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Episode 105: Creating a Faith-Fueled Life with Kelley Tyan






Brief summary of show:


How do you create a faith-fueled life?


Are there ways to overcome the shame we may feel around being vocal about leading a life of service?


On today's episode, we are joined by Kelley Tyan, a faith-fueled coach, speaker, author, and podcaster. Kelley is the founder of the Addicted To The Climb movement, which is a faith-driven community for women to break free from fear and find the courage to keep climbing higher.


In this inspiring conversation, Kelley shares her journey from being a 4X national bikini champion to becoming a breast cancer survivor and a proud wife and mother of two children. Kelley talks about her book and podcast, both called Addicted To The Climb, and how she empowers and inspires women to live healthy and fit lives.


We delve into Kelley's personal journey of finding out she had cancer, and how her life was flipped upside down when her dream business came to an end. She shares how she found strength without giving up and stepped into God's plan for her life.


Kelley also discusses the importance of finding the courage to talk about faith in business and reframing how we look at hardship. She emphasizes the need to honor our own relationship with our higher power and how it can help us navigate through life's challenges.


Join us for an uplifting conversation with Kelley Tyan, and learn how you too can break free from fear and find the courage to keep climbing higher.


Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:30] How Kelley got started in this space

  • [5:50] Finding out she had cancer

  • [8:00] Having her business come to an end and life flipped upside down

  • [9:45] Stepping into God's plan for her life

  • [14:00] How she found strength without giving up

  • [17:40] Finding the courage to talk about faith in business

  • [22:30] Reframing how we look at hardship

  • [25:10] Honoring our own relationship with our higher power


Notes from Natalie:


Connect with Kelley


Connect with Me

you might also enjoy this video:


View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: When you feel like quitting, how do you take one step forward? An inspiring story of resilience that will encourage you and give you hope when times are tough On the podcast today.

Natalie: Hi, friend. I am so inspired by today's guest. I can't wait to share this episode with you When I come across someone who has the gift of connection, the gift of inspiring others, I get worked up. Before we get started today, I wanna tell you how much I appreciate you and how I am continually reminded of what a blessing it is to share these podcasts with you each week.

I hope you feel the same way, and if you do, would you take just a minute to leave me a review? It's how others. That what we're doing here is making a difference. You'll see a link in the show notes to make it super quick and easy. I promise it won't take you more than two minutes. So today my guest is Kelly Tyann.

Kelly is a faith-based fitness entrepreneur and the author of the book, addicted to the Climb. Kelly believes in the power of perseverance as I do, and also determination, patience, and strength, and she is here. Buyer, just wait until you hear her story and how she got to where she is today. It's not a typical path.

She is gonna tell us how to keep pushing even when you feel like giving up. Her book is a collection of 30 short personal stories that really help renew the mind and reset your thinking and live with peace, rest, and especially do so in life's most difficult situations. You're gonna love Kelly, so let's get.

Kelly, I'm so glad to talk to you. You are so inspiring, and we follow many of the same methods in continuing to reach even when times are tough and, and faith-based as well, which we're gonna get a little bit more into that as we've both started incorporating it into our businesses. But 

tell me how you got started in your business.

Kelley: Well first, thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here and have this beautiful conversation with you. So how I got started, well, I started as an elementary teacher. I'm gonna take you on a quick little tour. So I started as an elementary teacher and I knew it was not where I was supposed to be. I loved children, but I just didn't feel fulfilled.

I was pretty much. Very independent. Growing up, I liked trying new things, so I began a makeup business and I called it I Candy Makeovers, where I had all my friends . I did their makeup. Then I said, I'm gonna go out and do makeup on brides and just start a business because I was looking for something.

But that led me into, do you remember Mary Kay? I do network marketing company, so I, I joined Mary Kay Cosmetics because I loved makeup and why not? It was all women mostly, and I loved the rah, rah, rah, and they were making a lot of money and it was so much fun. So I, I did that for a while, did really well, Natalie, in the network marketing because again, I love taking a risk.

I would walk up to people in CVS and say, Hey, have you heard of Mary Kay this lipstick that they in sell my product? . I didn't have any problem just asking, and it was a really fun experience that coming from a teacher background as. kind of short-lived. I did that for about five years, but I didn't have any business experience because a teacher is very different, a different industry.

Mm-hmm. . So I loved learning about business and making as much money as I could and being responsible for my finances and doing everything myself. It was really an exciting time in my life, learning from all these women that. Creating these amazing lifestyles on their own, working from home. And I loved it, but it didn't last that long again, because I still felt a void and I was looking for something more.

So a few guys in my neighborhood were opening a gym and I loved working out. I've been working out my whole life and they. Proposed them. I said, Hey, do you guys think I could start a boot camp for a woman? The gym was a CrossFit gym, and they said, yes, . I was like, really? I didn't know what they would say.

I took a chance and I, I, they said, you have to be certified as a trainer. So I went through all my certifications, but came back and opens Kelly's bootcamp in this gym. Now, prior, two months prior to the doors being opened. . I did have a doctor appointment that I had a, I was scratching my chest one night and I, I was like, that's weird.

I feel a little tiny lump, like, it almost felt like a frozen pee on my chest. Mm-hmm. And I, so I went to the doctor and like I said, I was getting ready for this, being an instructor at the gym, opening up a new business. Are you young? I, well, I was 38, 36. 36 I, it's like in the past and I left it there to be honest, but I went to, the doctor, had it checked out and I got the phone call.

I had my two-year-old in the back seat and I got the phone call, Kelly, you have cancer. So that was pretty much. , a roadblock. A setback, to say the least. Because I was here, I was getting ready to open this gym, this bootcamp, and lead women in fitness in health, and here I am with the cancer. It was such a moment in time, like my life stopped Natalie.

Like it was a really, I had a lot of shame and anger just around the fact that I can't believe this happened to. , how did this happen to me? Here I am. I was praying, I was faithful, so I was asking God, why, but I had a choice to make and it really came down to am I gonna show up? Like I said I was going to, or am I gonna sit in fear and let this take me down?

Because it did try to take me down, but I was. Excited about me opening up this bootcamp for women and meeting new women and helping them, that I went forward and I opened the doors with the diagnosis and started my treatment almost at the same time. Wow. And, and you know, when I think back about everything that happens, because now it's been 14 years I've been cancer free, which is amazing.

Awesome. God really had a. and set it up in the way that those women were my motivation. They were there for me to get through this treatment, through this cancer just as much as I was their leader, helping them get fit and helping them get healthy. It was a two-way street. So I feel very blessed that. , the timing was right for me to open that bootcamp and it was an, it was an amazing, amazing 10 year business that it had turned into.

And fast forward, I'll just take you through. I healed up my cancer, but around year 10, there was a couple women that came in and bought the gym. The my guy friends put it up for sale. They're like, we're all done. Mm-hmm. , they put it up for sale. Two women came in and pretty much immediately said, . 

You know, we don't want your bootcamp here anymore.

Mm-hmm. So you gotta find somewhere else. See you later. And you have one month to get out. Mm-hmm. . I was like, wait a minute. I established thousands of women. This was fun. My life. My life. I became the fitness girl in my community and I just, I ran nutrition programs. I was certified nutrition health coach.

through the 10 years I trained women to the stages and it became a real community at that gym. And women came from all over to come and these two, yeah, women came in and just, so that was December, 2020 and then Covid hit, my goodness, goodness, it was right before Covid. And again, God had a plan for me because at the end of year 10, you know, when you look back again, The trajectory of what you go through in life and how it all evolves, that I was really at the end of that career mentally.

Mm-hmm. , and I didn't realize it, but I, I was like, okay, where do we go from here? Because fitness online just became so much, you can find free workout programs, you can watch this girl on YouTube, you can, and I was like, okay. Where am I gonna go from here if I don't start with building up a whole app in owning my own gym?

And at this point I didn't wanna do that. So Covid hit. I had a lot of time to think as we all did right about next steps and God really spoke to me. I know you said we're gonna talk about faith. Being a Christian woman my whole life, God really was like, okay, it's time for you to talk about your faith more.

And that's when my podcast was born Addicted to the Climb because I realized over my life, I am a climber. . I never stop. I always wanna try things. It takes me back to what I said in the beginning. I've always been a risk taker. I did many other jobs along the years. I started a baby clothing line that I didn't mention.

I was really always trying new things. Yeah. And addicted to the climb was just very fitting. God. Downloaded that thought to me, addicted to the climb. And so I took my microphone out and I started a podcast. And it really was for me during Covid to hear people's stories about how do they keep climbing, especially now when nobody wanted a climb anywhere.

But how are we gonna keep going? Yeah. And how can we put this together? So that's really. My life kind of evolved and I became addicted to the climb in more ways, in new ways in reinventing myself at that moment. My book was Born Next, addicted to the Climb, it's just been a blessing. So everything we always say didn't work out really is working.

if you think about it that way, it's how we think about things cuz everything went the way it was supposed to go. God led me to this place I am today. Meeting people in faith and helping them be overcomers and helping them get through setbacks instead of being fearful about 'em. We're choosing faith. So that kind of wraps up my, my, that's 

Natalie: your tour.

Okay, cool. That was your, your life story in, in just a couple of minutes. That's a lot. You did a good job. I have a lot of questions. 







Natalie: I love this metaphor, and, I have used it my whole life too. Climbing, even in the hardships. Mm-hmm. , did you know when you were going through cancer? I got, I can't give up.

I have to keep climbing. Did you have that then? Is that just ingrained in you? Because for a lot of people, a lot of my listeners, that is so hard and the word that we listened to last week and we talked about. anxiety. Mm-hmm. and something, you know, some, we have dealt with anxiety in so many ways, especially through the last four or five years.

Yeah. That so many women are dealing with that, that there's a feeling of giving up. There's a feeling of how, and for me, and I talked about this last week, if you haven't listened to that, please go back and listen to it. For me, that's my faith. That is where God says, be anxious about. , it is so hard.

Mm-hmm. . We as women, especially strong women, we try to control. We try to fix, 

so did you always know I'm not gonna give up? Or were there times where people can relate to you and you said, I don't know how I'm gonna keep 

Kelley: going. . Absolutely both. So I grew up, I'm an only child. I had the best parents in the world.

My mom and I were best friends from the moment I was born. Mm-hmm. . And she had such a strong faith and was an example and paved the way from me. And you know, when you're young, and Christianity and faith in God. It's, it's there and you can be taught, but you have to really find it yourself. Right? Yeah. You know, when you go through, my mom grew me up.

She was always talking about Jesus, but as a kid, and then especially going into high school and college, I'd be like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Kelly, go read your Bible. All right, mom, don't worry about it. I am as I'm off partying with all my friends, right? I mean, I'm a kid. So I did have the grounding of faith as a kid, but it didn't really come into fruition until I was in my mid twenties and I had to find it myself.

and I think that's how we all are. We all really have to find that yourself. Nobody can talk you into faith. No one can push you into it. It really has to be a want. And I was at a place in my life where I really wanted what I saw my mother had. She what she suffered with rheumatoid arthritis since I was born in and out of the hospital a million times.

Every joint in her body. . It had surgery. She had scars from head to toe, but she always had a smile. Mm. She was always shining in making other people shine. And so I really wanted that and that's where I started my own relationship with the Lord. Okay? Mm-hmm. . But that's who the going through cancer. . I knew watching her that if she could get through it, that I could too, and I wanted to be strong.

I had to choose. I think when we come into these situations when we're anxious and fearful and just at rock bottom. Those rock bottom moments. Yeah. We really do have a choice though. We either choose to be strong and move on and pick our feet back up. No one's gonna do that for us.

Or we can sit in the pity party Now. I did sit in the pity party. Somewhat, because of course it's human nature. Yeah. We wanna cry. We need to cry it out. That's normal. We have to do those things because it's, it has to be a cleansing for us to Yeah. Lash out and let it all out, or else we'll explode. So I did have my cry.

I did talk to God. I did say, why? Why did this happen? What? Why do I have to go through this? But at the end of the day, Natalie, I. . Remember just saying, you know what, I started this. I said, I'm gonna start a bootcamp. I need to take my mind off this. 

I had to choose to show up for myself because I knew no one else was gonna show up for me. I like I again, I used my mom as such an example because if she didn't get out of bed, she didn't have to get out of. . Her body couldn't handle life, but her mind could. So she chose to get out of bed every day.

She chose to put makeup on and smile and continue reading her Bible. That's where she found her peace and her joy. So I, going through that, I just knew that was my option. I didn't have another option. I wanted to thrive and not just survive. that was a.

Natalie: We so much want to do that and then when we don't know how we freeze. Mm-hmm. , many people do. Yep. And it's 

So what the next thing I wanted to ask you about is we talked about me being in the news business for so many years, I wasn't allowed to talk about my faith. It wasn't normal. We hear a little bit more of that.

now with networks kind of going right or left and feeling like, you know, we're able to have opinions a little bit more. But, you know, when I started in the broadcasting industry 30 years ago, you were neutral on everything. And so it never felt the right place to talk about my faith. So when C O V hit and I was broadcasting outta my basement, I had this light bulb moment.

I'm doing interviews online. YouTube is right here. Podcasting is right here. I don't have to use someone else's platform to talk to experts and to be a journalist. Mm-hmm. . So for me, that's when Faith started to become part of my business. and I have had such a great response because people are needing that more.

So I have just prayed. Where do you want me to insert? Faith and encourage people. Mm-hmm. In addition to the business I already have, and I know you had a similar story and not always using your faith and your business. Exactly. So tell me about that and, and now how it's a part of your business and your brand.

Kelley: I can, I can relate so much because I, as faithful as I was and God was working in my life and I felt his presence, I really didn't talk about it in to my fitness women. The, the ones that were closest to me knew who I really was, but I really didn't talk about it. Mm-hmm. , because I, I feel, I don't know.

Back then, I just, I wasn't ready. I. To bring it. Mm-hmm. to, to talk about it. I didn't wanna step on people's toes. I didn't want to push any faith on anyone. I said, if they wanna ask me anything, fine, I'm not gonna really talk about it. But they knew from me going through breast cancer that I. Did have faith.

And then after Covid, like you said, it was a very lonely time and I got myself, I needed faith around me first. So I got myself into a mastermind of faith-based women in business, and that was eye-opening to me, Natalie, I was like, , wow. These women all have businesses and they're talking about faith in the public.

I think I can do this. This is what I wanna do, and it, it really lit me up and gave me the freedom, just like you to say, you know, I have a podcast. I, I was writing my book and I'm gonna talk about my faith because people need faith right now. Whatever that looks like for them too. It, you know, when I say faith, I believe in God.

I am a Christian. That's my belief, but I. I feel without faith of any kind, we really do perish. we have nothing to hold onto. We have no hope. So I started slowly talking about faith and how it's just made such an impact in my life. and I can name you. So many things I went through that are all stories from my book and I really wanted to give women, cuz I, I've been working with women this whole time since the Mary Kay days, but I wanted to give women that same kind of hope that I have.

So when they face their setbacks or an obstacle, which we all do, you know, we all. Similar things in life from grief and divorce and being fired like me at the gym. You know, all these things we go through are pretty similar. , but if without faith and without some hope to hang onto, that's when the fear creeps in.

Yeah. The worry, the anxiety. Yeah. And I don't, and, and my passion is I don't want women to feel like that. I wanna share what I have so they can thrive too. . That's really what my messaging is all about, helping them. Let's keep climbing together. Let me show you how I've climbed in how it's working for me.

Let me share with you this way. If you've never chose faith, let me share with you how faith can change your world. Yeah, and it's just been an amazing, amazing last couple years, just having these women really transform. Seeing them transform in front of my. Yeah. 

Natalie: You know, I, I love your podcast and, and I, I hope people, I encourage people to, to listen to it.

I've, I've just been so encouraged following you on social media too. First of all, I just love your accent, . I have to say, I'm in Colorado, so, you know, I have this like very Midwestern pure broadcast, but I just love it. It, you're, you're just so sweet and so real, and your heart is so, I have to say though, with, with faith, when you, you just mentioned that, what I find is that, you know, when you go through these really hard things that God doesn't waste anything.

Mm-hmm. And whatever hardship people are going through, someone said that to me through one of my hardships and I now it comes back to me so often, but God doesn't waste. . I love it. Feels like it's, it feels like the heaviest thing in the world. It will be used for something. Mm-hmm. , maybe way down the line, like for you and me and where we are in our lives, but it will not be wasted if you have 

Kelley: faith.

Mm-hmm. . I couldn't agree with that more that I just wrote that down because I never thought of it like that. And that is so beautiful because I lost my precious mom about six years ago, and you know, my podcast in my book came out of that. That was one of the rock bottom moments that I've ever faced in my life.

She died of an aneurysm. It was a sudden she was here at 7:00 AM and gone at 7:00 PM without. You know, an aneurysm is just so sudden. And she was my rock. Yeah. She, she was my best friend and so that was a very hard time for me. But when you said, God doesn't waste any of these hard moments, it's everything came out of, I crawled myself out of that hole and I said, you know, I'm gonna take over what she left off.

I wanna, the faith that she had, and I wanna. Create a new way for women the way she was doing it, but my own way. So, but I didn't think of that now when I was in that rock bottom moment. So if anyone's listening that are really struggling right now, just know there is a light at the end. There is a light and we are here to share both of us that if we are still.

Standing and breathing and working in and in business. There is a light at the end of your tunnel no matter what. It's just up to you to choose to take that step forward. It really is. Yeah, choose faith over fear. . 

Natalie: I love that. And to have that very specific prayer of God, what is, sometimes we need examples of prayer, especially for people who are new to, to faith, and I know I have some listeners who are like, I'm not so sure about this.

Like what? Mm-hmm. to have a very spec specific prayer that is, God, what do you want me to be feeling right now? What do you need from me that I'm in this? Despair. Hmm. What, what can I be doing? How can I be using this? And to put it through that lens instead of why is this happening to me? Of what can I be doing?

Who can I be helping? Or what is the longer story in this that you want to reveal to me? . 

Kelley: And you know, can I mention, I wanna talk a quick minute about faith for a minute because like you said, you might have some listeners that are like, okay, I'm not like these two. I don't really believe in that, which is totally fine.

We all have our own Relationship with our higher power, if you wanna call it. Mine's with God, as I said, but what I want you to know is, for me, faith is my relationship with God. For me, I know when I lay my head down at night at three in the morning and I feel the worry, I have a 16 year old that just got his license.

I mean, it's fearful at times, , but I know that I'm not. You know, this is what I want people to know is mm-hmm. , we, we suffer as humans alone. You know, we have our friends and our family around us that can hold us up, but in the wee hours and the night when you're scared you're going through cancer like me, I knew I wasn't alone and I had to lean in with my faith and have in know God was there with me.

That's where I got my comfort. That's how I got up in the. and got dressed and, and just took a step out of forward because I knew I wasn't alone. And that's what I just, I really want people to know that. Faith isn't about religion. It's not about anything to do with following laws, and it's really just about your relationship with God and that it's different for all of us.

And if you don't have a relationship with him, but you're feeling alone and frightened and sad and you're going through something, maybe it's time you just take us up on it and just try asking God and just asking him, Hey, God, I don't know what they're talking about, but maybe I need you. Right. . Yeah. And, and, and that's it.

That's all you have to do. So I, you know, it, it, because again, I can't put the words into your mouth, it's just a conversation that you're having with God. And that's really what my faith is about. I'm not alone. I don't go through things alone. I get up faster than I did before. My faith was strong. You know, when those times come, when I lost my mom and hit rock bottom, faith got me up, got me through, and it was a really hard.

Natalie: and it's so, isn't it so comforting to know we're not alone when 

Kelley: it feels that way? Less? Yes. 

Natalie: Yes. Yeah. Thanks for, thanks for adding that. That's so important. Mm-hmm. , where can people get more, Kelly? It's so comforting. Your voice, your words, your encouragement, your health, like you, you put all those things together that I, that I love to put together too.

And, and that's being healthy, feeling healthy, having that positive mindset. Yes. And incorporating faith wherever people feel comfortable with that. But where can they find more of 

Kelley: you? Yes, they can find. Any social media, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. And it's just my name, Kelly Tie, k e l l e y t y a n, and it's my website as well.

Kelly tie.com. I love it. 

Natalie: Addicted to the climb, everyone. And I'll put the link to the book in the show notes as well. Thank you so much, Kelly. It's such a pleasure. Let's, uh, let's do it again soon. We'll have talk. 

Kelley: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. 





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