Lisa was born in Casper, Wyoming and grew up in Calgary, Canada. An athlete all her life, Lisa began figure skating at age 5, and competed at the amateur level for years before turning professional. She is also a classically trained pianist. Lisa was a financial analyst and aerobics instructor, became paralyzed from the chest down (at level T3-4) in 1985, and went from teaching aerobics walking, to teaching from her wheelchair. Besides creating and teaching seated aerobics, Lisa has continued to swim, has played wheelchair tennis, basketball, done cross-country arm cycling and mono-skiing at Winter Park & Vail, Colorado.
With her background in sports, health & fitness, music & choreography, Lisa became a certified aerobics instructor after she was paralyzed, and created her seated aerobics program which she still teaches today. She developed a unique, multi-dimensional system of choreographed movements to music, for disabled and able-bodied people, or anyone needing to exercise while seated, including children, older adults and the obese.
Originally called S.M.A.R.T., Seated Movement Aerobic & Resistive Training, she began teaching S.M.A.R.T. at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Englewood, Colorado for spinal cord and traumatic brain injured patients, at fitness centers, recreation centers, hospitals, schools & universities around the USA & Canada, & the Colorado Annual Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp in Denver. She was a regular presenter at many professional sports & fitness venues, inlcuding the IDEA international conventions and the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Assocation) National conferences.
Lisa produced her Seated Aerobics video tape in 1992, which includes an instructional booklet with pertinent fitness information and actual pictures of 100 of her moves. She has written & published many articles on the topic, including the S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Handbook.
Lisa has traveled around the world, teaching and lecturing on her unique system of seated fitness. She moved to Johannesburg, South Africa from 1994 to 1998, after marrying Dr. Mel Siff, a world renowned sports scientist from WITS University in Johannesburg. There, she founded the annual South African Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, an annual event for physically disabled children, which she ran for 5 years with assistance from then President Nelson Mandela.
While in South Africa, the need for Lisa's expertise was in such demand, that she was asked to teach her S.M.A.R.T. fitness program at the University of the Witwatersrand through their continuing education department, for students to become certified instructors in S.M.A.R.T., and were then able to teach Lisa's seated aerobics program to whichever specific groups they chose, including older adults, the obese, people with mobility impairments, people with disabilities and more.
Lisa has also been the recipient of many accolades and awards through the years, including the prestigious Christine MacIntyre Memorial Award from IDEA (the International Association of Fitness Professionals) & Shape Magazine, the 1991 HAFL (Healthy American Fitness Leaders) award in conjunction with the U.S. President's Council on Health & Fitness, the 1992 Sportswomen of Colorado Award for Exceptional Echievement, & the Tom Sullivan/Mobil Ten K run for Vistas for the Blind award, & was specially asknowledged by President Nelson Mandela for her pioneering work with disabled children in the new South Africa.
Today, Lisa resides in her home of Denver, Colorado, where she has lived since 1983. She is continuing her life's work in the field of health & fitness for spinal cord injuries & special populations, & the research & science of seated fitness and exercise programs for everyone.