Name: Lisa Weyhenmeyer
Sport: Track and Field (Triple Jump)
Years in the sport: 8
How did you get started in your sport?
At school, we needed to participate in some running events and during the breaks my friends and I used the sandpit to try to jump as long as possible. We had a lot of fun and when the sandpit got too small my mum had to call the local track and field club so that I could continue jumping around. I could not start immediately due to a waiting list but after two years I got the chance – and I have to admit that I felt for it directly.
The triple jump was not given at all. I was 11 years old when I tried it the first time and only after my mum and friends encouraged me to try it just for fun at a local competition. I was nervous and ten minutes before the start I did not even know that I was supposed to jump with the same leg twice. However, somehow I managed, and I even ended up on top of the podium. I liked the feeling of flying, and thus, this was the beginning of something which I really enjoyed.
Goals for this year?
The season is over now and I´ve just started the off-seasonal training. This means a harder training so that I´ll get stronger and build a body that can jump even longer next year. My goal for this year is that I am able to train hard without injuries. Next year I would like to represent the Swedish national junior team again.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My dream for the future is to become one of the best Swedish triple jumpers. I would like to be member of the national team and compete at international championships.
What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
I actually think that my leg/foot injury which I experienced this spring and summer has been my biggest challenge so far. Being on top of my performance, I all of a sudden felt pain in my leg. I missed all enjoyable early summer competitions and right at the moment when the leg got fine again, my foot became injured. I had to cancel one competition after the other but this was not the worst. Most frustrating was that I didn’t know what exactly it was and how long it would last. My big goal for the year, the nationals and selection for the national team, came closer and closer. Each day I thought it was over, especially since all but my foot seemed to be in a perfect shape for long jumps but each day I got disappointed again. With only three weeks left to the nationals, I slowly started jumping again after an almost four month’s long jumping break. To my frustration, the jumping did not go well, I simply lacked the feeling of flying. Instead of jumping, I prepared myself mentally for the nationals. I had the goal to come first or second in order to be selected for the national team and to my own surprise I performed better than ever before and won. I now had three weeks left before my debut in the national youth team. Three weeks which I used to rest my foot. The full speed jumping interruption payed off again. I won that Nordic competition too and went into the off-season with a very good feeling for next year – hopefully, a year without any injuries.
Things like this happens to athletes all the time but it was still a challenge for me. A challenge from which I learnt a lot about my body and the sport. Look ahead, never give up and always do the best you can – that will increase the probability for success. That will raise your luck. That will give you a better life.
The best advice that you have been given?
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If you were not an athlete, what would you be doing?
If I were not doing track and field, I would do some other sport like crossfit, badminton, basketball, skiing, orienteering… If I were not an athlete of any sport?! Well, I suppose I would spend more time with friends and family.
Travelling, outdoor activities (skiing, unicycle, hiking…), food, music, social life, coach younger children in my sport – I appreciate the most, even school is something I really like.
I don´t really have one favourite artist or style, which music I play depends on the situation. My coach, though, really likes Håkan Hellström (a Swedish artist), and I have to admit that after numerous training sessions with his voice in the loud-speaker, I tend to click on his name on the playlist too…
This is a difficult question, my taste varies from day to day, but I liked the Help (Kathryn Stockett), Livet är en sjukamp/Life`s a heptathlon (Carolina Klüft) and Maj-Gull Axelssons` novels.
What does a typical day of training look like?
I wake up at 6/6.30 am (without an alarm!) and eat breakfast before I leave home for a 30 min bike ride to the training. I train from 8 am to 9.30/10 am and then the school starts at 10.30 am. After school I either have a second training session, or I have rest until the next morning. If it´s resting on the schedule, I take my bike home and make some homework, often together with friends.
Anything people be surprised to learn about you?
I´ve been to over 30 countries, played the cello for twelve years and I´ve biked 14 km with the unicycle but somehow I can´t clear my throat which my friends and family find really strange…
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you/others while training?
There are lots of funny things happening while training but I still remember my first competition when I was running away because I saw a man shooting with a pistol. I had no clue that this was the starter…My mum had to explain it to me. However, still being afraid when my own start was, made me running very fast.
Any pre-competition rituals?
Yes, I have quite a few rituals. I always wear a special necklace, I listen to the same music, I wear the same sport bra and I have the same braid. I also want to eat pasta in any form before my competition or at least the day before. A year ago I had more such things and I was stricter with them, but now I have realized that it can go well even without all my rituals. It will not be the end of the world if they don’t serve pasta at the arena…
Favourite food while training?
Bananas and homemade bars.
Results you’re most proud of?
1st at Ungdomsfinnkampen (a Nordic competition)
What inspires you?
Seeing small parts or details in my training going ahead and watching Swedish athletes perform internationally.
Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
Dream big and never give up. I also always listen to or hum to a part in the Disney song He lives in you when I want to get ready and full of energy. (Yes, I know I´m not unique, I got the tip for this song from a friend)
“Wait! There’s no mountain too great
Hear these words and have faith
Oh, oh, iyo
What do you enjoy most about your sport?
The feeling when I can run to my coach with a big smile on my face. When I have practised for a special event for a long time, my body is ready and it goes better than expected.
I also enjoy the variation in the training, the feeling when you can give everything you have in an interval or a squat, and when you have to fix small details and find the balance in the jump.
The fact that I have a good coach and friends while training, so that we can push each other, is also a big plus.
Advise that you have for someone starting the sport?
Just have fun, find your event and never give up!
What is the most crucial part of your training?
A holistic approach where you combine coordination, strength and technical details as well as the balance in the jump.
Anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my coach for always caring and that he spends almost all his life planning and coaching my friends and me. I also believe that my family, my “non-sport” friends, my kids who I train and probably also some of my teachers gave (and still give) me a great basis on which I can build upon. Finally, I would like to thank the Göte Nymans foundation which financed my last training camp, and my track and field club Upsala IF which is supporting me.