Hi Lisa, you’re two weeks away from filming in Shanghai, how are you feeling about getting back on stage?
Nervous! But excited at the same time. I’m excited to be ready. I feel like I’m getting ready for a birthday party. You know how you look forward to a birthday party, and how all the things you do to prepare for the party make you feel good? Well, doing my rehab and getting my fitness back feels the same.
My mindset around this started when my 80 year old father told me about his reunion with his tennis mates. There’s a whole group of them getting together who haven’t seen each other for 40 years, and he’s so excited. You know, he wants to be there and he wants to feel good so he’s still riding his bike every day, he does BODYPUMP™ in the lounge… he wants to feel fit and healthy when he sees his friends and I really identify with that. That’s how I feel about getting ready for Shanghai.
How has your goal of China filming helped you to stay motivated?
You know, you just have to have goals to keep you on track, and you need to be passionate about making those things happen. Don’t let what you do mean nothing, make it mean something. Have a purpose to what you do.
Phillip and Jackie do that. They are so passionate about making people’s lives better through great fitness experiences and through really happy experiences too! Our Les Mills office is happy, the people that work here are happy, they’re driven and we’re all positive. It’s important to be passionate and care about what you do – and that applies to all our Tribe around the world, whether you’re the CEO or a brand new Instructor straight out of training.
I want to get back on stage to inspire Instructors that they can keep on teaching for a long period of time. Instructing is not for the short term – this is a job for life! I’ve worked for Les Mills for 22 years and I know the reason I’ve stayed with them so long is that I truly believe they are the best company in the fitness industry. I feel like I’m part of the family, like Les Mills is my company and that I have responsibilities that matter.
People say to me, “You’re so passionate, where do you get your energy from?” I get my energy from the work, the people I’m around, and Phillip and Jackie’s vision that is so positive and so real. It really is life changing for millions of people out there, and, as Instructors, we get to play such a massive part in that.
I am so thankful to Phillip and Jackie for their loving support and for allowing me to continue to share their vision with our Tribe.
What’s been the biggest reward of this journey?
As a mother, I can walk and play with my kids again without crying inside with the pain. I can get into the top bunk bed with [my son] Hunter and snuggle! I can walk to where [my other son] Jax is playing rugby and stand and watch him without the pain screaming inside of me to stay in the car. I can also help my kids to get through pain and be positive about challenges!
As an athlete, I can sweat again! I can do the higher impact options and don’t have to stick to the modifications.
As a Les Mills Instructor, Presenter, choreographer and leader, I can inspire as many people as I can through the best group fitness experiences in the world.
How is your progress going towards filming?
Great! I have moved from general rehabilitation exercises to a more BODYATTACK-specific program. I am starting to do some dynamic movements like a controlled 3-step run with a hold, and am preparing for Skaters and Jumping Jacks. Andrew Newmarch, my physiotherapist, has seen the Release so he’s giving me movements to get ready for BODYATTACK™ 104.
I know I need to be sensible and not try to do things too soon. This round I am planning to do some light impact, but I won’t be doing the big dynamic movements like plyometric lunges or burpees.
I’m not unbreakable. I want to keep going for another twenty years plus, so I need to be realistic about what is best for my body. You probably won’t see me doing four tuck jumps in a row again, and that’s OK. I don’t need to prove anything. My priority is to do the right things that will keep me going for the long term – to be the best version of myself.
Have you taught the Release yet?
Not yet! I went and watched Ben [Main] teaching the Release last week for the first time and it was amazing. I have missed my class members so much, and to look around and see them smiling and loving it, was just incredible. People were clapping after tracks and it was like nothing else mattered in the world. That’s exactly what we want – people in a class, forgetting about their worries and just having a great time. It was perfect.
The first class I went back to was CXWORX™, but the first cardio class I did was BODYSTEP™. Because of the low impact movements on the step, the tempo, being able to take the level right down to the floor, it was fantastic.
Sounds like it’s been a smooth ride!
You know, it’s been an absolute rollercoaster of highs and lows. Yesterday I was feeling really great about things – I had taught my first BODYSTEP class and the feeling of joy was indescribable, I was just floating on air. But then I had some feedback that made me feel really sad and upset – from someone who wasn’t so positive about my rehab.
This person’s view absolutely crushed me, and I felt awful. I became grumpy, was yelling at my kids… just didn’t feel like myself at all. So, I got my scooter out, and I rode down to the gym. And as soon as I got into the gym, I felt a million times better! I said “Hi” to my friends, I did a couple of tracks of Giles Bryant’s BODYATTACK class, and then did my own training. I instantly felt back to myself, and positive about the world again.
There are people out there who will tear you down, and won’t always support you in your journey. When you encounter negativity that threatens your goals, it’s important to know who you are, and what you stand for. To me, this is why our classes are so great – because they make us feel good, and help bring out the best in us.
So what’s your next goal after Shanghai?
I’ll train to get fitter and stronger so I can do the more dynamic movements in the BODYATTACK Power tracks. That’s my goal for BODYATTACK 105.
What can people take out of my story? Life will throw challenges at you. Stay positive, have goals, share your feelings - good and bad - and let others help you through it. Keep going. Keep on looking forward, no matter what you’re dealing with. Never give up, because anything is possible.
Finally - I wish to say, thank you Andrew. Thank you Mark Holyoake, Jackie and Phillip Mills and to all of the Les Mills Tribe! I hope that my journey has given hope to you or someone you know, and inspired you to have faith in the future... much love to you all.
If you are experiencing any type of pain while exercising, or you become injured, please consult your physician before continuing to teach and follow his or her advice.