"I couldn't stop crying. I'm really emotional because of everyone who helped me come back. Just being back was already a big victory, never mind winning."
These were the emotional words spoken by Lysanne Richard after scoring her first victory since returning from injury in Sissikon two years ago. If anyone understands the disappointment and frustration of being forced out of action for a long period of time, it's the 38-year-old Canadian, whose neck issues robbed her of the entire 2017 season. Her positive attitude and desire to return stronger than ever during those dark days can hopefully now serve as inspiration for the rest of the World Series athletes as they come to terms with the 2020 cancellation.
We caught up with the bubbly mother-of-three recently to find out how she is coping this time around with the current world situation.
How has the cancellation of the 2020 season and the restrictions on normal life affected you?
Of course, life is very different to the usual training and working schedule at the moment. I lost lots of shows and public speaking opportunities and involvement in different public events because everything got cancelled.
Being a mom, the schedule with the kids is different because they do not go to school, so we do school at home. We have lots of fun. Our favorite subjects are physical education and art. Home is a museum now, with lots of constructions, paintings, drawings, etc. And we do a lot of sport together inside, and outside the house when the weather is good.
I do a lot of visualization and physical prep at home and I often go for a run with my sister for cardio. We also do lots of rollerblading in the family and I am doing circus in my street with my Cyr wheel. It is nice to come back to things I did not do for the last 7 years like my Cyr wheel. I do appreciate it a lot.
I have a lot of time working on my juggling with the kids these days to keep my brain aware and work on different stuff. I also keep working on my twisting awareness, twisting with my kids, and there are also a couple more physical prep exercises I do with them. I appreciate spending a lot of time with the kids.
But of course, I miss flipping and diving. To keep my neck healthy, I cannot do dry land somersault and jumps because the impact is too much, but I try to get creative and find other ways to work on my jump and physical awareness.
I do a lot of phone appointments and video calls with my coach and therapist, so we stay together as a team. I am involved with my diving class and I hold online courses for easy training to do at home, so all the diving community has some fun and keeps moving together.
We also work a lot on my book project as the plan is to have it finished in June and published before November.
Will it be difficult to return to high diving quickly after such a long absence?
I am used to having to take a break from diving and going back to high diving. I did it 3 times after pregnancy and also it happened with the neck injury, so I stay focused and confident that with a healthy body and mind, I will be able to come back to high diving quickly after this break. The only thing I would be a bit worried with when going straight to competition is how my neck would react, but mentally I would be ready. Worst case do easy dives.
What does a typical day look like for you right now?
On a typical day I still wake up early to take care of the kids; I make them breakfast, we often go for a run afterwards, they do bicycle and I run. After we come back home, I do a lot of training; they do some with me and also leave some part to do by myself. During this time, I set up and supervise school for them. We also cook a lot together and communicate with friends and family via video. After my training, I do my office job - lots of reorganization because everything got canceled or delayed. But I am also involved in public speaking and training online, so I work a lot to prepare this; as well as the book, social media, relationship with partners, developing new projects, etc.
I also took a new Masters training class and had a lot of studying for this; I just did my exam Friday and I'm still waiting for the result, but I am confident.
In fact, I am still really busy!
What is the one thing you miss most and what don't you miss at all?
I miss this feeling of flying, creating my own wind. I miss my team and everybody of the World Series too; I miss my public speaking and shows, the exchange with the crowd.
I do not miss drying my hair twice a day!!! (I do dry my hair every time it is wet because it protects my neck).
If tomorrow morning you could do anything in the world that you wanted to, what would it be?
If I could do anything, I would learn special powers, like breathing in the water, flying, cleaning up the planet and my home, teleport, suspend time, all those things that could be so useful!!