Become Inspired By The Fit Ninja Warrior Mum

Become Inspired By The Fit Ninja Warrior Mum

“You can fake a lot of things in life, but you can’t fake being fit” – Matt Collins, Coffee Chats.

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Cazinc has formed another brilliant collaboration with an awesome guy, Matt Collins, who runs his podcasts “Coffee Chats” with real people.

Lisa Parkes is one of Australia’s fittest females. However, she has endured many obstacles along her journey. Lisa was lucky to survive after a car accident in South Africa where a drunk driver ran a red light and launched her little VW Beetle around a telegraph pole. Lisa sits down with Matt to share her journey about how she became one of Australia’s first "Ninja Warriors".

Lisa is 44 and mother of three children.  Life hasn’t always been easy for this inspirational pocket-rocket (school nickname).

“I was picked on a lot at school for my size. So at the age of 14, I was the height of most six or seven-year-olds. I was tiny.” – Lisa Parkes.

Here is an extract of the Coffee Chat between Lisa and Matt.

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MC: But you have always been super fit.  You travelled to Africa to compete in the World Aerobics Championships and that’s where you experience another significant challenge.

LP: Yes, the day before my competition, I was driving to go and do some last minute training. I was driving along, the traffic light was green, so I drove through. The next thing I know, and I don’t remember a huge amount, but I was hit hard, the car was spinning out of control and then the next thing I know it was wrapped around a telegraph pole. And the only other thing I remember is this abusive voice yelling at me.

MC: Who was yelling at you?

LP: It was the guy who had hit me. I remember his abuse, telling me I was an idiot and the stench of alcohol.

MC: So this guy was drunk, he had gone through a red light and hit your car side on. Now I’ve seen a photo of your car after the accident Lisa; it literally folded around the telegraph pole!/

LP: Yep, I’m lucky to be alive. Those old VeeDubs fold up quite nicely!

MC: Haha! They certainly do! But you were inside it Lisa, that’s the scary thing!

LP: The next thing I remember is the police and ambulance turning up and this guy giving the police a wad of cash and then driving off.

MC: No way!

LP: Then the firefighters turned up, and they had to cut me out of the car because my foot was stuck under the clutch pedal and I couldn’t feel my legs.

MC: So you had broken your back, your neck and your ankle?

LP: Yeah and to make it worse, while I was stuck in the car the African locals started stealing things out of my car!

MC: Wow! You must’ve feared for your life!

LP: I look back on that time, and I don’t know how I survived.

MC: It’s amazing that you ever walked again, let alone competed in one of the hardest physical challenges on television.

LP: Yes, it has been a hell of a journey.

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A dynamic, energetic powerhouse of a woman, Lisa Parkes proves that you can change your life.


MC: Tell us about how you got involved in the Ninja Warrior TV show.

LP: The process is quite a long one. I had first to send in a video of myself and a little bit about my story. I found out there were over 8000 people who sent in a video and that got cut down to a physical audition of 2000 people.

MC: Wow

LP: You then have to pass a gruelling physical test which was cut down to 250 of us for the heats which they filmed, and then they culled that down to the top fifty for the show.

MC: How did you train for such a unique event?

LP: Well, leading up to the auditions, I hadn’t done any specific training. I remember getting to the top fifty and thinking “Wow! There are some fit people here!”

MC: So you hadn’t done any Ninja Warrior training up to that point?

LP: Nope, none.

MC: Wow

LP: But once I knew I made the TV show, I had one month until recording started.

MC: So you had one month to get ‘Ninja Warrior’ fit?

LP: Yep, and I had nowhere to train so I would train in kid’s playgrounds with my children. I would climb trees and when I would go for a run, I’d see something and I would climb up it. 

MC: Haha!

LP: There was a circus in town in Byron (where Lisa lives), so I spoke to someone at the circus, and they put together a training program for me. So yeah, I had one month of preparation for this competition.

MC: Well, you are certainly an inspiration. In a sentence, what does the future look like for Lisa Parkes?

LP: Years ago we used to climb to get our food, now we open a fridge. I’d like to see us move the way we were supposed to move and not be restricted in any way.

Listen to the rest of this brilliant interview, and become inspired by Lisa, who has an incredible never-give-up attitude.

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Matt Collins Coffee Chat with Lisa Perkes.

Follow Coffee Chats with Matt Collins on Facebook here.

If you ask Matt about himself, this is the answer:

Drinks coffee and chats with remarkable people.

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