Megan Rapinoe is in top form at 36 years old and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Just this summer, the soccer legend scored two goals against Australia to help the national team win bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
The USWNT star reveals that her remarkable career longevity is thanks in large part to her fiancée Sue Bird.
Rapinoe stopped by the Snacks podcast to talk with teammates Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis about the diet and exercise changes she made at age 30 when Bird walked into her life.
“I feel like that’s kind of just about the time where your body just kind of changes anyways,” says Rapinoe about the end of her 20s, when she was coming off her third ACL tear.
“You go the first part of your career, and you can kind of just do what you’re doing… but then there comes this time where you need to change something or you just get old really fast.”
That’s when future WNBA Hall of Famer Sue Bird entered the picture.
“I got really lucky because I met Sue, and Sue is five years older than me, and she kind of went through this period.”
As part of her own return from injury, Bird had implemented a new diet and exercise regime.
“Of course, I was smitten, in love, and I was like, ‘I’ll just pretty much do whatever Sue’s doing,'” remembers Rapinoe.
At the time, Rapinoe was also getting considerably less playing time with the national team after kneeling in support of Colin Kaepernick.
“I was a little on the outs with Jill [Ellis] and the National Team because of the whole kneeling situation. They didn’t really take well to that.”
Because she wasn’t being invited into national team camp, Rapinoe had a lot more time to experiment with her diet and exercise.
“I was just like working out and eating the way Sue did,” says Rapinoe, “It wasn’t like I drastically changed everything, but it was more what I was eating and when.”
The diet switch-up included “Sue’s famous breakfast sandwich,” which consists of an english muffin, over hard eggs, onions, and sauteed spinach. It also meant cutting out a lot of carbs, especially earlier in the day.
Even with the strict diet in place, Rapinoe says she still finds time for charcuterie boards, wine, pizza, and fried chicken every now and again, saying “You can’t drive yourself nuts” if you get too obsessed with your diet.
Listen to the full conversation with Rapinoe for more on her historic career and her life with Bird here.
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