Second Career: TV Producer Turns Olympic Hopeful
Lisa Fisco's life changed after her husband left her and their three young children. She went back to work full-time as a TV producer while she struggled through a brutal divorce that led to depression and a 100-plus pound weight gain. Seven years after her divorce, her children decided to move in with their father.
Fisco was devastated. "I wanted to do something that would take my mind away from missing my kids," she says.
So, she enrolled in a course in entrepreneurship at UCLA. The professor's first assignment was to remember your childhood dreams; he believed that most people, sometime in their life, always go back to what they loved as a child.
And that's when the idea to train as a weightlifter came to Fisco. "I knew I was passionate about sports, the Olympics, and weightlifting in general," she says. "At an early age, I would lift weights with my father just for fun. Athletics came easy to me as a child and I was always strong and could lift more than my uncles when we would compete at home."
So Fisco contacted a U.S. Olympic weightlifting coach and said, "how would you like to transform a totally out-of-shape, 47-year-old mom into a competitive weightlifter with goals for Olympic gold?" He responded to her the same day: "You bet; when do you want to start?"
After walking away from her producer position and more than two years of training, Fisco has gained tremendous support from friends and family. People at the gym frequently approach her to let her know she is an inspiration to them.
Of course, not everyone understood her dream at the beginning. Fisco jokes that when one of her sons first heard of her ambitions he commented, "Mom, you might as well have told me that you were going out for the NFL!" But she reminded him that the more he didn't support her, the more fuel that would add to her fire to prove him wrong.
And it looks like that fire is still burring, because Fisco has her eye set on a spot on the 2012 Olympic weightlifting team. If she makes the cut, she will be 52 -- the oldest woman to ever compete in the event.
In between her grueling training schedule, Fisco is vetting opportunities for book deals, endorsements, sponsorships, licensing agreements, and speaking engagements. She recently landed her first sponsorship with Dotfit, an online fitness, performance, and weight loss program.
Through these promotional opportunities, Fisco hopes to inspire women of all ages, but particularly baby boomers. "There are a number of women approaching 50 or just over 50 that are stuck in a rut. I want to talk to women to remind them there can be life after 50. It is never too late to reinvent yourself,' she notes, adding, "Being so busy with kids, work, and life in general, I forgot about my own passions and desires. Once I allowed myself to explore them again, my life changed forever."
Fisco's advice to others contemplating pursuing their career passion or dreams? "Procrastination is the biggest killer of dreams; it is so important to live in the moment. Be the best you can be today, because winning (in whatever you do) will come tomorrow. Many of life's barriers and obstacles come from within. But once those barriers are broken, we realize the biggest barriers are our own beliefs."