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Here’s the Wild Idea

Kim Chambers was 30 years old, an athlete and a powerful executive, when she slipped and fell down a set of stairs. The injuries she sustained changed the course of her life. Not only did she prove doctors wrong about being able to be an athlete again, but she became one of the most accomplished marathon swimmers in the world, after never swimming competitively in her life before the injury.

In 2014, she became the sixth person (and third woman) to complete the Oceans Seven, which is the marathon swimming equivalent of climbing the Seven Summits, with each swim chosen for its treacherous conditions. Then, in 2015, Kim set a new world record when she became the first woman to swim thirty miles from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a swim that’s incredibly dangerous. It’s full of strong currents, extremely cold water temperatures, big waves, and a large population of great white sharks. But Kim didn’t let fear stop her.

Today, the accomplished swimmer uses her platform to inspire women (and men) of all ages to appreciate their bodies and to pursue their dreams even if they seem unrealistic. While she continues to set new records and battle more challenges herself, she remains a master at teaching people to face fear, even to say yes to it, and push through to achieve their goals.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You are trying to get over your fears.
  • You are a swimmer.
  • You’ve ever battled, or are battling something that seems impossible at the moment to get through.
  • You love stories of people defying the odds.

Key Takeaways

  • 1:00 – Kim was raised in New Zealand and dreamed of being a ballerina.
  • 2:55 – How Kim’s life changed when she fell down some stairs. 
  • 7:00 – How Kim found swimming.
  • 11:00 – What it’s like to do a marathon swim.
  • 14:40 – The mantra that goes through Kim’s head during her swim.
  • 17:15 – Why Kim wanted to swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco.
  • 21:35 – The impact of swimming with dolphins.
  • 25:30 – Kim’s message for women, young and old.
  • 28:05 – How Kim got over fear during her Farallon Islands to Golden Gate swim.
  • 30:45 – Kim was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • 34:30 – Her advice for people going through a challenging time.
  • 36:40 – How Kim uses comedy.
  • 37:20 – Where to watch the film Kim Swims.


Kim Swims film by Kate Webber

Connect with Kim




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