How to Wake Your Warrior with Robyn Tanner

By Yuresh Shayzer
April 23, 2024

Video Poster Image

Welcome back to the Speak to Freedom podcast. Today, we have the incredible Robyn Tanner as our guest. Robyn’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. From sleeping in her gym with her kids to becoming a speaker, author, and coach, she's faced incredible challenges with resilience and determination. But Robyn’s story isn't just about her own battles; it's about how she empowers others to find their own fights and emerge victorious. Through her experiences, she guides others to a place where they can wake up every day and say, "I love myself. I love what I've achieved." Join us as Robyn shares her inspiring journey and insights on how to turn your struggles into triumphs, not just for yourself but for those around you as well. 

[1:45] Robyn, if you're comfortable sharing with the world, imagine someone walking into a room with you and asking, "Hey, what do you do?" How would you respond?

Fighter" is my first instinct, but it goes deeper.  I'm a warrior, a nurturing mom, a dedicated wife, and a passionate coach (since the age of 19, no less!).  This drive to empower others is ingrained in me.  While I'm a transformation coach now, and even owned a gym for years, the fighting spirit is what truly defines me.  With your help, I've embraced this powerful side of myself, and that's what I want to share with other women: to unleash their inner badass and own it.  But my drive extends beyond the gym.  I'm a writer at heart, with a book ("The Machete Mentality") already under my belt and several more in the works.  Public speaking is a natural extension of this, as I'm now a motivational speaker as well.

[3:00] Would you be willing to share with us what contributed to developing the fighter within you?

From a young age, resilience defined me. Though I had a loving family, their divorce at five turned my world upside down. Witnessing my brother's struggle with addiction added another layer of hardship. I learned to take care of myself early on.
Then, a rare, undiagnosed illness nearly took my life. Dismissed and doubted by the medical system, I had to fight for myself.  This "fighter within" led to a grueling surgery and a chronic condition I manage daily. Tragedy struck again when my stepmother passed away from cancer.  Wrestling with survivor's guilt and a life unlived, I realized I was trapped in a picture-perfect life that felt empty.  This internal battle ignited a fire – the warrior spirit I'd buried as a stay-at-home mom resurfaced. This awakening was my turning point. It was scary, but I embraced authenticity.  Now, I empower women to do the same.  Through coaching and my "Wake the Warrior" speech, I guide them to confront their inner demons and own their battles. Life is a gift, and I choose to live it fully, limitations and all.  Just like me, many walk around unseen battles and unfulfilled dreams.  I want to help them shift their mindset from "should" to "get to" – to create the life they truly desire. That's the message I want to carry forward.

[7:58] What was the idea behind your decision to help others despite battling your own struggles? 

It all began at my gym. I was ready to ditch the "picture-perfect" life that felt inauthentic, even if it wasn't outwardly terrible.  Opening the gym was a fresh start.  People came with typical fitness goals – weight loss, aesthetics, health.  But with my 19 years of experience as a trainer, I saw something deeper.  This wasn't just physical; it was emotional, mental, and spiritual.  Their inner world needed an overhaul for their outer world to truly reflect them. Clients started opening up about struggles at home, work, relationships, and food.  It wasn't laziness or lack of discipline; it was misalignment.  They weren't facing their inner giants, living a daily lie.  Yelling instructions or new diets wouldn't solve it.  They needed an "inside strategy" – purging negativity, letting go of the past, and fighting for their future selves.  Otherwise, it was a cycle of quick weight loss followed by regain. This is when I knew I had to share my story.  I'd battled eating disorders, a dishonest marriage, and actions I wasn't proud of.  My own "wake-up call" almost cost me my life, but it also showed me how to help others.  Being vulnerable about my past became the key to guiding them on the right path.

[13:20] How does one begin to define and give the necessary honor and focus to solving their struggles?

Many of my clients are high-achieving women who project strength outwardly.  They juggle careers and families, presenting a "grin and bear it" facade.  However, this often masks a fear of vulnerability. They don't want to burden their partners or express their true needs.  This lack of communication hinders their growth. I believe the path to transformation is threefold.  The first step is surrender. This isn't giving up entirely, but rather questioning what truly serves them.  Letting go of outdated versions of themselves, even if they were once successful, is crucial. For example, a client who loved training might realize they no longer want to be a personal trainer.  This doesn't negate their past passion, but it allows them to embrace their current aspirations. Surrender leads to introspection.  It requires asking the hard questions, even the uncomfortable ones most people avoid.  This "facing your giants" involves questioning your current reality.  It may mean letting go of outdated goals like constant calorie tracking.  True growth comes from within, not by adding more burdens.

[16:30] Do you have any fundamental questions that could serve as a starting point for people to begin addressing their struggles?

I start by asking about unfinished dreams or passions. What would leave you feeling incomplete if your time ended abruptly? This persistent drive is what I call "mortality motivation." For me, it's writing those seven books. The second question focuses on rediscovering joy. Many people forget what "fun" feels like. I ask them what energizes them, what truly sparks that inner fire. The third question is about purpose. We're all constantly battling something. Are you fighting to break free from a stagnant life and embrace growth? Understanding your "fight" fuels your motivation. As a bonus, I ask what someone is truly willing to sacrifice for their dreams. While I don't advocate literal homelessness, there will be challenges. Are you committed to pushing through them?

[21:00] What does it mean to pursue improvement, transitioning from living in your gym with the kids to a happily married life?

Living in my gym during a brutal business break-up was my rock bottom.  While initially focused on just "showing up" and staying afloat, I knew I needed more.  Vulnerability became my key.  I confessed my struggles – the break-up, the financial hardship – to my clients.  This honesty fostered a deep connection, and they rallied behind me. Sharing my pain wasn't easy.  It required facing my giants and exposing my vulnerabilities.  But it opened the door to support and collaboration.  We created new programs and services together, saving both my business and my sanity. This wasn't a quick fix.  For six months, I hid my struggles, feeling shame.  Building the courage to be vulnerable took time.  But the reward was immense.  With my clients' support, I raised nearly $48,000 to save the gym.  Six months later, I was celebrating Thanksgiving in an apartment with my children.  And a month after that, my now-husband walked back into my life.

[26:05] What are your hopes for someone after they've heard your speech, read your book, or worked with you as a coach?

They persist in holding onto their dreams while staying true to themselves, walking away with a sense of determination, believing in their ability to achieve their aspirations and bring their inner desires to fruition. 

[34:55] If I were to give you a call five years from now, where do you see yourself? 

In five years, I see myself on stage with you, celebrating my success as a best-selling author. And I will be enjoying life in a beach house and farmhouse in Montana, surrounded by lots of rescue animals.

Key Quotes 

[3:40-3:44] You've gotta fight for your future self 

How to connect with Robyn Tanner 



Written by: [email protected]

Back To Podcasts