The girl is inspiring: This year, she won gold at the Olympics as a member of the 2012 US Women's National soccer team, and at only 23 years old, Alex Morgan has been speculated to be "the next face of women's soccer" and compared to the likes of Mia Hamm. In just a few short years, she's become wildly known on the soccer field for her ability to score as well as her general, all-around talent. Recently, we had the chance to sit down with the soccer superstar during a visit to New York City and discovered 10 new reasons why we love this dedicated athlete.
1. She's not afraid of a catwalk.
While in New York for Fashion Week, Morgan teamed up with STYLE360 and the game "Just Dance 4" to walk in the Just Dance 4 Fashion Show alongside Kendall Jenner. "I'm going to be in outfits inspired by the games Color and Energy, and they've teamed up with an upcoming designer so there will be really bright outfits," she said before the show. The runway first-timer wasn't worried about her walk. "I think it will be fine. You know, as long as you display confidence," she said.
She admits that she's a big fan of the game and says it's a great way to get her heart rate up and have fun at the same time. "I've had 'Just Dance' before and I've played it with my friends and my family, so it's really fun to be able to continue the relationship and be able to walk in their show." The new game is due out on October 9.
2. She's a family gal.
Her sisters and parents supported her and drove her to achieve her best. "My family is pretty competitive. I have two older sisters; they are four and six years older. I was always like, 'I can run as fast as you; I can do this too!' My dad was always the one helping me when I needed someone to go out on the field to work out with. So I had that support system back home and then it carried on through college and beyond that. My parents traveled across the world to see me play every week. They spend all their vacation time at work to see me play. Basically they sacrifice all their free time in life and devote it to my sisters and me. [Playing well is about] making them proud of who I've become and what I've accomplished."
3. She admits she's not naturally a runner.
We know she can speed around the field like lightening, but when it comes to going on runs for exercise, Morgan needs a workout playlist to keep her company. "If I didn't run with an iPod, I would probably last 10 minutes. I like to find fun techno rap pop mixes that are re-mixes of pop songs that keep my energy up and focus on something other than almost dying while working out." Some of her favorite jams? Wide Awake by Katy Perry and What Makes You Stronger by Kelly Clarkson.
4. She knows how to indulge wisely.
"I really like a good burger. Sometimes when I go home, I really have to limit myself 'cause there's such good food around the LA area and by the beach. So when I go home for a week or two, I tell myself, 'Okay, I can only go to In and Out Burger once.' Obviously I love to indulge in those types of foods, but it's not the best for an athlete who's trying to get in an hours-long workout every day," she says.
5. She's always pushing herself physically.
"Being a professional athlete for the last couple of years, I'm always try to improve my game. I like to do interval runs and push myself a lot rather than just take a jog here and there. A typical day running on the beach, I'll do 1 to 4 hard minutes—so sprinting or really fast-paced striding—and then I'll give myself a minute of slow jogging to catch my breath. That gets your heart rate up and down and really improves your fitness."
6. She's a healthy snacker.
"I really like trail mixes with fruit and nuts, especially pistachios or walnuts. It's a good healthy snack. I also like fruit like apples or pears. [It's] something simple you can grab at lunch and then keep for a couple hours later," she says.
7. She knows her beauty brands.
She keeps her beauty routine pretty simple, but she definitely has a few favorite brands. "I like just a simple mascara that doesn't add volume but just a little bit of length. Benefit has a really one. I also wear really light makeup, like a tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier. For skincare, I like a really light moisturizer with SPF since I'm always in the sun. Olay has a simple moisturizer with SPF 15 or 30 that I throw on in the mornings," she says.
8. She has determination like you would not believe.
She knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a professional athlete, and even though she had bumps in the road, she persevered. "I actually tore my ACL in my knee when I was 17 years old, and that kind of brought me down a little bit, but after a couple of months I realized nothing was going to hold me back. [I knew] if I really wanted to do this, I could achieve it. And from that point on, I was all in. Soccer was priority; it's what I focused on. When my friends were going out on lunch dates and going out on the weekends, I was going to bed early and getting up early to get a workout in. The way I always thought of things is if you know that your teammates are working hard and going to the gym on their days off, then you need to do more than them to get to where you want to be," she says.
9. She eats balanced meals.
"I always try to have a variety of things. I like to have my protein, greens, and carbs. I usually have chicken, fish, or steak with fruit salad, broccoli and asparagus, and maybe a small baked potato or portion of pasta or mac and cheese. I do need carbs after I work out, so they're a huge part of my diet."
10. She makes working out a party.
She's always training on the field during the season, but during off-season, working out is all about trying new things. "Off-season is more about having fun and including my friends and family in workouts like playing 'Just Dance.' I also tried both Flywheel and SoulCycle in New York City. I wanted to compare the two. It's a good way to mix it up, add a lot of energy, and a lot of music. Those are the two things I tried recently, but I'm open to anything," she says.
You can work out with us any day, Alex! You are one inspiring young woman.