High Performance Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine

Dr. Lara Johnson, PT, DPT, MS – Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention, and Sports Training. Located in Boulder, Colorado

Return to Colorful Colorado

I have had the good fortune to return to my home state of Colorado after many years of moving farther and farther away. And what better place to land than in Boulder, home of the outdoor enthusiasts, the activity addicted, the friendly foodies. I all but vibrate with excitement over the fancy bicycles that speed by and the multitude of runners, of all types, and on all types of runs from road to trail to path to track. And don’t leave out the year-round outdoor pools, for those of us who wish to keep our workouts outside regardless of the temperatures or precipitation.  Couple these fun and active individuals with entrepreneurial businesses (food, health, gear) and a collective love of the outdoors and sunshine, and this is one wonderful and amazing place to live.

I have lived in many wonderful places in between my start and return to the mountain state. Although Nebraska does not sound to most people like the most exciting place to be, my collegiate experiences more than made up for the lack of overall hills and trees. In fact, our home Cross Country race course was the hilliest and hardest I’ve ever run, set in Brickyard Park in Hastings, NE, the course wound up, down, through, and around a bowl-shaped grass- and woodchip-laden park. And your efforts are rewarded by brick-colored tainting to your shoe soles after the race or workout. Long runs and workouts with to-be-lifetime friends underscore these college memories. That and lots and lots of corn fields.

A long drive while watching the changing countryside brought me to North Carolina for graduate school. Consistent beauty on the Wake Forest campus must be credited to the University’s landscaping team. While Spring rolls around early in March with green grass and blooming flowers, summer is prone to high humidity, though winter is comparatively mild with sporadic ice storms. Groomed campus trail loops, and fast track workouts with the team were highlights of this running chapter. A bonus collegiate season was just what I needed to feel at home at the school and on the track. Even though I was teaching the undergraduates in the classroom, I was enjoying running with them in workouts and races. This, combined with my coursework in Health and Exercise Science, made for an exceptional graduate experience.

My next experiences came in the form of professional employment, and took me north to Boston. A city full of history. And successful pro sports teams. And runners. And colleges. And hospitals. A great place for employment in academics and health care. And for athletic pursuit. Boston fever took hold on this this middle distance runner as I felt the need to go for the marathon (among other distances). And, thanks to consistency along the way, and to great coaches and teammates in the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) running club, I found continued personal bests in every distance. Boston stretched me to the capacity of my creative means of commute, as I went from riding the train to bike commuting to running all of my commutes from home and back. I will miss the sun rising and gleaming off the Charles River, the dark workouts at the Harvard track, quieter trails along the Emerald Necklace, but most especially the wonderful friends I had the opportunity to chat with over hours and hours of running.

As I sadly say farewell to Boston, I excitedly welcome new friends and experiences in Boulder. As I return to my sunny home, I am already enjoying exploring the trails, swimming outside in the winter, and taking the bike out for a spin. I am proud to move forward while having been shaped by many wonderful people along the way: educators, friends, running partners, clients, classmates, patients, students, study participants, colleagues, and mentors. So on this return to home, I remain the same person who traveled away, though altered and still growing, and I enthusiastically await a new wave of such wonderful people to come along and help shape my life as I hope to do the same for them.

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