Freediver Kimi Werner talks travel, self-worth and slowing down; podcast

Kimi Werner is an inspiring figure in the outdoor world for a multitude of reasons. Her dedication to sustainability in and out of the water, her openness in her experiences as an athlete, her professionalism in the space, and her supreme skills spearfishing and hunting have all placed Kimi at the top of her field.

Recently, Kimi was a guest on the podcast Wild Ideas Worth Living.

Kimi and a fresh catch. Photo: Justin Turkowski/ Wild Ideas Worth Living

Kimi and host, Shelby Stanger, dive into Kimi’s past, what influenced her in becoming a spear fisher, and how she combines her interests in an authentic way.

Kimi is well spoken, and there were many moments during the episode that had us silently applauding, but here are some key takeaways that really stood out:

On learning her value: “I thought that if I worked hard, people would notice my value. And if they noticed my value, they would compensate me for it, and pay me for it,” said Kimi. “When that never happened, it made me doubt myself more, and made me feel less valued, less important, and less secure to the point where I developed this complex, this feeling that I was never enough, and I lost my voice because of how I was being treated. If you don't assert yourself, or state your value, how is anyone else supposed to notice?”

Kimi Werner is an inspiring figure in and out of the water. Photo: Chase Pellerin, Wild Ideas Worth Living

On getting in the water: At the age of 24, after years of not being in the water, Kimi decided her feelings of longing for spearfishing were not just nostalgia, and they were not going away. She got herself a spear, and went in the water, no idea what she was doing. When she began to get overwhelmed by feelings of fear and doubt, she imagined her dad’s silhouette in the water with her. She caught fish that day, and according to Kimi, “The woman that walked out of the ocean that day was a completely different being than the one that had walked in.”

On travel essentials: Kimi is all about sustainability, and that influences what she takes with her wherever she goes. She tells Shelby she always takes a reusable utensil set, a Yeti water bottle, natural sunblock, and a journal with her on the road.

On freediving/life advice: “To speed up, you have to slow down,” Kimi tells Shelby. When you feel the need to speed up, slow down. When you’re in the water and beginning to panic, you’ll want to speed up, but you have to force yourself to be calm, and slow down. That’s advice on freediving that can be translated into life.

You can listen to the full podcast at Wild Ideas Worth Living.

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