Soccer megastar Megan Rapinoe captains Seattle Reign FC, helped the U.S. women’s soccer team to World Cup victory in 2015, and is leading the national team as co-captain in France for the 2019 World Cup, which began June 7.
Based in Seattle, Rapinoe flies around the country for games during the National Women’s Soccer League season. When the team travels together, there’s fun — “Somebody is always yakking about something. Usually it’s me, to be honest” — but Rapinoe prefers to opt out of the group reservations to better access the perks her frequent flyer status affords her. “I’m generally out of the group and further forward on the plane. I do not suffer for the sake of camaraderie, ever,” she said.
Rapinoe also has national team duties and estimates that she flies at least two or three times a month for soccer. When she and her girlfriend, Storm star Sue Bird, plan vacations, it’s during her short offseason, usually mid-November to early December. “The last few years we’ve been going to the Caribbean,” she said. “I’m eyeing San José del Cabo for our next vacation. Not, like, Señor Frogs Cabo, but nice bougie Cabo.”
Does she exercise on vacation? Not if she can help it, expressing a sentiment familiar to most people who ambitiously plan to work out on holiday.
“I try to time my vacation with that three-week period that we really just need to be off our feet and not doing anything other than wading in the pool. Otherwise I just feel like it takes over — I wake up and the only thing I can think about is my workout until I get it done, and that’s just kind of annoying. So it’s nice to be able to kind of let loose and not have to think about it.”
Here’s what she can’t travel without.
Plenty of protein
“I’ll always have a few bars in the bag for sure. As soon as you get on the plane, it’s like you haven’t eaten in 12 days — I don’t know what happens, I’m starving every time. I really like Clif Bars and Luna Bars, those are probably my favorite. And I’ll travel with my protein powder and my protein shaker.”
“If I’m gone for a week, it’s five tights, five shirts, five sports bras, five pairs of underwear, five socks, five, five, five, five, five of everything. My bag has not been under 50 pounds since 1982 and I don’t even try.”
“I usually have CBD drops of some kind so I can just relax with all the travel. I use it as an overall health benefit. I usually take it at night or I definitely will take it if I’m going on a long flight. We have to be kind of careful with how much THC is in those. Sometimes, at a competition they don’t really test for it, but then they will. So you have to be careful. Select is a good one; they have just a pure CBD line.”
“I take three multivitamins in the morning, I take three fish oils, I take two vitamin D, an iron, a turmeric and a probiotic. And then at night, I’ll take three multivitamins as well.
“I never claim to be an iron woman. With the amount that we travel and everything, I need all the help I can get to stay healthy. If it’s going to give me just a little gain, I’ll try it.”
“I want to look like a human being and not like I’m walking off the sports field, so I always have a scarf with me. I always try to look, like, decently cute.”
This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.