Jan Ikeda, DPT
Growing up in Harleysville PA (outside of Philadelphia), I was always my parent’s quiet child — shy and preferred drawing by myself, instead of running around outside with my sister and our friends. Other adults would comment on how respectful and kind I was, but little did they know, I was one of the most stubborn people around. I was terrified to try anything new, which made enrolling in activities a difficult process for all parties involved. Swimming was the exception. There was just something different about being in the water and constantly being able to try and keep up with and eventually surpass the people swimming around me. My silent competitiveness was no longer silent with swimming. Swimming, and the pool, became my second home and my escape from everyday life. So when it came to choosing a college, I cared more about what the pool looked and felt like than the dorm rooms. Lebanon Valley College had everything that I needed—a pool, a coach that became my second mom, and physical therapy.
The sport went on to influence my studies. In high school, I took interest in physical therapy when I helped my neighbor with her study on swimmers’ shoulders. I couldn’t think of a better job than to be able to work with swimmers and help them regain full physical capability. Needless to say, I don’t work with swimmers directly everyday, but I’m now able to translate my years of training and knowledge of exercise to help people return to what they love to do.
When you meet me, you will realize I’m no longer the shy person I was as a small child. People often say I’m a little too peppy in the morning, but there’s no hope in changing that after 15 years of swimming at the crack of dawn! I now realize that my fear of trying new things stemmed from a fear of failure; fortunately, that fear of failure has since transcended into a competitive spirit. I wanted to be the best student that I could, the best swimmer that I could, and now I want to be the best PT that I can.
I help coach the Lebanon Valley College swim team.
I love research and research to discover the best treatment options.
I have a published drawing in a physical therapy book.
I love to be active, whether I am just lifting weights, running, or hiking.
I enjoy painting (oil painting is my favorite) and expressing myself artistically (usually reflected in my clothes and shoes).
I would consider myself a Master of Shopping, which is great since I am very frugal person.
I love organizing things.
I am just about always cold.
My favorite color is purple.
My boyfriend tells me I am going to become diabetic since I love sweets and desserts so much.
I am half Japanese and half German—my grandparents were in Arizona internment camps during WWII.
Sometimes I like to chop off all of my hair when my life gets boring.
I like to beat my boyfriend in Settlers of Catan (a strategy board game).