Facing Life’s Biggest Challenges Head On: 5 things I learned With Allison Toepperwein

Entrepreneurship is many things, but one thing it’s not is EASY.

And no matter where you might be on this path, whether just starting out, somewhere in the middle, or well on your way, the one thing you can be certain of is that you will face roadblocks, obstacles, and challenges along the way.

But facing those hard challenges head-on can really open you up to incredible things.

The thing is, sometimes our lives turn out completely different than we could’ve ever imagined. But, we all have the power of choice and we can choose to live our best lives, despite our circumstances.

What do you do when facing life's biggest challenges and obstacles? Allison Toepperwein chose to face her challenges head-on. Now a fearless American Ninja Warrior, Allison is truly an inspiration. Learn how she encounters incredibly hard challenges daily and continues to defy the odds in this post. #livingwellspendingless #doitscaredpodcast #americanninjawarrior #allisontoepperwein #ruthsoukup #inspiration #motivation

American Ninja Warrior, Allison Toepperwein, encounters incredibly hard challenges daily. But, she refuses to give up and as a result, she continues to defy the odds.  

Now a fearless athlete, Allison, is truly an inspiration. She is also my guest for Episode 18 of the Do It Scared™ Podcast.

Just a few months after escaping a toxic marriage, Allison was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s, a disease that currently has no cure. Understandably, she was devastated. But she was and still is determined to directly face her diagnosis.

In Episode 18, Allison talks about how she faces her biggest challenges head-on! Her story is incredibly inspiring, and her attitude will blow you away.

Get the synopsis below or listen to the whole podcast on iTunes or on Google Play. (Or just search for “Do It Scared” on your favorite iPod app!)  Never miss a new episode by subscribing on iTunes. You can also find the full show notes at https://doitscared.com/episode16/.

Here are my 5 favorite takeaways from her interview:


For Allison, her challenges are a new beginning. Getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s was the start of a new and entirely different life for her. She learned that exercise is the only way to slow the progression of the disease, so she decided to give it a try. She began working out slowly. From walking to jogging to running. Then she found herself in an American Ninja Warrior gym. She told the owner that she couldn’t do many of the exercises because of her disease. His response, “Just let go.” So, Allison let go of her excuses and started crushing it at the gym! She gained control of the side-effects of Parkinson’s and is now defying the odds.

In so many aspects of our life, we try and hold on and control the situation. We think we know best. But, what we really need is to let go and realize that “we can fly.” It is only when we let go of our excuses that we can start achieving our goals.Click to Tweet


Training for the American Ninja Warrior became Allison’s medicine. It was not just slowing the progression of her disease, it was also replenishing the dopamine that she was missing. Allison started writing about her experience with Ninja on her website, Lit Within. She states that “It was amazing the amount of power that I was able to give just by telling my story. “ And, we all have incredible stories to share. Don’t be afraid to go out and tell the world! You never know who you’ll inspire.


You can’t choose what happens to you-you can only choose your response. Allison is the perfect example of somebody, who despite difficult challenges, chooses to react in a way that positively defines her character, her health, and her ability. Many people would take her diagnosis, especially on top of a divorce, and being a single mom, and say, “That’s it. I’m giving up. There’s nothing left for me.” Allison let herself feel that pain but then she turned it around. She refused to give up because she wanted to stay healthy as long as possible for her young daughter. Life is always going to throw hard things your way, but if you choose to turn those obstacles into opportunities, those challenges will be easier to tackle.


After her diagnosis on the tail-end of her divorce, Allison remembers telling her stepmom and brother that life couldn’t get any worse. They both looked at her and said that yes, life could actually be much worse. That really stuck. Counting her blessings each day helps her feel like she can overcome anything. She says that despite everything, she really appreciates all she has. Tomorrow is not promised for any of us, be grateful for what you do have today.Click to Tweet


Allison lives each day to the fullest. She doesn’t have room for regrets and excuses anymore. “ I’m doing things that no one with Parkinson’s ever did before.” She remains hopeful that she’s going to be cured one day. And, she believes that “if you put it out there if that’s how you live your life, you’re going to be much better off, both mentally and then also physically through that kind of thinking.” So she chooses to live each day with positivity and hopefulness, even when the weight of her diagnosis is overwhelming. So make each day purposeful and live it with your goals and dreams in mind. Even when challenges sneak up on you, realize that they are only serving to push you closer to living a life you love.