M: There is no exception for hard work. I think you get out of it what you put into it. There might be small fixes but, in the end, whether it is your health or fitness, if you don’t put the work in, you don’t see results. I try to apply that now whether it’s an investment in me, time with my kids and relationships with other people. A lot of the times you say that you're too tired to work out or it's going to take too long to go see your friends. When you get there you say, "I'm so glad I did this or I'm so glad I worked out." You get out of it what you put in it.
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J: What would you say would be the secret to your success and what kept you going all those years?
M: I think I was afraid to fail. Not that I didn't have confidence but that I wouldn't find something else to do. When I grew up, I was a shy kid. One of the things I did very well was sports, so that gave me a voice and validated me to my peers at times. They would say, "She's good at this; let's have her on our team." That enabled me socially, to find myself and here I am today.
J: Why are you teaming up with Dick's Sporting Goods Gifts that Matter Campaign?
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M: [DSG] approached me and asked if there was anything in my life whether it was a small gesture or a gift that mattered to me and made a difference. I told them "Yes, I remember when I was 11 years old; I got my first pair of leather cleats." For a young soccer player, that is huge and that meant that you're legitimate. It is the next step, because you usually had the plastic cleats. I was like "Hey, I have taken the next step. My parents have seen it and I see it now." Now what we’re trying to do is inspire other people. You never know that you can be giving a gift that inspires the athlete in your life. It’s also important to me personally to give back. I have a foundation that helps families who have loved ones undergoing bone marrow transplants and in getting people registered in the national bone marrow registry. My foundation also helps encourage girls in sports, whether it’s buying them soccer balls or creating the after school soccer programs and getting them coaches they need. It’s all to make sure that they can gain more confidence in themselves and feel that they matter.
J: Do you hope that your children will be athletes, given that both you and your husband are world-class athletes?
M: We will definitely encourage them to do sports. Even if they don’t pursue it professionally, overall it helps build self-esteem, communication skills, and teaches you to work as a team. As for how far they want to go with sports will be their choice. My parents never pushed me to do anything. They saw I enjoyed what I was doing and that is what I will do with my own children.
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