Releasing the Artist Within

My artistic talents meet Nike running shoes


Jo on the Moon and among the stars

Welcome back to my readers and followers.  I hope you have missed me as much as I have missed you.  It’s crazy to think that we have yet to play a home game 4 weeks into the WPS season but alas, we haven’t.  No tears will be shed, however, since our first game in Philly is just around the corner:  Sunday @ 6pm to be exact. 

I have been trying to think of an adjective to best describe the season so far.   The best I can come up with is…strange.  This adjective in no way reflects the sentiments of the entire Cheesesteak Organization and I am sure if you went around the team they would all have their own words to describe the WPS 2011 season.  Regardless, this is my personal blog and therefore, strange is the word I will be using. 

Why strange?  It seems to be the year of the unconventional.  Canceled home games, National Team players in and out of the squad, a once familiar Washington Freedom team moved to the unfamiliar Palm Beach, mystery team owners, a new Cheesesteak home field, two-week World Cup breaks, and the expansion Western New York Flash (which are eerily similar to the now defunct Bay Area). 

An apt response to this scenario, “get comfortable being uncomfortable”.  The one exception: our uncomfortable place in the league standings with one loss and one tie will NOT be something we get comfortable with.  Sunday is another chance to vault our way back to the top and I have no doubts that the Cheesesteaks are a force to be reckoned with.  

Amid all the distractions, it is business as usual here in Philly.  We will not accept any of these things as excuses to take our eye off the ultimate prize.  Our double days are still intact and we are as competitive as ever in practice.  We are positive, pumped, and preparing for the next opponent, the Boston Breakers. 

As a true professional, the 6 days of training and games require constant analysis of the game and my personal play, almost to the point where I drive myself crazy.  A day off, therefore, really needs to be an entire day away from the game.  Is this hard?  For sure, especially when my day off falls on the same day as the Barcelona/Real Madrid Champions League semi-final.  While it is difficult not to cheat and watch one of the best rivalries in the world,  this voluntary boycott can be quite therapeutic.

It is very important that we find reprieve and value in the finer things this world has to offer.  Everyone has their creative outlets, their escapes that enable them to rest their weary minds and bodies.  As a professional athlete, what you do on your day off can be just as important as what you do in a game. 

When your life revolves so heavily around a certain activity you can often feel lost when that activity is temporarily suspended, even for a day.  Luckily, Lianne Sanderson and I are full of imagination and 24 soccer-less hours is no doubt filled with various engaging projects.  For example, we enjoy spending hours at the park, reading, writing, laughing, and basically lying around the grass.  We spend precious time with family and hunt for easter eggs.  We walk the lovely streets of our home town, West Chester, often ending up perusing the aisles of the library.  We attend Women In Business events to promote the team and build a professional network.

Believe it or not, we even do arts and crafts. Maybe our works of art won’t be sold for millions (I don’t want to sell ourselves short), they do make for wonderful refrigerator decorations.  Most recently, I painted Lianne’s white Nike shoes to give them a bit more flair and flavor.   I also painted my personal take on a moon landing.  While I am bit biased, I do think it is a realistic rendition of the first ever steps that transformed our country.  It does get messy, especially when you paint with your fingers, but it is amazing how things you did as a kid can still bring so much joy.  Art therapy at its best.

I have shared pictures with you of my projects and I would love your feedback.  Not just on my use of color, texture, dimension, and brush work but also on alternate ways to mentally escape from the rigors of life.  We obviously take what we do very seriously but there is always life outside of sport and sometimes it is this life that can be so utterly refreshing.

Meanwhile, this is a formal invitation to come to our game on Sunday.  6pm, Widener University.  We extend a special welcome to all the Mothers out there who have helped to make this world a better place.  I love you, Mom.

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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4 Responses to Releasing the Artist Within

  1. Matt P. says:

    Hi Joanna,
    Another great post as always..Nice art on the shoes and moon!
    Glad to hear you like West Chester so much! We do visit often since its a short 15 or so minute car ride from here in Kennett..The library is awesome there, I like how there is a floor for kids a main floor and a basement with other books. So my boys and other kids can go crazy upstairs with the toys and not distract other library goers! Its one of my favorite rainy day spots..Love the building too! great historical design One thing I highly recommend you take advantage of if you havent already is the hold system. that way if what your looking for isn’t there, they’ll get it for you. I usually get a book, even I popular ones within a week or 2. The chester county library system is awesome!

    Finally one suggestion if you haven’t already since it sounds like you love being outside is take the short drive to Longwood Gardens. Words can not describe how beautiful that place is. There are many outdoor areas to relax, I often see people reading playing etc.
    My only other advice on how to escape the rigors of life is enjoy your favorite thing whatever that may be . I really enjoy soccer, but for me my favorite thing other than my 2 boys and wife is baseball. I could watch for hours no matter who’s playing and it never gets old. If you do like baseball, I HIGHLY recommend The Wilmington Blue Rocks. Not far from WC, great entertainment in between innings, high quality baseball, free parking and cheap tickets. No matter whats going on outside thats our main summertime 3 hour escape!

    Anyway on the soccer part of your blog, I guess I understand why Washington had to move, it seemed to me like they had great fans..but to me, its a step backward to play in that stadium, I think capacitys only 1,500..and don’t get me started on the team name..I really want this league to succeed, but I don’t think he’s helping at all. From what I heard he bought it as a gift to his daughters travel team and is never around.. weird, and not the right reasons to be in this league..
    I apologize If I ran too long!

    • joannalohman says:

      Thanks, Matt. This is great information to have. I fully plan on making it over to Longwood Gardens at some point to enjoy a day at the park. I also think we may have a time scheduled to go see the Wilmington Blue Rocks in action. The Independence is hoping to have a presence at one of the games to raise awareness. I have heard nothing but positive things about the team and the atmosphere.

      Never apologize for running too long…I love responses regardless of the length. Many thanks for writing.

  2. MightyMilf says:

    Sock monkey’s….they will provide you with hours of crafting entertainment


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