Why aren’t women, like men, encouraged to keep adventuring into old age? It could be because when our society thinks of adventurers, people often bypass the accomplishments of women and think only of the men whose stories are told over and over. As a woman who writes often about outdoor adventures, I’ve seen it plenty of times. And that makes me seek out great outdoors stories by women.


Caroline Paul is a New York Times-bestselling author of The Gutsy Girl, a book for middle-grade girls about the wonders of outdoor adventure. When I heard she had a new book coming out that dives into the science and psychology of the outdoors and our place in it as we age—I had to get my hands on it. Tough Broad documents the stories of women who live dynamic lives in changing bodies, giving important insight to our own physical and emotional health as we get older.


Lately, I’ve been sidelined by a couple of injuries, but now that I’m getting back to more physical outdoor adventures, I feel as if I’m able to breathe again. This book’s call for women to embrace the outdoors and not sell ourselves short in our fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond, gives inspiration to adventurers of all speeds.


“What is adventure, anyway?” Paul says. “You’re on an adventure when you’re reaching for a goal you’ve set, feeling physically and mentally engaged, maybe learning something new. It’s when you’re pushing your comfort zone, and experiencing exhilaration. And having fun.” From the very first chapter, where she raises eyebrows and inspires smiles as she enters Yosemite National Park on her Onewheel, I was hooked.


Don’t think that your outdoor excursions—whether hiking, surfing, birdwatching, camping, climbing, skating, diving, swimming, jumping, or running—are anything less than adventure. If you love them, it’s worth keeping your practice through the years. And if you’re yearning to try something new, now’s always the perfect time to start.


Tough Broad debuts on March 5, 2024, but you can pre-order it now through Bloomsbury ($25.19 for hardback and $19.59 for Ebook). Sure, you can also order through Bookshop and other independent bookstores, as well.

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