Home PeopleHoboken Girl of the Week Hoboken Girl of the Week: Lisa Hantman {Founder of The Inner Athlete}

Hoboken Girl of the Week: Lisa Hantman {Founder of The Inner Athlete}

by Tamara
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When Lisa Hantman decided to start The Inner Athlete {located in the Monroe Center in Hoboken}, she had no grand plan or business model — only a $5,000 business loan from her father — and thought that her idea could be a part-time job or hobby. But little did she know that she would soon be creating a haven for kids that would require a full-time focus, complete with community programming and multi-sport classes.


A little back story:

Graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst {with a communications degree} and working in TV production for a few years, Lisa Hantman was left feeling unfulfilled. She realized she was not following her true passion — teaching, motivating, and working with children. Fast-forward several years, and she decided to follow her dreams and attained a Masters degree in physical education and health.

“I knew that exposing children to activities that would enhance their lives and health was my true calling — showing young people a similar fulfillment that I had found in sports and movement,” she explained. Throughout her graduate studies, Lisa worked as a full-time caregiver to a child with special needs which she felt greatly prepared her for success as a teacher and mentor to children with a ride range of abilities.

But her degree in PE didn’t stop there. Lisa quickly started to feel very passionately about physical education in schools and the feeling that it was not enough in today’s society. “Children are not receiving adequate time in PE class, recess, or even outside of school to reap the benefits physical activity and sports offer children physically, emotionally, and socially. From the Pre-K to high school level, the education system is rapidly turning away from organized and recreational play which is having horrific effects on our children.” She continued, “With so much emphasis on test scores, PE class is becoming a thing of the past. As a result, we have seen a rise in childhood obesity, diabetes, and a generation of sedentary children,” and so she decided to do something about it, launching The Inner Athlete {now located in the Monroe Center Suite C409}.

“My goal for TIA is to help each child in discovering physical activities they enjoy and feel confident doing eventually leading to the love and appreciation of lifelong health and wellness.” TIA does just that — offers sports-focused classes for children from ages from 1.5 – 6 years old, special needs classes, holiday camps, birthday parties, and enrichment programs for local daycares and preschools.


During the first year and a half of The Inner Athlete, Lisa taught full time as a health and PE teacher in Irvington. Putting in the time and energy necessary was beyond challenging. But as many side hustlers experience, she found herself working from the moment she got out of school, to midnight most days, trying to get the word out about TIA — and a nonexistent social life {on her own account}.

The problem, Lisa recalls, is getting parents to be interested in physical activities for their {very} little ones. “Once I got a few kids to experience a TIA class and parents understood what TIA was all about, it took off immediately. This is just another thing I love about Hoboken. It is such a tightly-knit community, and once people experience something great, they want to share it. I am forever grateful for this.”

Lisa opened her first brick & mortar, the TIA Sports Center in The Monroe Center, in December of 2015. But it hasn’t all been easy, she recounts. “It was hard and sometimes lonely being a sole business owner. However, it is equally rewarding seeing what is possible when you put 100% of yourself into something you love and believe in.”

With the help and support of her family, friends, and other local business, TIA has become a staple of the community in Hoboken, giving children a healthy outlet that encourages healthy habits, socialization.

Of course we couldn’t let this impressive HG of the Week get away without answering our HG Qs. So here goes:

What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?

Robongi is my absolute favorite restaurant in Hoboken.


What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?

Townhouse— love their clothes!

What do you love most about Hoboken?

I love the community feel that Hoboken has. Hoboken makes me feel safe and comfortable while always being exciting with fun things to do.



What is your favorite thing to do in Hoboken?

My favorite thing to do in Hoboken is to go for a run along the most beautiful waterfront in the world.

How long have you lived and/or worked in Hoboken?

I lived in Hoboken for 8 years from 2006-2013, but have now moved up the hill to Jersey City Heights, luckily only a quick elevator ride away.

What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken?

City Bistro and Pier 13 are awesome!

What is your favorite place to work out in Hoboken?

There is no shortage of places to work out in Hoboken. Local Barre, Work it Out, and Prime Cycle are amazing. My new favorite workout is an amazing hip hop class at Crunch Gym called Hard Knocks. The instructor is the best one I have EVER had.

work it out hoboken 5 years

Where do you go out with friends in Hoboken?

Me and my friends like to hang out at City Bistro, Maxwell’s, Pier 14, and so many others. The social scene in Hoboken is one in a million!

What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken?

 Venues for live music would be a huge plus.


Needless to say, our HG of the Week is pretty impressive. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @theinnerathlete or to reach out directly, email lisa@theinnerathlete.net.

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