Run This World

31 – Rachel Kodanaz on Living with Loss


Rachel Kodanaz experienced the unthinkable. At 31 years old, with a 2 year old daughter, she became a widow after her husband went out for an 8-mile run at lunch one day, had a heart arrhythmia, and never came home.

Rachel's husband Rod in 1993
Rachel’s husband Rod in 1993


After getting through the first few months in a haze, she made a decision that would change her life – and help her through the next few years after experiencing a huge loss. She decided to do the Hawaii Ironman, her husband’s bucket list item, as a way to honor his memory and hold him close to her through this time.


She made it to the finish and her life swung in a new direction. Over the years, she has become an expert in helping others deal with loss and grief. This experience led to her book “Living with Loss: One Day at a Time.” She says she wanted to call it, “Making it to Breakfast,” but her editor suggested that the people who would find it are more interested in dieting and nutrition than her topic! Today Rachel travels the world helping individuals and businesses cope with the lasting effects of loss and grief.



Rachel finishing the 1995 Ironman

We all experience loss in different ways – break-ups, career loss, health loss, and more – which is why this topic is relevant to anyone, not just someone who has lost a loved one. Today, we talk about:

  • The stages of grief and how to get through each stage
  • Doing the Ironman in her husband’s memory; why this was an important part of her grieving process
  • The physical effects of grief
  • How to help someone else cope; in particular what not to say
  • How exercise helps move the process forward


We can all relate to loss in different ways – Rachel has a special way of helping people find comfort, safety, joy and hope again. We love this snippet from Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer. Rachel is truly amazing!


livingwithlossbookYou can also enter to win her book by going to my Facebook page and answering this question “You can’t RUN away from a loss, what is your way of embracing it one day at a time?” Go to to answer this question and let me know what you think of this episode.


As always, please send comments, feedback and suggestions on future guests. Now get out there go Run This World with me!