Grab Life by the Horns with Kari Baynes
Do you feel your bones aching after many decades in the corporate world and do you miss having control over your body?
Today’s guest shares how swimming impacted her life and how she reinvented herself through it, becoming a better, stronger version of what she always wanted to be.
In today’s show, David is joined by Kari Baynes - previously Head of Business Development, Group Advertising Director and Project Lead for News Corp Australia, but now a proud owner of Different Stroke Swimming, the home of adult learn to swim and squad programs for busy executives, mothers’ groups and strong athletes alike.
Growing up, she always wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher and managed to live out that dream to an extent while in Britain, before eventually turning over to the world of direct sales and publishing as she came to Australia.
Her desire to set up a swim school came about only after she had finished with the corporate world.
“I found that it really resonated through all the dealings of my life really, that whole experience of learning a physical skill at an older age and realizing that you could do it. To be honest, I thought I was a lost cause.”
She persevered in it and found a love for it. But swimming also opened up a whole new world for her and a community she didn’t even know existed. Swimming is seen as a big part of Australian culture and it’s assumed everyone can do it, but Kari also points out a different side of the story - she found a big percentage of her clientele had been impacted by a near-drowning experience at some point in their life, and it’s truly powerful when they come to grips with it and overcome it.
Juggling the work-life balance is tricky, and it’s especially true when you’ve got a business born out of your love for swimming. But what really helped Kari keep her passion up is making her family a part of it and going on holidays together while signing up for various marathon events around the world, from the relay at Lake Argyle to the Thames marathon and swimming at Mana Islands in Fiji.
“Swimming is a great panacea to helping not only stress release, but also when you're training, you're releasing endorphins, so your mental health is always much better. There’s a saying among swimmers: ‘No one evers feels bad after a swim.’ And it's true.”
Kari further shares some of the most interesting details and experiences from her marathons, as well as the various aspects of preparation that are crucial for those big events. She also sets out future goals and what she has her eye on next - The Strait of Gibraltar and swimming from Europe to Africa if all goes to plan.
Kari’s challenge for YOU over the coming week: “Find something that inspires you and go and grab it. Find something that is physical that you can go after because there's so much that will come to you from that. Not only in terms of physical well-being and mental well-being, you'll undoubtedly find a community that's built around that and other opportunities that come along with that. It does talk to a lot of things in life.”