We had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Weightman - 4-time marathon Olympian, Managed Services Area Leader at IBM, and mother. Lisa is a superwoman. She is incredibly successful and inspirational.
Lisa talked about how she started her running career and her inspiration as a young girl. She also discusses her favourite moment in her running career, how she juggles motherhood, running and a professional career, and her skincare routine.
“Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined”
1. Have you always been a runner growing up?
My Dad introduced me to running. When I was born I started my life with a few respiratory challenges and he thought it would be good for me to build my heart and lungs through running. A little running at a young age set me on course for a fantastic life. I’m extremely grateful.
As a young girl my dad would take my sister for a run and I’d stay home with mum and play with my dolls or colour in. I’d spend time outside playing imaginary games and rollerskating around the backyard or up and down the street. One day up at my Nan and Pa’s home in Nagambie at Christmas I decided to go with Dad and Jodi for a run. They’d run 2 miles. 1 mile out and 1 mile back on the back roads.
We set out that warm evening. I made it to the fire station 1 mile out and when we stopped at the turn around point I didn’t think I could go on. Dad being the greatest Dad that he was, carried me all the way home! That night I felt awful about not making it and asked Dad to take me out again the next morning. I drank a lot of water and off we went the next morning to tackle that fire station run again. I made it there and back, beaming with excitement when I approached the front gate! This was a defining moment in my career and set the scene for the approach I would take to every aspect of my life from then on.
A quote I saw this week really resonated with me “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined”.
2. Who inspired you most growing up?
Lisa Ondieki, Australia's Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon. I have always wanted to be as good a runner as Lisa. She's an amazing person and athlete. I used to watch her run as a teenager with my dad and my coach Dr Richard Telford. We share the same coach and when I started running times that were similar to Lisa's I couldn't believe it. I am yet to hit her marathon PB but it's something I've been working toward for a few years now.
3. What was your favourite moment in your running career?
When I won silver at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Not because I won a medal but because all of my family was there and part of it. They are a huge part of every aspect of my career and our lives. I couldn't do it without them. To have them there to celebrate together after the event was a magical experience and something I'll never forget.
4. What's the typical day looks like for you?
What's a typical day through this pandemic?! I juggle 3 full time jobs! I'm a mum to our almost 7 year old son Peter, I lead the Custom and Data Managed Services Area at IBM Consulting in Australia and I am an athlete. It's hard to fit everything in, but with help from family we do. We may not be able to train at the same level as my full time competitors year after year, but we do the best we can whilst juggling it all. Unfortunately running isn't something that we can make a living off. But fortunately for us it's given me the opportunity to find ways to progress both my running and professional career in parallel. There's no life after sport for me as I'll always enjoy a run.
Lachlan (my husband) trains with me daily. He was a track runner and is so passionate about helping me achieve my goals. He does everything he can to keep us on the road. We've been home schooling Pete throughout the last two years and even this week Pete hasn't made it through a full week of school as there's been a positive case of covid in his class. We love being together as a family, but to get training done at the elite level our family is key!
5. You also have a child. How do you juggle motherhood, running and professional career?
Pete is so resilient and so flexible. He always comes first and he knows that he is so extremely loved. He takes most things in his stride and that has made it a lot easier for Lachlan and I to juggle things, to travel and to give him some amazing life experiences. I have such a wonderful memory of my PB marathon in London. I was in the call room before the race and all of the super star women were being fussed over by their coaches and managers. Then there was me, sitting on the yoga mat with Pete jumping on my shoulders, hugging me and kissing my face. It was a special moment as it was a moment where I was in my best state - with Lachlan and Pete and feeling so loved and supported. I am not someone who can put myself first and with this pre-race experience it's no surprise that it was the foundation for my best ever performance.
6. How do you unwind your body after a hectic day with training and working?
I love to relax in a bath on Friday evenings before we have family movie night. A few drops of your beautiful oil and some magnesium salts is the perfect addition. We love our home. It's a place we built from the ground up and when I am home I feel relaxed and settled.
7. What's your skincare routine?
I'm very mindful of the effects of the sun on our skin. As children we didn't worry about UV and played in the sun every day through Summer. Unfortunately we cannot correct that now, but we can do our best to save our skin in the future. I wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen when I run. That's imperative. I am not that great at remembering to moisturise in the morning these days as it's all a bit manic getting through the morning routine but I religiously do so in the evenings. It's nice to go through the routine and feel like you wash away the day!
8. What's next for you?
I took 2 months off training after the Olympics. With hotel quarantine and the effects of the entire Olympic campaign I needed a real break. I have had a really enjoyable few months taking my time to just enjoy some short runs, be there for Pete and his learning and fun, rather than pushing myself every day. I've been promoted at work to an exciting new role and I'm really enjoying everything that brings. It's a role in which I get to help our consultants build their inspired talent journey and that's something I am extremely passionate about. I have a personal business where I help people lean into fear and go after their aspirations who aren't part of our organisation also and I love it.