Country: Australia

Sport: Pole vault

Career highlights:

  • 2019 National champion
  • 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships bronze medallist
  • 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist

Lisa was a national level gymnast and triple jumper in her teenage years and transitioned to pole vault when she was 21.

She works as an exercise physiologist and has a degree in Exercise and Sports Science, majoring in Clinical Exercise Physiology. She is working towards a Masters in Sports Science, major in Strength and Conditioning, from Edith Cowan University.

What do you love about pole vault?

There is a unique freedom to pole vaulting, like you are pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible. I love the free fall on the way down after you have cleared a height, that is the best feeling! I also love the mental challenge and working on overcoming obstacles.

Please can you describe for us what it feels like to be that high up hanging on to a pole!?

It feels like you are flying, there is a moment of weightlessness that feels amazing!

What is the role of an exercise physiologist as part of an athlete’s team around them?

An exercise physiologist aids in strength and conditioning, injury management and management of training volume.

Can you tell us about your cat sock collection….:-)

I started wearing cat socks when I was on the path to qualifying for my first Commonwealth Games, I have a lucky black cat and felt that my cat socks were lucky! Now I have a range of cat socks I wear in competitions and training.

You have said you are a strong believer in life balance – what does ‘balance’ mean for you?

Balance means having a life outside of training, having a career path, spending time with friends and family. Having the ability to step away from training and enjoy other aspects of my life. Often as elite athletes our identity is wrapped up in our sport. I find having ‘balance’ in your life aids in mental health and well-being:)

You featured on the recent season of Australian Ninja Warrior and had some intense challenges, what was your favourite part of being on the show?

My favourite part of the show was challenging myself in a new arena. I love how Ninja gives you a similar feeling to pole vault. That feeling of freedom flying through the air 🙂  

You recently retired from athletics, can you tell us more about this decision?

My transition out of athletics has been interesting. I stepped away from pole vault and took a break to work on my mental health. I felt like I wasn’t the best version of myself and I wasn’t enjoying the sport anymore. In that time, I discovered crossfit and remembered how much I used to love training. Over the last year I have had so much fun and so I knew it was time to walk away from athletics. I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to, and I was sad to walking away but you have to love what you do. So now I am working full time and training as a crossfitter and I just got married. So all in all loving my life 🙂 

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