This year could have been the biggest in Alysha Newman’s career. It would have likely involved a busy summer, from her usual competition through North America and Europe to a trip to her second Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Instead, she has returned to Toronto, where she is taking time to herself, reflecting and bettering herself off the track while her dreams on the pole vault runway remain in focus.
“Getting that space off the track, I can only focus so much on pole vault,” said Newman. “Those four to five hours that I’m training, competing and giving it my all, I’m giving it 110 percent. But once I leave, I want to really revamp and focus in on my other strengths and that is being a motivator and really bringing out the best in people.”
During a summer schedule where sports and society were postponed as a whole, the 2018 Commonwealth pole vault champion has used the time for reflection, looking inward to see what she represents as an influencer and an athlete.
From her brand, her image on social media, and her status as a world-class athlete, she hopes to represent and empower women through her own confidence and strength.
A long-time Nike athlete, Newman also partnered with brands off the track that she made sure was genuine to herself and not losing sight of who she is.
“With my Instagram, I want people to come to my feed and not feel negativity, I want them to feel empowered and feel that they can go after their goals, whether it be on the track or any goal in life,” Newman explains.
“One thing that made me the happiest was never second-guessing who I was. I worked so hard on my body, I’m so proud of the way I look, that I’m not that typical athlete and it took me a long time to get comfortable in my own skin. I’m a very feminine athlete and I love my curves, I love the way I look, I love my muscles and Agent Provocateur really brought that out in me and gave me so much confidence and a platform to shine a different way than just pole vaulting.”
Among things off the track, Newman has been staying busy. House shopping and preparing to launch a new company with her sister called One Body One Life, offering fitness boxes with Alysha’s workouts in them. She hopes to have the official launch later this month.
With time to grow and focus on herself off the track, Newman ensures that she hasn’t forgotten about her goals on the track, because “I wouldn’t be where I am without track. That has elevated me and made me who I am.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the facilities in March, Newman returned home, unsure about the next time she could pole vault again. She trained in nearby Caledon, Ont., where she was able to jump, while following social distance guidelines.
SOURCE: Jonathan Yue, Athletics Canada