Abby Wambach's Penchant for Pain
We recently sat down with Abby Wambach, the US women’s soccer team’s prolific goal scorer. To get a sneak peek into this amazing athete's mind, read what she had to say about suffering, breaking her leg before the 2008 Olympics, and how she trains like Lance Armstrong.
You know it was really hard because you can break it down into different categories: emotional, mental, and physical. The physical aspect was probably the easiest part of the recovery process. It was a very difficult time for me because I missed out on an Olympics and so few get the chance to represent their country and come home with gold. I like to say that I have a little bit of a love affair with the game and I was mad at the game for a while because it took me away from something I had worked so hard to attain. And that’s ok. It’s not all peaches and cream everyday for a professional athlete. There are days that some of us suffer—whether it’s injury or your body just being taxed—that’s part of what separates the people who stick to this as a lifelong career and some who don’t.
On going to London after missing the 2008 Beijing Olympics
I don’t know if it changes my perspective. It excites me. It gives me more motivation. Not to mention the World Cup last summer—getting so close and just falling short—that gives us more motivation. We want to give our fans something to cheer about. For me, that’s maybe the most important thing. When you’re young you tend to focus on how you’re going to get further on in this business, how you’re going to achieve certain accolades. And now it’s become more about how are we going to do it, how am I going to get my fans the kind of success that they deserve.
On working with a strength and conditioning coach
She [Dawn Scott] likes to call me her little project. I am a bit of a freak of nature in that I can go a long way without doing much. In college I would show up a little unfit and still be able to pass the fitness test. But then when I want to get into something, I turn it on, and I’m no holds barred. So she likes to challenge me in certain ways that maybe other people wouldn’t fare so well in. I enjoy the process. It’s like when Lance Armstrong is on his bike and he’s suffering. You can see that he enjoys the suffer. And for specific periods of time, I also enjoy suffering a little bit.
Did you know Abby is a budding foodie? Read more about her nutrition regimen and then enter to win a chance to train privately with the star.
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