Fifteen years ago today, Brandi Chastain became an inspiration to girls and women of all ages as she scored the penalty kick against China to break a two-hour-plus long tie and win the 1999 Women’s World Cup for the U.S. (And who can forget the rock-hard six-pack she revealed as she ripped off her shirt to celebrate?)
We caught up with the now-45-year-old to reflect on that historical moment and learn how she’s staying in shape.
Shape: Looking back 15 years later, what did that moment mean for you?
Brandi Chastain (BC): For all of us who were involved with the national team in the ’99 World Cup Game, it was a lifelong commitment to being the best that we could be and to ultimately bring all of that into play during the entire tournament. When Briana Scurry (U.S. goalkeeper) made the block on China’s third kicker, I knew right away that we would win the game. We had already made three kicks ourselves and that was such a huge turning point. It just solidified the confidence I had, and I knew we would win.
Shape: Soccer is still very much a part of your life—tell us about the teams you’re working with.
BC: I’m the proud full-time volunteer assistant coach for Santa Clara (CA) University women’s soccer team. We have a really strong tradition. The team has been Division 1 National Champions, and we’ve produced multiple national team players. Secondly, I’m the proud assistant coach of my son’s age 8 and younger boys’ soccer team, which I absolutely love. It’s fantastic—I get to be a soccer mom and a soccer coach. I try to share with him the things I’ve learned on the field. They like to win the games, and I like to help them develop the skill. It’s a challenge, but it’s time super well spent.
Shape: How are you staying in shape these days?
BC: I do everything. I love moving and being active. I’m training for the 2nd Annual MoonWalk NYC on July 26. It’s a 26.2-mile walk raising funds for breast cancer research. I’ve recruited two of my friends to walk with me and help raise money. It’s great to be able to impact someone’s life in a positive way by just simply exercising. Also, it’s incredible to see the city go from night to early hours of the morning.
Shape: And what’s a typical workout routine like?
BC: I started a fitness class with 10 to 12 moms from my son’s school. I put out all the equipment—bands, weights, and yoga mats—in the school parking lot. We start with some type of interval training where we run hard for 20 seconds then jog for 20 seconds, and repeat that sequence for a half hour. Then I run them through a series of weight exercises or bodyweight exercises, whether it’s planks and pushups or upper-body and band work. Sometimes we mix it up by going on a trail hike or incorporating soccer or basketballs into the workout.
Shape: Tell us about the Care Inspires Care Program you’re involved in.
BC: I love that this program looks to inspire people to spread care through acts both big and small, the idea being that one act will inspire another and another. As a mom, I know how important it is for parents to teach their kids to be caring people and about the effect it has on others and the world as a whole. I also think it’s phenomenal that Johnson & Johnson has worked with FIFA to standardize for the first time an on-the-field emergency medical bag. It’s got over 300 life-saving medical supplies to address various scenarios that could arise.