Now that she's tackled the Yellow Brick Road in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's production of The Wizard of Oz, Lisa Bark is ready to take on another challenging journey. And after facing a major setback last year, crossing the starting line will mean almost as much as making it to the finish line.
Always ready to take on a challenge, Lisa started training for her first marathon in 2010.
"Running a marathon was on my bucket list," she explained. "After I completed the initial marathon, the first thing I did when I got home from the race was sign up for the next one I loved it so much."
A native of Minnesota, Lisa completed the Minneapolis Marathon, followed by the Twin Cities Marathon.
"I thought, 'well, now what?" she said. "I needed a new goal to train toward. I decided I would give a triathlon a try, even though I was a horrible swimmer."
Undeterred, Lisa took private swimming lessons and practiced swimming for a year, while training for the running and biking portions of the race. At last feeling prepared, she signed up for her first triathlon in the summer of 2011. It happened to be in Indianapolis, taking place while she would be in town performing in Beef & Boards' production of Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping.
But she never made it to the event.
"One week before the race was when my appendix ruptured. The first thing I said to the surgeon when I woke up from surgery was, 'Can I do my triathlon this weekend?' He politely laughed and said, 'No.'"
Anxious to make the most of her training, she asked about another event, two weeks later. But her recovery would take two months, because of complications from the ruptured appendix.
"I was devastated that something I had trained for the entire year would not happen," Lisa said. "Once I was finally recovered, I started the training process over again and now it's finally going to happen at the same race I was supposed to do last year: The Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon at Eagle Creek Park."
Today's June 16 event is a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run.
"It's been a challenge keeping up with my training while attending rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz every day, all day, but the outcomes of both will be very rewarding," Lisa said.
"I know I'm going to have tears in my eyes when I cross that finish line." There are 50 performances of The Wizard of Oz scheduled in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $37 to $60 and include Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly buffet, coffee, tea and lemonade. There are $10 discounts for children ages 3-15. Discounts are also available for groups of 20 or more. Call for details.
For reservations, call the Beef & Boards Box Office at 317.872.9664. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays. For more information, including show schedule, visit www.beefandboards.com. The Wizard of Oz is sponsored in part by Radio Disney and Indy's Child.