10 reps: Kim Vandenberg.

 10 Reps: Kim Vandenberg

Have you ever had a mentor? Well, I highly suggest it. Meet my mentor, Kim. Yup, she has helped me though it all, not to mention, she's amazing.

In 2008, she won a bronze medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay at the Olympic Games and since then has trained all over the world, looking to make her mark this summer in London. Currently working with cool peeps like Mutual of Omaha, New York Athletic Club, Classroom Champions, and Whole Foods, makes her a busy gal. In this interview, she shares how she does it all...

1. What is one factor that has contributed to your success (in and out of the pool) over the years?

There are so many factors to success but I would say keeping an open mind has helped me the most; being able to absorb new ideas and hear different ways of thinking challenges me to expand my views. I know I don’t have all the answers so I tend to ask a lot of questions to people I can learn from.  I believe having an open mind creates the ability to grow and improve over time

 2. Have any “athletic” beauty/style tips?

Moisturize!!! Being in chlorine for hours can be pretty damaging to my skin so I am a freak for lotion. Mountain Ocean Skin Trip and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream are my saviors. Also, staying hydrated helps skin to be balanced and fresh looking.

3. What is something you never expected swimming to bring into your life?

Swimming has opened many doors for me in my life, I never would have expected to have had the opportunity to travel the world like I have. I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to compete in different countries and explore the world. From my travels I have been able to meet so many fascinating people, and that continues to be my favorite part about what I do.

4. You have spent a lot of time training abroad and traveling the world, where was your favorite place to live?

 While I was training and traveling abroad, I was living mostly in France but that was not my favorite place to live, I would have loved to live in Barcelona or Stockholm.  I absolutely love those two cities; I love the energy of Barcelona and the mystery of Stockholm. I appreciated the French cuisine and overall joie de vivre (enjoyment of life) but it was difficult being an American in France. I definitely felt like an outsider there and I much prefer the international mix that Barcelona and Stockholm offer.

 5. Most cherished advice?

My Oma ( Grandmother in Dutch ) told me from a young age to bloom where you are planted. My Opa and Oma spent most of their lives traveling and creating new lives in foreign countries and being able to do that meant have a strong sense of self. I view her advice as remembering where you came from, where your roots are but still being able to grow as a person in a new environment.

6. Currently obsessing over?

My vintage man watch I found at the Treasure Island Flea Market over the weekend. Such a Great find!! It has a compass on it in case I get lost, which happens frequently

7. Just curious, do athletes differ among countries?

Yes. Every country has their own traditions, cultures, and habits so of course the people and the athletes differ from around the world. Most athletes I know want to be the best they are capable of becoming so I believe every athlete shares that common dream but there are always differences in the way athletes experience their sport. Some do it for their families, some for themselves, and others for fame or fortune. I think the motives differ from country to country.

8. Favorite part about working out?

The challenge. I love the feeling of facing a challenge. If there is a hard set or daunting day ahead, I love being able to find the strength to push myself. I also enjoy the energy of movement, I can’t sit still for too long so It’s nice to be able to swim, dance, and train on a daily basis.

9. Like to do any sports besides swimming?

Yes, I love tennis and beach volleyball. I also have a passion for watching ice-skating; I think that’s a beautiful sport to watch. I also grew up playing soccer, track & field, basketball, and a little baseball but I wasn’t very good with dry land activities.

 10. Favorite ways to relax?

 Paint, Write, Read, Play the Piano


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