Joanie | New York, NY | Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist
This week we are high-fiving FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight: Joanie Johnson. Joanie talks about how she views movement as her meditation, an outlet for her emotions and stress. From her time as a dancer, to her now physical fitness routines. She believes that women should not have to compromise their bodies in order to have children and has developed a company and program that is dedicated to serving postpartum women become the strongest version of themselves and have fun while doing it. Big high five to Joanie!
What is your fave way to train (running, yoga, CrossFit, weightlifting, dancing…)?
When I have the energy to train outside of taking and teaching classes at FPC, I love to pop into a modern dance class. I spent 9-yrs as a professional dancer before getting into pre & postnatal fitness. I love taking class because I have to trust that my body has done the strengthening and cross training that it needs and tap into the creative part of my brain instead. I love the process of finding the artistry within every movement.
How did that become your thing?
I was a hyperactive child and my parents put me in dance to give me an outlet. I actually used to cry and complain before every class and didn’t fall in love with it until my teenage years. From there, it grew into an obsession and I ended up graduating from college with a BA in dance. From there I moved to NYC to pursue a dance career and ended up dancing professionally for 9 yrs before devoting my life and passion to pre/postnatal fitness and then opening FPC.
How has training physically changed you mentally or emotionally?
A longtime mentor of mine, Erin Stutland says, “Movement in your body creates movement in your life.” I am a living, breathing example of this. Physical movement has always been my outlet for emotions, overcoming stress, difficulties, helping me make decisions and what I find to be my perfect form of self expression. Even though I've devoted my most recent career to the science behind movement and strength training, on a personal level, it’s more like a religion or form of mediation.
What is still hard for you about your training, fitness or nutrition?
Lately, the hardest thing about training is finding time for it. As a business owner, mother to a 2-yr old and teaching 10+ classes a week, it’s hard to take the time for myself to move in a way that brings me that spiritual-like experience I’m constantly craving from it.
What is the mantra in your head that you hear most often when you train?
Ironically, it’s something that started off as my pregnancy and birth mantra. I had a really tough pregnancy with morning sickness until 20 weeks and an even more difficult (73 hr) labor that ended in a C-section. I had the phrase “I’m stronger than I think I am” on a post it note inside my medicine cabinet and would repeat it to myself every day. During labor, my husband reminded me of it many times. It got me through the most difficult physical task I’ve ever had to endure. Now I share it during the cardio portion of class with my pregnant clients.
What do you love most about your body?
The fact that I’m 37 and can confidently say, I get stronger, more aligned and understand my body on a deeper level with every passing year. I can’t wait to see what this body can accomplish and knows by the time I’m 80!
If you have worked with a coach, what’s the most important lesson you learned from that person?
The most influential “coaches” I’ve had were all dance artists. HT Chen, the choreographer of the company I danced with for many years taught me to accept no boundaries, constantly push beyond my comfort zone and never accept anything less than personal perfection. They seem like cliche life lessons but when you take a lesson and physically push those boundaries with your own body, they become deeply ingrained and manifest in ways that seep into every aspect of your life.
What is your fave nutrition tip? Or if you have tried a FiTONIC product, how do you use it in your day?
I’m certified as a holistic health coach and that program changed my entire relationship with food. I never count or restrict calories. If I want a “treat”, I have it. I eat a super healthy, balanced diet and deeply enjoy food, meal planning and cooking. So much of that love has come from learning as much as I can about nutrition and food as a source of energy. When you see it as a source of energy for your body, you start to crave the most efficient, high quality fuel you can get your hands on! The more you understand something, the more you respect it.
If you could tell only one thing to every woman who is struggling in her fitness journey, what would that be?
If you don’t love the type of fitness you are doing, don’t do it! So many women think that “fitness” has to look a specific way, like going to a bootcamp class that they dread or running 2 miles when they hate to run. Your body is your home. Keep that concept sacred and don't’ subject yourself to anything you don’t find enjoyment in. Life is too short for that. There are so many options for classes, trainers, and types of workouts. There’s really something out there for everyone.
What goal are you going to crush next??
I’m pouring my blood, sweat, and tears into growing FPC into a global movement for pregnant and postpartum women. It’s an under served population and the current market is full of options that are either unsafe or not fun! We’re determined to make FPC a household name for every woman going through pregnancy to ensure they make a complete postpartum recovery. There’s no reason women should have to feel like they’ve compromised their bodies because of having children. The science behind our workout will help them create a deeper understanding of their body, overcome their personal muscular imbalances and move into motherhood as the strongest version of themselves possible.
BIG thank you to Joanie for being our FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight!
You can connect with her at: