Christie Rampone is not your average soccer mom. When she shuttles her two young daughters, Riley and Reece, to soccer games and practices, there are three bags of gear — one for Riley, one for Reece and one for mom.
That’s right — Riley and Reece’s mother is the Christie Rampone, captain of the U.S. soccer team and four-time Olympian. Her status as a soccer legend is remarkable, but achieving it as mother of two makes her a certified Fit Bottomed Bad-ass. We recently sat down with the “Ultimate Soccer Mom” to find out how she balances family life, her soccer career and 200 days of travel (!!!) per year.
FBG: I love that people know you as the “Ultimate Soccer Mom!” How did you get that nickname? I think it was the combination of continuing to play soccer at my age while having two kids. The nickname started to surface after I had my daughter, Riley, in 2010. I was the captain of the team at that time, and as I started to juggle all the moving parts of our lives, “ultimate soccer mom” started to stick.
FBG: You were back on the soccer field three months after giving birth to your second child, Reece. That’s amazing! How did you even do that? What tips do you have for new moms looking to get active again? It was easier coming back the second time; after having Riley (four years prior) there was more downtime. The most important thing I learned is that the mom-to-be should keep up with her standard work-out plan for as long as she can. Do what you have been doing all along — if/when she gets tired, slow down or scale back. Most importantly, though, she should be fit going into her pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the time to suddenly start an intense workout plan!
Once the baby arrives, a six-week recovery is critical. Take that time to rest! It helps Mom get back into shape faster, with more ease.
FBG: Your kids are a big part of your life. Do they share your love for the high-energy lifestyle? What kinds of sports and activities do you like to do together? Yes! They love the high-energy lifestyle. From the time they were 6 weeks old they have been traveling and watching Mom train. I don’t want to put influence or pressure on kids to do what Mom does. Though they both chose to play soccer, they know they don’t have to be soccer stars! I want them to find their own passion.
Riley is in soccer, basketball, and gymnastics — and now she is adding hip-hop dancing, theater and arts. She loves to sing! Reece just started soccer this fall.
FBG: How many days out of the year are you on the road? Does your family travel with you? I’m on the road approximately 200 to 250 days per year; more in Olympic years, less on down years. And yes, I travel with my two girls. Because she is not yet in school, Reece travels everywhere. Riley will come on the long weekends if I am gone for more than 2 weeks, usually arriving after school on Thursday and returning on Sunday night. My husband, Chris, travels with Riley.
FBG: In addition to being the “Ultimate Soccer Mom” and a heavy training/competition schedule, you’re a small business owner and a spokesperson. What’s the best advice you have received for balancing it all? Be honest with yourself and do what you can. People tend to get overwhelmed when they try to do too much. Be honest and organized to get through the day-to-day. Also, it’s important to keep your health up year-round. If mom isn’t healthy, it’s hard to keep the family healthy!
FBG: That’s a good point. It’s so hard to avoid illness while traveling, but especially so when you have kids in tow. What are your “must-have” items for keeping you (and your family!) healthy on the road?
- EpiCor is the one thing I take all the time in terms of supplements. It’s so critical for immune strength. Drink mixes make it easy to add to water. Keep it in the travel bag!
- I always stay mindful of healthy foods, because we do a lot of eating in hotels. I pack foods like fruit and healthy snack bars.
- Wherever I am, I always try to find a place where my family can be active. Be mindful of getting the kids moving! Find ways to exercise on the go, even if it’s just taking a walk in the park or a shopping area.
- FRS Energy is a must for Chris and I — we need energy to get through the days!
- I’m always on the lookout for Jersey Mike Subs, which is a taste of home for me (and can be healthier than some other fast-food restaurants on the road).
- A water bottle. Stay hydrated!
Fellow FBGs, what are your tips for balancing family and fitness? —Susan