Butler grad Beth Lohman: the HRC’s MVP


Photo by Mike Andrews

Photo by Mike Andrews

You may find Beth Lohman teaching a group fitness class in the Health and Recreation Complex. You might also spot her in the office overseeing the massage therapy and risk management programs at Butler.

But you could also catch her watching “Pitch Perfect” in her pajamas with the rest of the fitness staff.

Lohman, Butler’s assistant director of fitness, said she strongly believes in a work-life balance. She invites her fellow instructors over to her house once a month as one of the ways to keep that balance.

After graduating from Butler in 2003 with a degree in international business and Spanish, Lohman decided to return to the university. This time, she was a part of the staff.

While working as an admissions counselor on campus, she said she found her love for interacting with students. Lohman then left Butler and taught group fitness classes around Indianapolis.

When a job opened up at the HRC that combined her love for students and fitness, she said she couldn’t resist venturing back to the “Butler Bubble.”

“I have this philosophy in life that things take you where they’re supposed to,” Lohman said. “If you look back at my life, you can see that pattern coming together. I love working with students. I love fitness. Here’s this opportunity to do both.”

 Junior Anna Mihelich, a group fitness instructor for the Insanity class, said she appreciates that her boss can relate to the staff.

“She really takes the time to get to know everyone personally,” she said. “I’ve worked quite a few different jobs, and she’s definitely the best boss I’ve ever had.”

Lohman developed a reputation for enthusiasm and positivity from her peers. She said she strives to maintain a close relationship with Butler students, helping them overcome their personal fitness obstacles with an optimistic approach.

Lohman said seeing students succeed is just as rewarding for her.

“I just have the desire to help people really get passionate about what they’re doing in the moment,” Lohman said. “My vision for life is not forcing people to do things, but showing them that they have the power within themselves to accomplish their goals.”

Sarah Barnes Diaz, health education and outreach programs coordinator, said she noticed Lohman’s enthusiasm when she joined the fitness staff.

“Never have I encountered a situation with Beth where I came to her with an idea and she said, ‘No, that’s not something I can take on,’” she said. “She approaches things from a very logical perspective.”

Lohman also takes time to assist her colleagues in improving their everyday health.

For Mihelich, this came in the form of advice not generally given out: to take more time for herself.

“Being in physician-assistant school, I’m very busy and stressed,” she said. “But now, I make sure I take an hour of the day for myself, and (Lohman) loves that.”

As a former Butler student, Lohman said she knows the challenges that come with a busy schedule and encourages everyone who needs a bit of motivation to start off simple.

“Ask yourself: ‘Could I pick up the pace during my walk to class?’” Lohman said.   “‘Could I grab a friend and walk with coffee instead of sitting in Starbucks today?’ Just adding little things into what you already do, that’s fitness.”

Lohman said she plans to further develop initiatives at the HRC in the coming years, while also taking on a new adventure of her own back at home.

“I’m currently 16-weeks pregnant and am starting a family,” Lohman said. “My dream would be to work at Butler with students, not just in fitness, but in wellness coaching.”

She said she will continue to encourage others to live a life of balance and optimism.

“A couple of us on the fitness staff joke that we want to be her,” Mihelich said. “She is definitely a big role model. I honestly can’t see the gym running without her.”


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