The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

An Athlete’s Story: Joanna Lohman

Posted by on Friday, May 18th, 2012

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Today we have a conversation with Joanna Lohman, the great soccer player who starred at Penn State, on the US National team, and in the Women’s Professional Soccer league. She also has found success in the business world, where she is vice-president of Tenant Consulting, a commercial real estate firm in Washington, D.C.

Lohman is a founder, with Lianne Sanderson, of JoLi Academy, an organization that gives girls around the world the opportunity to participate in sports and learn skills that can make them successful in other areas of life.

Healing Feet: How did you start playing soccer? Did you play other sports as a child? If so, what made you decide to focus on soccer?
Joanna Lohman: I started playing soccer when I was six years old.  I played with all of my neighborhood friends and I was coached by my best friend’s mother.  After a few months of playing, my parents and I realized it was a sport I really excelled at and also one I very much enjoyed.  From that point on, I went on to play on more competitive teams and dedicate more hours to the sport.

As a child, I also played tennis, basketball, ran cross country, swam, played street hockey, and football.  I played any and every sport I could.  I was extremely athletic and I was my happiest when I am playing sports.

Soccer was my number one love and my unique talent was obvious at a young age. For that reason, I focused on soccer primarily and I continued to improve and therefore, joined more competitive teams.  I also realized that to be the best I could be, I would have to dedicate the majority of my time to soccer which meant I would have to give up the other sports I played.

HF: How do you keep yourself healthy? How do you deal with injuries when/if they occur?
JL: I do a lot of fitness and strength based work to stay healthy.  I also make sure to eat properly, get plenty of sleep, and drink tons of water.  If I do unfortunately get injured, I make sure to do whatever it takes get healthy again.  That may be ice, that may be rest, that may be physical therapy.  I follow the trainers and doctors recommendations as gospel and take every necessary step to improve my fitness.

HF: This is a podiatry blog, so we’re all about happy feet here. Do you have any foot care tips?
JL: It’s extremely important to find footwear that suits your feet. You should also be sure to get new shoes every three months so you have the proper support.  The dimensions of each person’s foot vary so be sure to test out your footwear with professionals that understand what type of shoe would suit you best.

HF: Do you have any health or nutrition tips for active people?
JL: Find a fitness program that fits into your lifestyle.  To stay healthy and active for the long-term, there is no blanket fitness program that will work for everyone.  Keep things fun, interactive, and uncomplicated.  Find a group of friends that motivate and inspire you.  This group will help to keep you accountable and will get you out of bed in the morning.

HF: What is the one thing every athlete, pro or just-for-fun type, should know?
JL: Staying active is incredibly important so make it a long term goal and not a fad.  Diets don’t work. What works is finding a fitness program that suits your schedule and keeps you excited.  There are no magic formulas and staying fit is hard work.  So dedicate yourself to the hard work and you will see the benefits both short and long term.  You will be happier and live longer.

Thanks for the fantastic advice, Joanna! Go here to learn more about JoLi Academy and find out how you can support their important cause.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.