Meet Joanna Lohman
Meet the Muses : Joanna Lohman + Lila Reinecke ~ soccer players, power houses, all around awesome women.
Lila: What has been your greatest life lesson?
Joanna: I think sometimes not getting what you set out to get. I really believe that I’ve learned the most in my career from the challenges I’ve faced. For example, getting cut from the national team in 2007 before the World Cup, injures and having to spend time on the bench. I really think it pushes you to grow and challenges you to be a better person and a better player. Whenever I’m asked about my career it’s not the successes that I’m most proud of, it’s how long I’ve played and all the things that I’ve overcome in that amount of time.
Lila: When and where are you most inspired?
Joanna: That’s a hard question to answer but I think I’m inspired on various occasions throughout the day. I’m very much inspired by human connection, connecting with the fans, interacting with my friends and family and truly forming those bonds with another person. Also getting to do what I love everyday. I was interviewed recently and was asked, “what makes you wake up in the morning?” I said I have a hard time falling asleep at night because I’m so inspired during the day – playing the sport that I love and the impact I’m able to make by playing that sport. It never ceases to amaze me that people want my autograph. People want my photo, recognize me and people care about my life and in turn I care about theirs. I’ve been put in a position where I can really make a difference in this world. I have been given an incredible platform to impact on a profound level and that inspires me an incredible amount.
Lila: If you could inspire one change in the world, what would it be?
Joanna: If I could inspire one thing, I would go back to human connection, just taking the time to get to know someone as a human being and not trying to put him or her in a box. I personally don’t fit into many labels that people want or expect for me. Differences often ignite fear. I want there to be a greater understanding because we all wake up and have similar challenges and through it all, all we want is to feel is love and acceptance. If we came from that mindset and with that attitude, I think the world will be a much better place.
Lila: What is your motto?
Joanna: My favorite quote is by Steve Prefontaine, he said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ” I think we’re all given a gift – to live and breathe each day. I feel a responsibility to use it wisely and so everything I do I try to give my best. I don’t expect to beat everyone or to win every game but as long as I know I tried my best then I can fall asleep at night. That goes for my profession, it goes for my professional life, and the attitude that I bring everyday.
Lila: How old were you when you realized you wanted to play professional soccer and why?
Joanna: I knew I wanted to play soccer from a very young age and I didn’t know if it was on a professional level. I knew it was something that I loved and enjoyed doing and I never thought of stopping. I knew I wanted to play high school and then college and see where it would take me from there. When the US women’s national team won the World Cup in 1999 it was very inspiring for a young player so I knew that I could one day play for the national team and that was the ultimate goal. Luckily when I went to college, professional soccer became a reality and I knew I wanted to play professionally.
Lila: What are your words of encouragement to young women soccer players and young women athletes like myself?
Joanna: Find what you love. Find your passion and pursue it with every ounce of your being. All the while, understanding that it won’t happen overnight and it takes an incredible amount of work and effort. But, with that work and a resounding belief, towards the pursuit of any goal, you will realize how beautiful life can be. The process of getting better each and everyday will set you up for greatness in some way, shape or form. I am who I am because of how much effort I put into my profession and the attitude to get better. Every minute of everyday you make decisions to get better, you make choices to practice and to train and it takes hours and hours and hours of practice to get great at any one thing. To have the attitude that I can get better at something, if I work at it, is never ending. Also try to surround yourself with people that challenge you, support you and create an environment that helps you achieve whatever you want to achieve. There is no secret formula. It comes down to perseverance and dedication.
Lila: What has been your favorite soccer moment?
Joanna: My favorite soccer moment, I’ve had several of them so it’s very hard for me to choose. But last season was such an incredible season for me. I came home to Washington where I grew up. I got to play in front of my friends and family and there’s no better feeling than doing what you love in front of people that you love. The feeling of giving all I can on the field and then to walk off and to see my parents, my best friends and my family. They understand and appreciate the effort I have put in and the career that I have had. I’ve had to step back and thank them and we’ve all gotten quite emotional this past season. I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t look up that far because I know what I’ve accomplished and I know I’ve succeeded. It is amazing that I get to share this with so many people, who care as much about it as I do. The whole entire thing is magical.
Thank you both for the inspiration. xo, muse
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