about how you can connect with & support Challenge Sophie's charity work here:

Watch Challenge Sophie's Tedx Talk here:



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