PITTSBURGH, PA (WTAP) –
Jana Meister, a resident of Marietta, Ohio. lives a very busy life where she has two jobs.
During the day, Jana works as an occupational therapist at Marietta Memorial, and when her full-time job ends, she drives two and a half hours north to Pittsburgh, where she plays for the Women’s Football Alliance’s Pittsburgh Passion.
“So I actually came to Pittsburgh to do my masters in occupational therapy. I was going through a really tough time in my life when I met the Passion. One night I happened to be out and a couple of people saw me and said I looked like an athlete. Do you enjoy football? And I said yeah absolutely I love football which I’ve played since I was little. And they said, “Listen, have you ever heard of the Passion, and I was a little bit familiar with it, but not really. And they were like you should come out for an interview. I got in touch with one of the trainers and she contacted me. I came to try out. We were only a month away from launching the first game. I went to practice and literally walked in and never left.”
Jana started playing football in 2019 but the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the last two seasons but despite the time off she couldn’t wait to get back on the field with her team.
“It’s been a mental challenge having a two-year break from football because when you’re a natural athlete who just gets to date and loves playing a sport, you take two years off and it’s at such a big one Become part of your identity that is missing. So for me it was really hard. I won’t lie, I was like a little kid throwing a tantrum out here because I couldn’t play. And it’s tough for me to be so far away because teammates who live in Pittsburgh, they can be together, they can still have that camaraderie, they can still get together and go onto a field, and I’m two hours somehow removed from me. So I went to the gym a lot trying to get my bearings and when we came back it was just amazing to be back with teammates and have that kind of energy. And then to land on that field for the first time when you touch the turf was incredible.”
Born and raised in Chicago, her education took her to Pittsburgh to earn her degree in Occupational Therapy.
Her game and skills on the field earned her a spot to play football with Team USA and compete against other countries in Finland.
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