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Finding Joy and Discipline in Endurance Sports: Lisa Watts Has Both

Finding Joy and Discipline in Endurance Sports: Lisa Watts Run Tri Bike
Lisa Watts
Year started: 2002
Next race: June 1, 2024 / UConn Health Half Marathon / Simsbury, CT
Favorite gear:
  • Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
  • Goddr Sunglasses

Lisa Watts, an insurance industry business analyst, started her fitness journey in 2002. She was driven by the goal of losing weight before starting a family. Lisa transitioned from weightlifting only to adding running. She did this by incorporating jogging intervals to boost calorie burn. Her dedication to discipline and specific goal-setting propelled her into the world of running. For Lisa, the important part of this journey was finding joy and discipline. Combining these two would allow her to enjoy the hard work that would be required.

The Catalyst for Change

Lisa’s fitness journey began not out of a love for endurance sports but as a practical step towards a healthier lifestyle. “I never wanted to do any of that,” Lisa reminisces. “As a newlywed, I was overweight, and I wanted to have kids, but I didn’t want to go into that process overweight.” Her initial focus on weight loss was just part of the story. Lisa was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 18. PCOS can impact a person’s ability to lose weight and this had an impact on Lisa. This mindset to lose weight, despite PCOS, gradually evolved into a passion for running as she discovered the joy and challenge it brought into her life.

Her strength training was the main driver of her fitness workouts but she did use a treadmill to walk on. Those walks on the treadmill led to jogging on the treadmill, thanks to an article in a magazine. Lisa recalls the article stating that jogging intervals would help burn calories. With the goal of losing weight, and not racing, the jogging intervals were incorporated.

Discovering the Love for Running

As it is with many athletes, when they get started they don’t understand what is about to happen. For many of us, the first step leads to a world we never expected. The endorphins and the adrenaline rush are too hard to ignore. Running can and will lead to a lifetime of finding joy and discipline in the sport. This is true of what happened to Lisa.

Transitioning from treadmill workouts to outdoor running marked a significant shift for Lisa. “Once I got started and I decided I liked it, then I was going to see how far I could go with it,” she recalls. Her journey was characterized by setting milestones, gradually building up from shorter distances to local races, all driven by a personal determination to push her limits and embrace new challenges.


Finding Joy and Discipline In Endurance Sports

As a business analyst, Lisa’s job leads her to doing research and understanding what is in front of her before moving forward. The same holds true when it comes to strength training and running. This mindset doesn’t work for everybody but it works for Lisa. This allows her to find the joy in not only laying out a plan but also executing the plan.

I’m a big reader and I’m a big researcher. I made sure I had all the magazines and the books to create a plan. Even to this day, I always have a plan for my running,” Lisa mentioned when asked about ‘winging’ it. Having something to refer back to allows Lisa to understand her progress, strengths and weaknesses. By understanding where she was, she can work at moving forward.

Staying Healthy and Overcoming Obstacles

Despite the rigors of endurance sports, Lisa has managed to stay injury-free for the most part, attributing her success to a balanced approach. “I do all of the strength training so that my joints are strong, and my diet is pretty good,” she explains. Her resilience and ability to listen to her body have helped her navigate challenges and stay on track with her fitness goals.

Paying attention to the little things including getting enough sleep has allowed her to be consistent in her training and performance. Many people search for hacks to get to the finish line but consistency in doing the small things will get you there faster. It is these small steps that allow for an athlete to find joy and discipline through endurance sports.

Lessons Learned and Advice for Others

Reflecting on her journey, Lisa emphasizes the importance of finding joy in fitness activities. “You’ve got to find what makes it fun so that you want to keep doing it,” she advises. Her experience underscores the significance of discipline, setting achievable goals, and prioritizing activities that bring fulfillment and happiness.

Lisa Watts’s story travels from weight loss goal to a lifelong passion for running and fitness. Her journey highlights the importance of finding joy and discipline in physical activities. These two components are achievable and will inspire others to embark on their own paths towards health and wellness.