By: LOWA Ambassador Lisa Ballard 

There’s an old adage, “You’ve got to do what you’re good at.” In my case, I’m good at being outdoors, especially skiing, hiking and hunting, but I also like to climb cliffs, raft roiling rivers, paddle lazy lakes, run on trails, throw a fly line, and bike on gravel and pavement. What I actually do each day depends on the season and where I might land on various far-flung assignments as a writer/photographer or as a ski racer/coach.

Like other professional athletes, I lift weights to increase my strength, but if I never return to the gym again, my abilities at my sports would not diminish. The outdoors is my natural gym. I don’t need CrossFit® to cross-train. 




For example, hiking up mountains this July near my home in the Adirondacks (upstate New York) will prepare me for a multi-day trek in August in Mongolia, which in turn will help me track game this fall in Montana’s rugged wildlands. Hiking, trekking and hunting will also make me faster this winter in my quest to win an overall title on the international masters ski racing circuit. Traveling on foot in the backcountry strengthens my hamstrings and my cardio going uphill, my quads going downhill, and my ankles and my agility as I navigate uneven terrain and stream crossings.

I’ve been a professional athlete since 1984. 40 years! It’s remarkable even to me to write that, yet I’m 63 years old and still getting paid to be outdoors doing the sports I love




Being a professional athlete for this long and at my age is not by accident. I’ve got four secrets to my longevity at the top of my favorite games:

1. Embracing each season’s outdoor opportunities, which strengthens me for the next season.

2. Getting enough rest to avoid both overuse injuries and injuries from fatigue. 

3. Working constantly (year-round) on my core and flexibility. A strong core is my stabilizer. Flexibility helps me perform in extended positions that every sport requires and avoid muscle and ligament tweaks.

4. Paying attention to my feet. My feet are the foundation for all that I do. If they’re tired, sore, or blistered, I can’t achieve my athletic goals. Luckily, Lowa has a breadth of footwear to keep my feet happy through most of my outside adventures! The one gap is ski boots, but my Lowa Alba’s keep my feet warm, dry and relaxed before my ski boots go on and when they come off.

I feel so fortunate to make my living as a multi-sport athlete, but even if I were not a pro, I would still be out there, every season, staying healthy and enjoying an active lifestyle.


Content Courtesy: Lisa Ballard