Lori Lindsey on life after professional soccer and Ambitious Athletics

You may have already figured this out, but I am not a professional athlete. Up until a couple weeks ago, I had never even talked to one. So when I had the opportunity to talk to a former member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, I felt like a robot trying to understand human emotion. Only I was a human trying to understand soccer. What is midfielder?  Tell me human, how are soccer?   You know, just the usual questions you ask someone who has played at a professional caliber for over half of their life.

Out athlete and trainer Lori Lindsey was kind enough to answer my questions about Ambitious Athletics, what a midfielder is, and most importantly—how many windbreakers she owns. 

Canberra United Headshots Session

AfterEllen.com: I read in your Open Love Letter To Soccer that there was a time that you only practiced when you “had to” and then something changed.  Do you remember the specific moment when your heart changed towards soccer?  

Lori Lindsey: Around 7th grade I got pretty burnt out from playing as I have a brother who is two years older than I am and our dad was our coach. I was playing quite a bit of soccer and being pushed at an early age. So I took a season off to focus on basketball and my budding acting career (I was convinced I was headed straight for Hollywood), but after having a little time away, I realized how much I missed soccer.

From that point on I started training on my own and working hard for myself and not to make my dad happy. That’s when I really fell in love with the game.


AE: I grew up in a small town where football, volleyball, and basketball were the main sports.  Can you explain to some one like me what a midfielder is? 

LL: A midfielder is like a quarterback or a point guard. We’re like the engine of the team.  Most of the play goes through the midfielders and we’re expected to control the ball and the flow of the game. In most cases we run the most as well as we’re expected to help prevent goals and help score goals. All in all, it’s the best position on the field.


AE: Do you even lift, bro?  Seriously, I read that you mainly do strength and conditioning training. Do you mind giving an example of what one of your typical workouts look like?

LL: Yes, I do lift weights and I credit strength training as one of the main factors for the longevity of my playing career. My training sessions can vary greatly depending on the day of the week, but here’s an example of a strength-based session:

A1) MB Slam

A2) EZ Slider Tuck (Core exercise)

B1) DB Overhead Press

B2) KB Reverse Lunge

C1) Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

C2) Pull-Up

D) Sled Pushes

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AE: What is a typical soccer training session look like?  I imagine its just running, but there has to be more, right?

LL: There’s definitely a lot more going on in a training session than running.  A general set up would entail a warm-up, a technical (ball skill) component, some position specific training, and then a playing portion.


AE: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced while training?  How did you move past this?

LL: The fitness portion of training was the toughest. I was always fit, but it was an area in which I worked really hard. It’s difficult to push yourself to the limit day in and day out, but it was something I had to do to stay on par or ahead of my competition.


AE: What’s it like being a professional athlete? Are you always in windbreakers? Kidding! But seriously, what’s it like being a professional athlete?

LL: It’s an amazing feeling to be a professional athlete.  Most professional athletes I’ve come across (if not all) have put countless hours into their training for years, and are now living their dream.

It’s definitely hard work though. It’s competitive, cutthroat, and you’re expected to be at your very best one day of the week.  So there’s definitely an intense mental component to it as well.  But, in my case, I chased a ball around for a living for 13 years…. nothing beats that!

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AE: Ok, but really: How many windbreakers do you have?

LL: I love windbreakers. I’m sponsored by Nike and they design some funky windbreakers which I really like.  I only own about two to three, though.


AE: I’ve read several interviews about you that reference your humor.  Any thoughts on doing stand-up?

LL: I actually haven’t put much thought into it. I love laughing, I love to make other people laugh, but I really enjoy it in a smaller group setting. But never say never.


AE: Do you remember who first deemed you “Lightning?”

LL: Hilarious enough, I did. I was jealous my teammate, Amy Rodriguez, had a nickname and I wanted one too.


AE: Tell me about Ambitious Athletics?  How long have you been apart of this team?  What do you feel sets this apart from other studios?  

LL: Ambitious Athletics is a boutique gym in Washington, DC. I have known Carmen Sturniolo, the owner of AA, for about four years now, but started working with him full time in January 2015.

At AA we believe that if you have a body, you are an athlete.  Our foundation is built around moving efficiently, strength, conditioning, being ambitious, and ultimately having fun.  It’s personal training in a group setting so you also get the benefit of working in a team atmosphere.

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AE: I noticed that the training packages are sold as group workouts. Do you feel that people work harder in groups than one-on-one?  What do you like about group training?

LL: I absolutely think so. Being on a team is one thing I loved and now miss about playing soccer. And, that’s the type of atmosphere we work to create at AA.  Even though the training programs are tailored to the individual, our clientele work in small groups, which in return provides group camaraderie.


AE: Best advice for people trying to live a healthy lifestyle?

LL: Stay consistent.  Find a schedule, a coach, something that will keep you on a regular schedule. That’s the most important component to living a healthy lifestyle and making it a part of your everyday life


AE: Do you have a super strict diet?

LL: I don’t have a super strict diet.  I do practice eating mindfully and being aware of what I’m eating. I like sweets a lot, which makes it difficult to be too strict.


AE: Favorite food?

LL: I love most foods, but some that stand out are sushi, anything that involves Lebanese food, and pork chops are coming to mind.


If you’re ever in the D.C. area head over to Ambitious Athletics and say hi! Lori Lindsey’s website is coming soon, but until then, read more of what she has to say at AmbitiousAthletics.com.

You can find Lori on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.