local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 previous edition

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Friday — April 23, 2004


Gimme Five


Helping people heal is John Koth’s MO. A physical therapist in Ketchum since 1991, Koth estimates he has helped thousands of people return to their pre-injury level of health.

Koth, 38, originally hails from Chariton, Iowa. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Oregon, but he made his allegiance perfectly clear.

We’re not quite sure what John Koth uses the lariat for at work, but he seems quite happy about it.

"I am not a Duck. I am a Hawkeye," he stated. "Where you get drunk in undergrad is what you are. I did not do very much tailgating working on my masters."

Koth employs such clear-eyed resolution to his career as well. On July 1, 2003 he started Koth Sports Physical Therapy. His wife of 16 years and high-school sweetheart, Sherri, helps him run the business and the pair is aided by physical therapist Karoline Droege.

We caught up with John at his office on Wednesday.

JZ: How rewarding is it to help people regain their health?

JK: Seeing people who are hurt, who at some point can’t even walk across the street or are in so much pain, get back to doing what they like to do is 100 percent. Being on a mountain bike in the middle of nowhere and seeing someone you rehabbed is pretty cool.

JZ: What is the hardest part of your job?

JK: Living with the negative aspect of someone’s life. For most people getting injured is their darkest day. Keeping them believing that they will return to their chosen activity or they won’t be in pain any longer.

JZ: What is the worst injury you have ever seen?

JK: Probably the woman who hurt herself two years in a row. One year she had a tibial plateau fracture in her left leg, and the following year she broke the tibial plateau of her right leg and the entire tibia (skiing). The combination of the two injuries was terrible.

JZ: What was the most amazing recovery?

JK: In terms of recovery, a patient broke her arm, her femur, and pelvis and returned to all of her pre-injury activities with no repercussions.

JZ: How important is attitude in healing?

JK: It is the most important part. Attitude is 80 percent and genetics 20 percent. The body will heal itself. People have to work hard, believe in themselves and what they are doing.

JZ: How do you blow off steam?

JK: Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking and playing with a four-year old.

JZ: Have you ever hurt yourself?

JK: I have had my knee scoped, fractured my clavicle, fractured my jaw. Two of those three were mountain bike injuries. There is a certain amount of luck in not getting injured. We see people who are very experienced in what they do and they still get injured. When you take your body above and beyond what it is designed to do you can get hurt. That is what people in this town do.

JZ: If you could be any athlete who would you be and why?

JK: Dan Gable. He has the hardest work ethic I have ever seen in a person and is an all around well-rounded human being. (Gable was 118-1 as a wrestler at Iowa State, and won a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics. He is the Hawkeye’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 355-21-5, including 15 NCAA titles and 22 consecutive Big Ten Conference championships.) Not necessarily for his records, but for what he could do to motivate every level of person. He took wrestlers that had potential and made them great and took great wrestlers and made them even better.

JZ: Do you have a hero?

JK: Hero is a word that is overused. There are a lot of people I look up to, like my father. He is a retired Methodist minister. He was very good at motivating, listening and helping people with words as much as physical actions.

JZ: What surprises you about people?

JK: Their insecurities. There are a lot of people that you look at and think they have it totally together. Nobody is totally confident, but they are all human.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.