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85 – Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce “Nobody Told Me I Couldn’t”

Kara Lynn Joyce is a badass athlete. She has swum in 3 Olympics earning 4 Olympic medals. She won 18 NCAA titles. She was a high school national champion. Kara performed at the highest level for many many years. But it isn’t her swimming career that will define her legacy. It is her dedication to helping girls develop into strong women that she will be remembered for.


Kara’s passion has shifted to an organization she founded called LEAD. It stands for Leadership, Empowerment & Athletic Development. It’s not as glorious as the Olympics but it’s so much more meaningful. She is making a huge impact in girls lives. That has so much more opportunity to change the world in a positive way. But she couldn’t get here without her swimming experience which I’m so excited to share with you. If you have or know female teenage swimmers ages 13-18, check out her Labor Day weekend LEAD Summit in Atlanta . It will sell out, so if you want to go, don’t miss it! Check out this video for a little teaser. I think the messages that Kara and her incredible lineup of speakers like Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Beisel and more, add so much to helping girls develop strength and confidence at this important time. I wish the LEAD Summit existed when I was 13!


Today we talk about:

  • Growing up in a swimmer family
  • Milestones and more: Nobody told me I couldn’t
  • Meeting Olympians: Why role models are important
  • Swimming in the Olympics
  • LEAD: Why it’s important to provide teenage girls support
  • Consistency: It’s not sexy, but it’s the key to success
  • Doing the next right thing
  • Overcoming disappointment & having faith in the process
  • Evolving as an athlete


Here’s the best part about Kara. She still loves every single thing that swimming has done and still does for her. She just knew it was time to move on. In my opinion, that’s a gift. Knowing when it’s time. I want to end with something I think it so cool and very fitting for this podcast. Kara is a former Olympic swimmer. She’s a total and complete badass athlete. Yet when asked what she does now for fitness, she said, “I walk.” Walking helps give her that head space that she had for so many years underwater as a swimmer. I respect that about her. And I encourage all of you (me included) to just get out there and walk when our heads go out of control!


And a final quick reminder to you healthy, active, robust listeners to support the show by heading over to to see if you qualify for cheaper rates on life insurance! Be sure to mention RTW so they know I sent you.


All right then – you know what time it is. It’s time to get out there and Run This World. Have a great workout and I’ll see you next week.