Gabi Robledo is a mindset coach, adventure athlete, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker seen on TEDx. She co-founded the blog, Nomads With A Purpose, which has grown to be a multi-media adventure travel & wellness brand with over 70 thousand readers per month.
She grew up with an unconventional lifestyle. When she was 14, her parents decided to sell everything they owned, and move into an RV to travel the world full time along with 5 kids.
Gabi co-founded her first business at the age of 15, transforming a once small blog, Nomads With A Purpose along with her mother, into a multi-media adventure travel & wellness brand and the rest is for you to read. Today as a coach, speaker, and Gen Z leader, she uses her personal story to inspire others to unlock their personal power and teaches people step-by-step how to live their soul’s purpose.
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.
According to you 5 key essentials to learn & excel in any sport. Also, tips to master them.
There are 5 components required to harness your flow state. Flow state helps you improve performance (across athletics, business, or creativity) but it also crosses over as an attitude you can bring to life.
The 5 components are:
- Awareness: Awareness is cultivated through something as simple as mindfulness meditation. There is really no better way to start to see the thoughts that are filling our heads. Eventually, that sense of mindfulness becomes a part of everyday life and there’s no need to make it a sitting meditation anymore.
- Values: Values are the system of how we gain our personal empowerment. Extrinsic values have us feeling like failures even if we give it our all. Intrinsic values fuel us to keep trying and they prevent us from acting from fear or self-doubt. Start to take inventory of what values you are acting from and if you can shift them into intrinsic values.
- Courage: Courage is how we gain personal power to feel like we are capable of facing the possibility of failure. This is extremely important because, in order to excel, we have to push boundaries and fail often. Like feedback, if we act courageously, we gain personal power and that motivates us to act courageously again.
- Discipline: Discipline can’t be overlooked. Excellence doesn’t come easy and there is an aspect of self-control we have to embody in order to achieve our goals. We know we have to show up physically to train in a sport but how often are you disciplined about your mindset? Do we speak kindly to ourselves? Do we visualize our success? These are the components of mental discipline that take you above and beyond your goals
- Surrender. Finally, discipline is always followed by surrender. At some point, we’ve done all we can with discipline. Forcing the outcome can make us act from fear, feeling NEEDINESS around success or accomplishments. Surrender is about letting go and letting your mind and body act from instinct. By releasing any stressful thoughts, we can actually enter our flow state where peak performance occurs.
You have traveled to 26 different countries and learned more about self-worth. Can you elaborate on how a teenager can inculcate habits to realize their self-worth and contribute to their development?
I spent my high school years almost completely outside of “normal” society. Being unschooled, learning mindfulness, and starting a business at such a young age, I didn’t exactly fit in with my peers and that forced me to create my self-worth from within because I couldn’t obtain it through validation and acceptance. It was painful at the time but it’s so important because what you believe you are worth is what you believe your value is and if you believe you are valuable, we are willing to face the possibility of failure and rejection of the pursuit of your goals, dreams, and desires.
In the big picture, we need to support teens in practicing self-awareness in order to teach intrinsic self-worth. This looks like getting clear on what your gifts are, what adjectives you’d use to describe yourself, and what words describe the person you want to be. I always have people answer these in a tangible written process. Creativity is the fastest way to self-value too. So that can look like art, writing, building, and sports in a non-comparison-oriented manner. You just gotta get in your body, be imaginative, and not be so focused on the outside world. Journaling is very helpful or quite simply, make it a habit to write 10 things you’re grateful for every day. Do all the things or just one of them but teens need to start somewhere in building the habit of self-awareness.
How has been the experience of rock climbing for you? The highest level you ever achieved. Key components to master rock climbing.
Rock climbing literally changed my life. It was actually because my mom and dad learned to rock climb that they decided to move us into an RV to go travel. Rock climbing, along with surfing, hiking, and snowboarding, has brought me to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
I still find equal joy in surfing and snowboarding but climbing is very unique in the way that you have to confront your own beliefs, fears, and inner dialogue. The nature of rock climbing, specifically sport climbing, is pretty safe—we generally have backups for everything but, there is something about being on “the sharp end” 60 feet in the air with the risk of falling 10-20 feet that makes all your subconscious thoughts come to the surface. Rock climbing is dynamic, creative, militant, and precise all at once. It has been a pillar of my journey as a place where I can pursue passion, experience creativity, question my deeper fears, and inspire my purpose all at once.
In technical terms, the best climbs I’ve successfully completed are 5.12a (Yosemite Decimal System) but I’m far more interested in climbing related to summiting mountains and backcountry travel than trying to compete in the number grades.
If you want to master rock climbing there are two things to know.
- First, there’s no such thing as a master rock climber because there are too many different disciplines.
- Second, it’s not about mastering climbing, it’s about mastering yourself. What happens on the climb is a culmination of your entire mind-body connection. If you think you can’t make a move, you won’t be able to. If you’re scared of falling, you’ll fall. Get good at noticing your thoughts, rationalizing your fear, and believing in yourself and rock climbing will become a dance instead of a fight.
Motivational quote you live by.
If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it.
I live by those words daily. I’ve never been one to be particularly brave. But I go for things anyway because I know I’ll never be totally rid of self-doubt and fear.
Your Message for all the mothers on International Mother’s day
You don’t need to prove to the world that you are good enough, as a mom, as a wife, or as a friend, because simply being you is already enough. Stop outsourcing your power. There is a badass warrior woman within you. All it takes to tap into it is redefining your values and start choosing challenge over comfort.
Moms, you are our most inspiring heroes. Be the example for the coming generation by owning who you are and following your hero’s journey (which doesn’t end when you become a mother.)
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