Kelley Tyan – I am a wife, mother of two, an author, speaker, podcaster, and overcomer of many things, one, being breast cancer. Both my book and podcast is called Addicted To The Climb.
As far back as I can remember, I have always been addicted to the climb. It all started after college, when I signed up with a network marketing company, to try in my free time.
I learned all about commitment, consistently showing up, goal setting, and in order to elevate in the company, it was up to me! Nothing made me more excited than reaching a new level and getting a new title so I climbed that ladder real fast. Although working for that company taught me so much about business and connection to a tribe, I knew I wanted more.
Through my searching, and love of fitness, I decided to open my own business, naming it Kelley’s Bootcamp for Women. As excited as I was to open the doors, 2 months before launch date, I got the call from the doctor, “you have cancer.”
Here I was, about to lead women in health and fitness, and then there I was, with breast cancer. How could this happen to me? Why me? Right then, I was faced with a life changing decision: to keep climbing and open the doors, or to allow the negativity and the spiral of emotions to take me down.
I TURNED TO MY FAITH.
The wave of emotions and the cancer itself, was trying to beat me down, but I decided not to let it. I had women to lead, and they were counting on me to show up, and that is exactly what I did.
My class started with 12 women, then grew monthly from there. As I mentioned, I loved to climb the ladder and my mission was to transform thousands of women in my community in mind and body. In order to reach the amount of people I wanted to, I had to go out and find them and show them that if I can wake up early (4:30 am), and go through my treatment, nothing should stop them. I wanted to be an example and prove that strength comes from having faith and not giving in to the lies that were creeping up inside my head.
My next climb came at 38 years old. I decided to enter a fitness competition…
which I knew nothing about, nor did I know anyone that ever did one. I trained hard, with discipline and tenacity. I won that first show and competed in 3 more shows nationally. I won all 4 titles and to this day, it is still surreal. Competing taught me more about hard work, commitment, discipline, goal setting, and that giving up was not an option. I believe that once you commit to something, you must finish the journey no matter what roadblocks try to get in the way, because they always try to.
Business was booming after that with photo shoots, magazine articles, radio interviews, and speaking, until the next phone call came in. My healthy and fit dad was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and would need a stem cell transplant and be in isolation for 1 year. My mother, who had rheumatoid arthritis since I was born, was in no shape to care for him. I would need to step in and that is what I did, giving as much time and help as possible.
3 weeks into my dad’s recovery, my life came to a full STOP. My precious mother passed suddenly from an aneurism. I felt pain like I have never felt before. It gripped me to my core, but as the days and weeks passed by, I had to pull myself out of the deep dark hole I dug. I had a business to run and a family to serve. My decision was to start climbing back upward because I was all the way at the bottom. IT WAS HARD.
I know you have also gone through some difficult times, the toughest trials, failures, and setbacks. These things do not define you, nor can they make you feel defeated, unless you let them. Losing my mother was one of the absolute most devastating thing to happen to me, but also gave me a new strength to lead and help others to get back up and face their most terrifying fears.