Check out Gabi Robledo’s inspirational story in a brief interview with Women Fitness. Also her message for Mother’s Day.
Your mom and you co-founded Nomads with a purpose. Congrats on the same. On mother’s day describe how your relationship contributed to each other’s health?
My mom and I co-founded Nomads With A Purpose together when I was 15. Starting a business together really deepened the already close relationship we had. It gave us a space to be visionaries together and we always pushed one another to live in alignment with that vision.
Growing up & living in an RV and traveling with my family since age 14, I had to face a lot of societal rejection but thanks to her idea to start our business, I learned the value of purpose over validation and that changed everything for me. My mom pushing me and collaborating with me in a business is a close reflection of our entire relationship. She has always pushed me to step into personal power, grit, and challenge across sports and life. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten through such an unconventional lifestyle if it weren’t for her mentorship and simultaneously, her equal willingness to learn alongside me across entrepreneurship and life.
You are an athlete & an entrepreneur. Share your experience of playing different sports like soccer, gymnastics, surfing, etc.
I was always an extremely avid athlete. My parents owned a gymnastics facility so I was pretty much tumbling since the day I could walk. That athleticism I gained early on along with a very extreme focus helped me excel in each sport fast. I played club soccer since I was 7, picked up competitive gymnastics at 9, and was an optional gymnast until I was 13. I loved both sports and I was fairly good at them too but when they became all about winning tournaments and scoring 9.0s on the balance beam, the passion died and I burnt out. A year after quitting both sports, my family moved to the beach in south San Diego.
My mom had recently learned how to surf so as a homeschooler with nothing else on my schedule, started shaking me awake at dawn telling me, “Get up, we’re going surfing.” At first, I hated it. But like I said, my mom pushes me and never lets me off the hook that easily. Eventually, I learned to surf and it was not only a wonderful new sport, I discovered a transcendent new state of being that I now know as the flow state. I’d been so used to being in sports where I had to compare myself to others and focus so attentively on my pointed toes and the players around me but on a wave, it was just me creating and moving in a free-flowing way.
The fulfillment I felt in the ocean was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. I decided to start competing in short boarding in middle school and it pulled me back into a world of comparison and competition. Even after becoming nomadic with my family, I competed through high school. I always say being pulled back into the competition was a bad thing for me, but in retrospect, it was also the greatest blessing. I’d spend months off in the wilderness with my family, chasing adventure and practicing mindfulness, then I’d come back to California and the negative traits of the competition were very distinct and noticeable.
It woke me up to the inner dialogue I’d been carrying all these years that I needed to “win” and “achieve” to prove that I was good enough. I continue to surf, rock climb, and snowboard but I’m not into the competition anymore. In my experience, I’ve learned that doing anything for an extrinsic result like gaining a medal, getting approval, or winning some title, adds no lasting fulfillment. To me, sports are a place to chase your edge and push beyond barriers. As long as you enter from the right space, sports provide a special arena for you to enter your flow state which adds a deep sense of intrinsic fulfillment to your life.
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