Welcome to the Do It Scared™ podcast! In every episode of this podcast, we’ll talk about how to face your fears, overcome obstacles, and create a life you love!
Abby Rike Rockenbaugh is an incredible woman who has had to overcome an unthinkable tragedy. She lost everything that mattered to her in life when her husband and both of her young children were killed in a car crash while she was still on maternity leave less than three weeks after her son was born. She managed to pick up the pieces, thanks largely to her time on The Biggest Loser. This beautiful woman’s story is memorable, moving, and inspirational, and I believe it will change you!
For the first two years after the accident that took her husband and children, Abby found herself just existing. She managed to hold things together for her students, who handled her loss better than many adults in some ways. (As a side note, Abby will address the loneliness that comes from people avoiding those who are grieving, a phenomenon you might be familiar with if you’ve ever experienced a tragic loss.) She then got her master’s degree before going back to teaching, at which point the reality set in.
In 2009, Abby hit what she calls her “rock bottom day,” which you’ll hear about in our conversation. Just a few months later, she decided to try out for The Biggest Loser. After the audition process, she was selected to be on the show, and felt panic about it. The very scariest moment, she explains today, was when she had to get out of the car at the airport to catch her flight to take part in the show.
But, as this podcast is all about, Abby did it anyway! After her appearance on the show, Abby’s life has transformed. She has had the opportunity to travel all over, and has been invited to speak to many audiences. Five years after the accident and several years after being on The Biggest Loser, Abby did something she had never expected: she remarried. As she points out, she honors her lost family by laughing, knowing joy, and loving people. Listen in to hear this incredible woman’s beautiful perspective on life, overcoming obstacles, and doing it scared.
[04:56] – Abby shares her tragic story of losing her husband and two children for listeners who may not already be familiar with it.
[07:15] – Day to day, what did life after the accident look like for Abby?
[08:20] – Abby describes her experience with having people avoid her because they didn’t know how to handle her loss and grief.
[10:57] – We hear about Abby’s “rock bottom day” in 2009, and what happened afterward.
[13:33] – Were the producers of The Biggest Loser trying to draw out her story, or make sure Abby wasn’t going to go off the deep end? She answers, then talks about her reaction when she was picked for the show.
[15:45] – Abby talks about the scariest moment for her, and then moves onto discussing the biggest irony of the situation.
[19:33] – We learn that Abby went into The Biggest Loser with a grounded attitude and a determination not to get used to that lifestyle.
[22:15] – If Abby’s life change was possible for her, she explains, it’s possible for anyone.
[24:18] – We hear more about what has happened to Abby in the nine years since she was on The Biggest Loser.
[27:11] – Ruth asks Abby whether there was a point where she made an active choice to take responsibility for her life.
[29:47] – Abby clarifies what she meant by taking time to rest.
[31:19] – Six years ago, Abby remarried. She points out that her husband now and her deceased husband are completely different except in the way they love her.
[34:36] – What is Abby working on now, and what’s her next step?
[37:14] – We learn that Abby published a book just a few weeks ago. It’s called Resurrection Sunday-Prophecy Fulfilled and you can find it at this link.
[38:38] – The conference that Abby has been talking about will be live-streamed through her website. If you’re interested, you can get your virtual ticket here!
[40:24] – Ruth shares one of the reasons that she started this podcast and why she’s so passionate about her message.
[43:51] – What is the best piece of advice that Abby has ever received, and why?
[45:18] – When Abby left The Biggest Loser, it was because she told people to vote her out.
[48:20] – Abby talks about how she protects her confidence and whether she practices self-care in her life.
[51:16] – Does Abby think she had the perspective she has been talking about before everything she went through?
[52:02] – Abby talks about where people can find her to learn more about her, the conference, and more.