The Calm Before the Storm

Happy Lounging

Considering this is only the second time I have blogged, I shouldn’t be surprised that I just erased my entire entry after trying to add this picture above.  So, this picture better be worth an hour of wasted time.   I would like to swear and throw things against the wall but I will just resign to writing the post over again…..
Alas, I am off to another blogging adventure.  My first being in Tokyo, Japan where I trained for 2.5 months with one of Asia’s top women’s soccer teams, Beleza.  I documented the trials and tribulations of being nearly the only American in a world of courteous Japanese.  I learned the language, I toured Mt. Fuji, I ate sushi with the locals, and I enjoyed one of the most eye-opening and humbling cultural and soccer experiences of my life.  The Beleza supporters were so impressed with my desire to submerge myself in the community that they asked to translate the blog into Japanese, and now the blog is officially in two different languages.  From the people I met: my teammates, coaches, the Prime Minister at the time, and the American Ambassador; to the places I had seen, Japan will always reserve a special place in my heart.
Now, its 2011.  Time flies and I am back for my sophomore season with the Philadelphia Independence.  We are very lucky to have most of the players from the Championship run back again.  This time, to win the trophy and etch our names into the WPS history books.  Being a Cheesesteak, we are fortunate to have the best fans and the best organization in the league (from head coach down to mascot (A mega cute bulldog named Bo…he is a great dribbler of the ball but be careful because he may pop it)).  Philly is always known to have the most fanatical supporters but you can’t truly explain it until you experience it yourself.  I am looking forward to the Sons of Ben and the official Cheesesteak supporters group being at all of our games and causing unlawful amounts of noise.  They are absolutely our 12th woman and an intricate part of our team.
New year, new home.  That is usually how my life works and again this bodes true.  Last year, I found myself a wonderful host family in Glenmoore, PA.  I lived in a beautiful cottage on a 500 acre state park with lake views.  Add on top of that a hot tub, fresh fish pond, and a soccer field in the back yard and you wonder how I could ever come close to living that life of luxury again. 
Well, this country bumpkin has found her way into the city!  No no, I am not commuting from New York but West Chester, PA.  At 28 years old it is my first apartment and one that I share with my teammate, Lianne Sanderson.  Although we don’t have lake views, we do have views of the city center on Gay Street and all the bars and restaurants one could ask for.  Everything is within walking distance.  I am talking the hottest bars, the hottest cafes, shops, stores, boutiques.  You want, West Chester has it. 
Some people may see dangerous red flags.  Yes, we could literally walk out of our front door and drink a beer, or two beers, or three beers at Kildaires or even walk to Starbucks and drink latte after latte.  Then we could skip over to Kiwi and get some frozen yogurt and then follow that up with a sandwich from Pita Pit. At this point we would be about 200 lbs (minus the calories we lose from skipping) and buying all new clothes to fit our new and unimproved bodies.  Not good if you call yourself a pro athlete. 
Thankfully, Lianne and I are extremely disciplined and know how one spends her time off the field is just as important as one spends her time on the field.  Creating a healthy lifestyle that includes home cooked food, plenty of water, and minimal opening of the wallet is imperative to be at your best day in and day out at training (contrary to popular belief, not at all pro athletes make millions…far from it actually).  With that being said, sorry to all the local cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops if we don’t patronize your establishment more….but our families will =)
Our apartment came with all the furnishings that make a home warm and comfortable.  This is thanks to Holly, our wonderful landlady, who will grow to be a great friend and hopefully game attendee (bring your grandchildren!).  We hope that those of you who actually read this blog will get a chance to see first hand what our apartment has to offer.  It has great potential and it is an absolute bachelorette pad to say the least.  We accept any and all housewarming gifts.  Don’t be shy.
This last tid bit could be one of the most important.  While much of what was offered last season with the Philadelphia Independence is again offered this year (like our training facility..the one and the only United Sports Training Center..aka USTC), there is one major difference.  Widener University will be our home field as opposed to West Chester U.  While West Chester University provided a great innaugural season location, not to mention, being right down the street from our current abode and super close to our post game stomping grounds, we are excited to welcome Widener to the Independence family and hope to access more fans via 95 (mad props to the interstate highway). 
Now, let’s recap:  better team, better location (we hope), and better fans.  Now, there is no excuse to not pack the house for every home game.  Bring on the season!
Don’t worry, there is much more to come but due to my previous errors and complications creating this post, I must call it quits. 
Countdown until Philly 2011: 2 days
It is the calm before the storm…..

About joannalohman

Professional Soccer Player for the Philadelphia Independence and Vice President of Tenant Consulting, LLC, a commercial real estate firm in Washington, DC. I believe that curiosity is the highest form of insubordination so I am always exploring and seeking out ways to learn. I am a multi-dimensional reader, dancer, socializer, leader, and motivator. I have traveled around the world for both soccer and recreation experiencing different cultures by submerging myself in the local community. I am currently living in West Chester, PA in a one bedroom, kick butt apartment. At 28 years old, it is my first time living in my own space and I am thoroughly enjoying every second of it. A mathematics nut, spreadsheets turn me on and I find equations stimulating. Business is my post career destination and I hope to one day change the world....however that may be.
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3 Responses to The Calm Before the Storm

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Bobby Bongarzone says:

    Hey Jo, Hope you guys kicked some but today. Wish I could have been there to cheer you on. Hope you are all feeling good. It was a pleasure to meet all of you. Think you guys are going all the way this year. Hope to help any way I can. Stay Healthy!
    Bobby Bongarzone LMT.

  3. Vivianne says:

    Thanks for sharing the story of the village in Thailand.
    Having visited some of these villages that don’t even have the bare minimum of food, clean water, clothes and medical facilities makes this story even more amazing.
    Its the determination that sets them apart.

    As women athletes, its the same tenacity that I have watched many of my soccer friends work to accomplish.

    All the best for the season…

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