#8 : Ali Krieger & Ashlyn Harris

#8 : Ali Krieger & Ashlyn Harris
The Edge
#8 : Ali Krieger & Ashlyn Harris
Episode 8 September 30, 2021 01:01:43

Hosted By

TAG Heuer

Show Notes

This time on The Edge, a podcast by TAG Heuer, we tackle the big issues of the day with two-time World Cup champions Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, and dive into what keeps them inspired and ambitious. In this episode the pair open up about risking it all to live authentically, becoming new parents in an imperfect world, and why making meaningful connections with people is just as important as winning titles. Your host is Teo van den Broeke, Style Director at GQ.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 I hope people remember me for how I made them feel and for the impact that I made on their life. I don't want people to remember me. The soccer player. I was, I think, records and championships and all of the things are made to be broken. Speaker 2 00:00:28 What gives us our edge and how do we go beyond it? How thin is the line between taking part and tipping into victory? What inspires those moments of rare advantage down to the millimeter, down to the microsecond that change the shape of a race? Is it faith, talent, focus, or sheer determination a winner's born or made? And what happens when things go wrong or when it all goes right. Welcome to the edge. We'll be talking to people operating at the very edge of possibility from athletes to actors and from artists to entrepreneurs. I'm your host te van and BRCA, and we'll be giving you the fuel. You need to get in the zone and leave your limits in the dust. Watch out. This is the edge, a podcast by tag hu ally Krieger, Ashton Harris. I'm so excited to have you both here at the edge. Um, it's a real honor. Thank you so much for joining me. I guess it would be good to talk about kind last year, you had both had a stellar 2019, you won the, uh, women's world cup. You got married amazing year, and then the pandemic struck and <laugh> everything went a certain way. Um, how, how has it been, how have you guys been, been getting through? Speaker 3 00:01:50 It's been great. Um, this is Allie. Good. Um, it's been great. And thank you first of all, for having us. Yeah, obviously it was, it was so great after world cup, then we got married and then all the good things and we could celebrate and, um, you know, get back into, um, you know, training and prepping for the Olympics and all that good stuff. And, and then, yeah, like you said, the pandemic hit and it, it was really tough for us because we haven't really shut off ever, um, in our life and in our career. And so along with everyone else in the world, um, you actually had to, um, sit and, and, you know, stay inside and, and kind of have this drastic change, um, this lifestyle change for us. And so we had to immediately, um, you know, go back to, uh, getting in a, a routine and trying to stay fit and healthy and continue to prep and keep our mind right. Speaker 3 00:02:44 In order for the league or the Olympics or anything that was coming next, we, we obviously didn't know what it was. So we really struggled, um, with that, but I think Ashlyn actually enjoyed <laugh> a lot of her time home, um, you know, more than me, I like, I'm always on the go busy, busy, but, um, yeah, with everyone, it was really tough, but we tried to stay in a good routine. We got up, we trained, um, you know, we did things that we wouldn't normally do, which was just like going out on a walk together mm-hmm <affirmative> and enjoying time in the park. And, um, just really sitting with ourselves and kind of, you know, reevaluating the past, you know, uh, years of, of, you know, being so busy and traveling. And, and so it was actually nice to sit still, but we did have to kind of get a routine going because, you know, we didn't know what was next. Speaker 3 00:03:32 We didn't know if we were gonna get back into the league and play and how soon, or, you know, how far that was gonna be. So I think, um, we actually enjoyed kind of stopping and really taking it all in and having more time for just each other and sitting at home for more than, you know, a couple weeks at a time. So it was an adjustment, uh, along with everyone, but we tried to stay busy, stay in routine and, um, continue training and, and keeping our mindset, um, where it needed to be during that really difficult year. Speaker 2 00:04:04 I mean, I guess I, I, you know, being a journalist, it was quite easy for me to sit on my dairy air and kind of get on with it from, from the comfort of my sofa, but actually like, how did you actually, like, how did you maintain your physical fitness? Cause I guess, you know, you guys are at such a peak the whole time and, you know, to actually keep that going. Speaker 0 00:04:22 Yeah. I, I do. I think the hardest part for us, um, was we were prepping for the Olympics. We just finished qualification, which was the month of January and February. So we were really ramping up to get ready for, for the Olympics and when the pandemic hit and, you know, you spend, you spend your whole life prepping for these moments and, and getting your body and your mind right. For big tournaments. Um, so it was a really difficult time cuz everything was put on hold, uh, everything shut down. And um, I think for us, we were like, okay, we're now stuck at home. Our facilities have been completely shut down. We have really no way of training, nowhere to go. And we were really unsure of what the Olympics looked like and even sport moving forward. So I think that was like a pretty heavy toll on both Allie and I and any professional athlete, um, you know, going through this and, and getting ready to go to the Olympics. Speaker 0 00:05:29 So I think that was the hardest thing was to get creative and stay motivated because we didn't have access to the trainers and the physios and the massage therapists and the weight rooms and all of the things were so used to being, um, structured around. So I, Allie and I had to get creative, honestly, we just tried to keep moving. That was it. We, we went on our walks, we uh, did our fitness, um, at the local park, we just put down cones and we were sprinting back and forth. And um, you know, at the time we were using you, we had a wall outside of our house. We were just kicking the ball against the wall just to stay active and stay sharp. And it was a really difficult time for all of us because, um, everything was closed down and that, that included the field. Speaker 0 00:06:16 So we were just trying to be creative as possible and stay fit because we were preparing for months, if not years for this, you know, the Olympics last year. So I, I think it was a really interesting time for everyone. I think it was a time for us to sit back and push the reset and uh, restart button and figure out, you know, what was important to us. I mean, uh, what happened to everyone? It was a really trying time and truthfully, uh, soccer was on the back burner because everyone's health and your community and your family came first. So I think it was a really big time for Allie and I to sit back and reflect, um, and stop for a second and just breathe and reconnect and regroup. Speaker 2 00:07:00 Mm. Um, obviously being English, I call it football, but for the purposes of this, we will call it soccer <laugh>. Um, so in terms of that reset, I think that's kind of interesting because I think for a lot of people, you go, you go back to kind of why you got into it in the first place. Cause often if you're stuck in a small space and either you've got your computer and none of the kind of ament that go with what you do day to day, that kind of make it brilliant. It's very difficult to kind of really find the core of what you love in it. So looking back at kind of how you got into it, you're both champions of the us women's national team, you know, you are undisputed for the last 10 years kind of, what does it mean to you to be at that position now and kind of, was that a goal for both of you, um, in the first place? I guess Ali, if you wanna go first. Speaker 3 00:07:45 Yes. Um, obviously it's tough for us not to be there because I feel like when we're not in control, we feel like we're helpless, we can't do anything. And so we wish we could be there helping the team so much. And, um, I know that that was, you know, a bit of a struggle for us. Um, not being a part of the squad because I think a year ago we would've been, um, and then now we're just focused on really enjoying the game, um, really enjoying because we don't know how much time we have to play the game that we absolutely love. And, um, we're focused fully on our NWSL team, near Orlando pride and, um, winning the league and, um, winning the shield. And so that is something that I think we've both wanted to bring back to this city, this beautiful city that has treated us, um, so well, and obviously Ashlyn's hometown. Speaker 3 00:08:36 And so, um, just for me to be a part of a team that, um, you know, has helped her get to where she is, I wanna really help bring a trophy back to this city. So we are, you know, sports wise and career wise. We're, we're really happy where we're at. We, um, have a new coaching staff that came in and we have kind of a refocus reset button in the middle of this season. So I think this has given us a really good opportunity to kind of, um, you know, refocus mentally and, you know, just enjoy playing, um, because we don't know how long that will last. And then on the other side of things, just in our life, having baby Sloan in the picture, uh, and being parents has been quite, uh, a, a positive adjustment to our life. I don't know what we us, we actually did before she was around. Speaker 3 00:09:24 Um, sure. Just sitting on the couch all day, watching Netflix, probably. Um, so now she's brought so much excitement and joy to our lives that it translates into, or it also transforms on the field for us because we want to do so well in our job that it also, you know, inspires her to wanna be good at something and, and love what she does. And, and I think that that's given us a whole nother motivation in our life, just as people, as mothers, as players, um, as leaders of our club team, you know, so, so that's those two things have, you know, actually now have come together our, our life with her and then that's given us motivation to even wanna be better at our career. So sure. We're kind of in this moment of just really enjoying life and soccer and, and really having a good experience and, you know, wanting to see that continue, um, at the highest level and, and then come home every day and just have such a joy. Um, yeah. And, and, and happiness here, um, at home, Speaker 0 00:10:27 I think Allie hit, hit it on the head. I, I think for me too, I think it's interesting. Right. So I think the question I always like to ask and I was able to reflect on the last year is actually who Ashlyn Harris is outside of soccer. Mm. I think for so long, everyone was so controlled and centered around who they were when it related to sport. And I think in the last year, like all of that being taken away, it's a good moment to reflect on, okay, who you are, why you do what you do. Why do you love this so much? And I think I always gravitated towards, yeah, I'm a fantastic soccer player. I've checked every single box I've won everything there is to win, but I don't think that's what keeps me hungry. I think changing the game and changing the narrative comes mostly off the field and fighting for the things that matter to myself and my wife, whether that's equal pay, whether that's, you know, our LGBTQ plus rights, um, all of these things that Ali and I have fought for in the last few years, um, just creating this overwhelming sense of vulnerability of who we are and what we're about, I think is the biggest thing that gives me inspiration to continue doing what I love and having the platform to create real change mm-hmm <affirmative> so I think that's been my biggest takeaway is yeah, we're all great at our craft. Speaker 0 00:12:09 I mean, there's no doubt you, you look at all these, you know, us national team players, we are incredible at what we do, but I just don't think that keeps me hungry enough to wake up and do it all over again. It's more so the impact I'm having, not only on my teammates, but on my community, on the LGBTQ plus community, um, females across all platforms. I think that is the biggest driving force behind what I do because I wanna be heard and I wanna make a big impact and I wanna create change both in the game and outside of the game while I'm in it. So I guess that's been the biggest, um, realization and driving force behind what I've been doing the last few years. Speaker 2 00:12:57 Amazing. I mean, and I think that's so inspiring, cause I think so many people have kind of struggled to find that sense of purpose in what they do during this period. And, you know, to have someone being that guiding light and particularly as inspirational as you two are, is really, really important. I mean, you know, in terms of what you've done for soccer globally, I mean, and obviously there's a bit, there's a much bigger kind of machine around it also, but you have kind of been instrumental than bringing that popularity to it. You know, it was over a billion viewers, um, at the 2019 world cup, which is extraordinary and on that subject of equal pay, I mean, I know that there's a appeal going through at the moment. I mean, how has, because that's a lot of extra pressure, you know, already you're playing for your national team, you're playing for your local team, but then also you've got, and also you've got the LGBTQ stuff that we will talk about, um, soon, but you know, it's a lot to take on. Does it, does it get, does it get too much occasionally and how do you manage it Speaker 0 00:13:53 When you create this beast? Let's just call it this brand, this outspoken beast. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with it. I think in the past, um, a lot of athletes didn't have this big of an influence on culture or politics or using their platform to speak up about real, real issues. So yeah, I think there is a lot that comes with being, I guess, what most people call a role model, right? Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I think, um, you've got two options. You can be a role model who just focuses on sport and that's kind of their path and their gateway. And, and then you've got people who are really pushing the envelope and being outspoken more outside of sport. So I just think it's really interesting where Allie and I have tried to create balance. I think balance is the biggest key here for us. Speaker 0 00:14:51 We wanna do so many great things, but we know we can't move the needle overnight. It's a commitment we have to commit to every single day of pushing female culture forward here in the United States and globally. And I know that we can't carry everything on our back, especially with the TQ plus community being, um, same sex parents with a black child. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> like, there's so much that we wanna change in our culture that we know is gonna be a lifelong commitment. And if we wake up and we commit to that every day to be not only great partners, great parents, great soccer players, we will be okay if we commit to just doing the small things every single day and do actionable steps. So saying we want something done is one thing, but doing it and making it happen is another thing. And I think all ally and I commit to actionable steps to creating a, be honestly just a better world for all of us. Speaker 0 00:15:54 It's not just about sport. Um, so I think balance is the key, right? I think there's days we wake up and we're like, holy smokes. We're, we're so exhausted. We need energy for each other and we need energy for a child. So then we just have to take time to rest. So when we're tired, we take time to rest, but when we're ready to keep knocking down doors, we do it. And that's something we've committed to as a brand, as a couple as new parents. Um, so I just think for me, it comes down to balance. Um, I think all and I, what make us very unique is we're willing to go to deep, dark places to perfect our craft. I think that's what makes us one percenters, but we also need to be realistic. Right. And I think finding that balance is the key to, I don't know, just happiness in a lot of ways. Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:16:51 Ali. Did you have any, any thoughts that you wanted to add? Speaker 3 00:16:53 Yeah, I mean, I, I agree with obviously what Ash had said, but the only thing I'll add is that the work for us is never done. And so we have to be willing to do this, um, every single day and, um, you know, until we're no longer here and I feel like we are willing to do that. And I think everyone, you know, should want to better themselves every single day and better our community every single day and, and really have these tough conversations to help us all live in a safer, more accepting, exciting, nice, enjoyable place to live. Um, and that's what we're committed to. And I know we are tired all a lot of the time, but the work is worth it and it's changing lives and it's supporting communities. Um, you know, whether that be the black community, the LGBTQ community, um, our soccer community, it's, it's really something that we've committed to. And so the work is never done and there's always something to do to better, you know, the space that we live in. And so I think we're really committed to that. Speaker 2 00:18:04 It's a really interesting one and very personal particularly here in the UK for us at the moment, cuz you know, you have people like mark Rashford, who's doing incredible things for, um, kind of poorer communities, um, around the UK and yet the abuse that he and other black players experience the racism in our sport in this country is appalling. Um, you know, do you in your space, do you have to deal with a lot of kind of abuse and kind of overcome stuff like that all the time? Is it quite the same barrage? How, and if you do, how do you kind of cope with it? Speaker 0 00:18:36 Yeah, I think what people need to understand. And I think this is where we have a really disconnect is the human element. Like we are incredible athletes. We are in the forefront of a lot of things. We are speaking up a, about a lot of, you know, really relevant issues that are going on, but we're also human. We are human, we have feelings. We have really dark days. We have really high days. We have all the things in between. And I think, um, unfortunately our cultures put a lot of these athletes like ourselves up on these like pedestals and it's just not realistic to live up to a lot of the expectations that people place on professional athletes. Yeah. So I think my biggest thing is we're human. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> we are not perfect. We're not supposed to be perfect. We will miss PKS. Speaker 0 00:19:35 We will have bad performances. Um, I think chasing perfection is a very, very dark thing. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I think it will leave you disappointed and um, it will leave you empty. And I think that's a realization that a lot of us have to come to terms with. And I think that's the hardest thing about sport is perf you know, we're on the pursuit of perfection mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is not realistic and unattainable quite frankly. So I think, do we get a ton of scrutiny? Yeah, of course. That's that's who we are. That's like part of it, that's part of the game. You're gonna have people who like you dislike you and, and the problem with social media is everyone now has an opinion and now you can actually see what people think of you, which is really, really difficult. And I think it's very naive to say, oh, well you need tough skin. Speaker 0 00:20:34 Well, no, we are human. We read the comments, we hear what people have to say, but I think if you just come back and regroup and understand that not everyone is gonna be a fan of you and that's okay, but if you can influence or impact just one person, you actually are making a difference. And I think if you can just gravitate towards that a little bit and like really fall back and lean into that, that if I'm influencing or impacting just one person by just being my authentic self and creating a safe space or positivity or pushing for good change, that in itself is enough for all the work that we're doing because I'm not gonna be able to be liked by everyone. And to think, to even live for that type of acceptance is literally impossible. So you have to come to terms with it. And I think that's a really hard thing to do because we are human and we do have feelings Speaker 3 00:21:35 I respect and adore. Um, and I'm inspired by Sancho and Rashford and Saka and Sterling and all the powerful black players that represent the English national team because we do watch the premier league every weekend. And so bringing it back to that, I am saddened and so heartbroken and frustrated and shocked by what they had to deal with, um, after, you know, the euros and getting to the final and busting their ass and representing their country so proudly. And so, um, honorably and, and all the good things, um, you know, what they have to deal with from their own countrymen, you know, who been supporting them all the way through, um, is, is so disappointing to me. And, um, we are, you know, constantly inspired by everything that they bring to the game for themselves and who they represent. And, um, it's just so upsetting that we are still in 2021 dealing with such racist, um, online and, and the negativity. Speaker 3 00:22:48 Um, and it's really, you know, shocking to me and upsetting and, and we just wanted to express that because that's what we are as white people fighting, um, you know, to really, um, talk to other white people because, um, you know, we are the problem and I really feel like it's, you know, part of our job and duty as role models to really speak up and, um, you know, speak up for, for black people and, um, the black community, um, and show that we care and that we support and that we will fight every single day, um, for them. So I just think that it's, you know, we were so upset hearing, um, everything, um, but I saw their responses to all the abuse online and, um, that just makes me respect them even more. And so we will continue to fight, um, right by their side and, um, you know, just listen to their voices and continue to educate ourselves because we think they are so important and valuable in, um, the football community and just in life. And so they've inspired us, even if they are younger 10, 15 years, <laugh> younger than we're, but, um, we value them so much. And so that's, you know, a part of the reason why we wanna continue to use our platforms for, for good. Speaker 2 00:24:19 I have no doubt that they'd be incredibly appreciative to hear that. And, but I think, you know, I want to come to your relationship in a minute, cause I think that's so important when we're talking about this kind of idea of acceptance. Um, but also this kind of, we touched on it a little bit there, this idea of social media, you know, you both are very active on social media. It plays quite clearly a key role in what you do. Um, or it helps you to kind of do things that you do. How do, how does one manage that? What, what is the future, what needs to change? What do you think needs to change in order for it to become kind of a thing that's a force for good, rather than so often a force for negativity? Speaker 0 00:24:54 Yeah. I think, you know, part of who we are is our brand and a lot of our life, uh, you know, at least lately has been, you know, showing the visibility and showing the vulnerability through social media. I think that's the new way of kind of getting things out there and getting things out there quick. But I do feel like it's a really, really dark place to live in. Um, you know, and I, myself sometimes have to be like, God, just put, put the darn phone down. What are you doing? Like stop living through this like false world, you know, cuz anyone can show you anything at any moment, whether it's true, false, whether they're really living that happy of a life, it almost seems like really fake, you know, it's a fake world to live in. And I think Allie and I have to circle back and have a lot of conversation about a healthy approach to being vulnerable on social media. Speaker 0 00:25:57 So there's times where I have really honest, you know, I'm, I'm having a hard day today. I need to rest and mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I'll check back in with you guys another day or things are going really well with, you know, my child or not. I just think for me just limiting, um, just realizing that that's not reality. I think people still put so much truth in social media, but it's actually not reality for Ali. And I, we just know that it is a part of our brand. It is a part of connecting. We are very open with our life, uh, on social media because vulnerability is an important aspect of who we are and connecting, but I think we just take it for what it is. Um, I, I don't dive into my comments all the time. I'm not checking my DMS or anything like that. It's literally a platform for me to get a message out and then I have to cut it off there and be present in my life. I'm living. I think living through social is not really living. It does hurt us if we think that that's a reality because it's not. Um, so I, I think for all and I, we just have to, yes, it's a part of our brand. Yes. It's a part of who we are, but we also keep it at an arms distance Speaker 3 00:27:24 Just to add there. I think, you know, social media is such a fake world and you can get kind of lost and caught up in it. Um, everyone posts, you know, things that, you know, people want other people to think or perceive that that's how they really are and that's how they live their life. But you know, um, a lot of times, um, it's just this yeah. Fake world and it's sometimes you get caught up in it and you can't, um, you know, climb out of it at times. I see some of, you know, people just from the outside looking in that, um, that's all they care about. And I think that it's, you know, it's really difficult, um, for some, but I think at the end of the day, if you can sit with yourself and not feel lonely, then, um, you're doing great. Speaker 3 00:28:10 And so, uh, that's something that I think we've really learned throughout this, uh, these past couple years or a year and a half, I should say. Um, and then, yeah, like Ash said, it's, it's really important for us to connect with our fans and supporters and our family members too. You know, we, we have social now because a lot of our family members, um, can check out what's going on and, and see us. And because we don't get to see them that often. So that's another main reason why I really enjoy it so that our family can see, you know, uh, check in on our life and, and see what's going on. Speaker 2 00:28:44 I mean, I wonder cuz obviously you mentioned earlier, you've adopted beautiful baby Sloan, um, last year, which is very exciting, has that hats changed the way that you not only interact with social media, but generally change the way that you think about the world? I mean, it must have done in so many ways. Speaker 0 00:28:58 I will first and foremost say that we do not have as much time as we used to. Um, so <laugh> yeah. Uh, we're very present with our child and very present with each other. Uh, I think, um, as much as we would love to shelter Sloan from reality, which is this dark social media world, dark internet world, we're not gonna be able to, uh, it's, it's just not realistic. So I think all, and I always want to give from the start Sloan the tools to navigate life. I think that's very key. Like we're not looking to shelter her from anything, all of, you know, the way we live life now, you know, there's all, all of these variables that she's gonna have to get used to in making the right decision. And sometimes she might not make the right decision. So I think for us, it's not necessarily protecting her. Speaker 0 00:29:54 It's just, we're gonna have to give her the tools to navigate life and the cruelty of social media. And you know, these people that are behind keyboards that are at any point, they're willing to tear someone down rather than lift them up. And it has a lot to do with them and a little to do with her. So I think just navigating that and giving her the, the right tools to do so is gonna be the biggest key factor of being a good parent. And, you know, having her, you know, have, have to navigate this, this world alone sometimes because that's, that's real life, uh, we're not gonna be there to catch her every time she falls or every situation. So we, we take pride in doing the right things and living by the right standards and being a good neighbor and, and all those things. So that's, that's all we can do. Speaker 2 00:30:48 Sure, sure. Speaker 3 00:30:50 I think just what I wanna add to that is, um, you know, this whole social media thing and this lifestyle that we live now, um, and somewhat, you know, wanting to seek validation from random people, you know, out there is can be really scary and, um, and really tough. So I think that's something that I'm, you know, gonna be a little bit nervous about trying to instill, um, Sloan to feel so powerful and bold and brave and beautiful and fearless and all the things so that it doesn't get to a point where, you know, online and social media becomes an issue that, you know, she can't handle on her own. Um, and understand that, you know what Ashlyn said before, it's just other people's opinions and everyone has one. And, um, you know, whether they like you or not, it doesn't matter. Like you are still very important and valuable and, um, you know, you're enough. And so I think that's something that as long as we instill that every day, you know, in her then I think navigating the social media world and maybe the lifestyle just in general that we live now will be a lot easier. Mm. Speaker 2 00:32:06 I think it's, it's probably clear that you two are an incredible force together and you know, this it's a unified system. That's kind of working both for her and for yourselves. I mean, you met in 2010, if I'm not mistaken and you started going out then and you had to keep your well, you gave your relationship secret from the public, not from your teammates for nine years. I mean, that's an extraordinary amount of time. How, how did you, how did you manage that? Speaker 3 00:32:35 I probably managed it better than <laugh>. Um, no, like it all jokes aside. I mean, I feel like everyone in our life that was, you know, that's super important to us like our teammates. Um, well firstly, our family, our friends and our teammates, um, who are basically our chosen family, um, and staff of course, um, and organizations, um, that was really important for us, um, to not hide from, from those, those people in our lives. Um, and then especially just each other. But I think that we were somewhat concerned of our, um, brand and of, you know, sponsorships and, um, just basically getting fired from the team if, you know, they found out we were together. So I think just in individually being a part of the LGBTQ community, but then together as a couple. So I feel like we just wanted to play it safe and you know, say, okay, well when we're at work, we're at work we're professional, which we do every day anyway, um, that like would never change. Speaker 3 00:33:46 But, um, we, I don't think we're ready for that next step publicly, um, to really live our truth at that time, because we were afraid of what could come of it. Um, at least if I can speak for myself. Um, and then as a couple, I think when we've discussed this before, you know, losing sponsorships or even our contracts, uh, we weren't sure how, you know, people were gonna, um, accept it or not. So that is why I think it took a long time and also we just weren't ready. Um, we wanted to make sure we had a really good foundation, um, for our relationship to be successful if we were to announce it to the world, because it is a big deal. And at the time, you know, within our team and, and who we are as public figures, um, I think that it, it's why, you know, we wanted to make sure we took care of it. And, um, we did it in a way that was natural for us and that, you know, we finally felt confident, you know, to do so Speaker 2 00:34:52 I was just gonna ask, did, did that happen? I mean, did, did you experience anyone kind of dropping you were there those moments where it was like, okay, God, this is, this has actually come to fruit in the way we feared it or did, did it generally kind of play out in, in a positive way? I mean, it seems to have done. Speaker 0 00:35:07 Yeah. I, I, you know, I think it was a, a very positive experience. Um, our sponsorships were incredible and accepting and our, um, you know, our teams and our coaches and, uh, the president and CEO of the Federation, us soccer, everyone was so supportive. Uh, I just think the only thing that I would add is, um, all, and I weren't re we weren't ready. It wasn't until we were ready to risk it, all it like for when we would come out. So I think that's, and I think that's interesting, interesting in itself, like for someone now to say that, okay, at this age, I'm ready to lose everything to live. My truth that I think is the biggest, um, unfortunate part of the whole thing. And yeah, I think when you really think about that and think really hard about that, that's when, you know, you have a massive problem. Speaker 0 00:36:12 Mm-hmm <affirmative>, and that's when, you know, you have to create a lot of change. So that's the momentum that Allie and I needed in that moment, because when we came out, we were definitely ready to risk it all. And the fact that we are ever even put in that position to feel that way means a lot of change needed to happen. So we promised each other that once we did this, there was no looking back that visibility was gonna be the key component of everything we did because when I grew up, I didn't see two women on billboards. I didn't see two women on the front cover of magazines. And that was important to us because we wanted other kids to say, oh, wow, like that looks like my family, or this is okay that my family looks like this, that I shouldn't be ashamed of it. Speaker 0 00:37:14 So I feel like those are the most important conversations coming out of anything to do with Allie and I coming out publicly was the fact we were so scared to lose everything. And this was just 2019 that in this day and age, we were so scared to lose everything, just to be who we are to live our truth, to be our authentic selves, to show the world finally, that we just stripped all the layers off that it wasn't this front, it wasn't this pretend. It was just who we were. And it, it was hard. It was really, really hard. And our hope is that there's young kids out there who D who don't have to wait until they're 33 years old to live their true life and live their, like their truth, their authentic self. Like, I hope that children don't have to go through my journey or my process and truthfully, you know, waste so many years of just feeling the freedom of being themselves. Speaker 2 00:38:19 Mm. I mean, as a proud member of the LGBTQ plus community myself, my 10 year old self. Thanks. You <laugh> cuz it's extraordinary. It is. It's I mean, it's a real, it's a really brave, I really understand how incredibly brave that. I mean, I don't think I can even comprehend, you know, being in <laugh> cause everyone's gay, but, um, but <laugh>, but you know what I mean? It's, it's, it's really, it's incredible. I think it's extraordinary. Um, in Megan, Rapino a close friend of your, she came out very early, right. So she came out in 2012. Um, did she, was, was she instrumental in kind of your decision making to kind of move forward? Or how, how did that play out? Speaker 3 00:38:58 Yes, Pino was, um, a really big part of, of our story, um, right from the beginning. I remember going on vacation with her and Sue, uh, her now fiance Sue, um, and we had like a, a really good discussion of, you know, our relationships and being out and, um, you know, if that was something we were wanting to do, um, in the near future or if we were ever going to do, and we got into this deep, deep conversation about it and, and we got into a point where she had mentioned, listen, I, you know, I can understand like, you know, no one's forcing anyone to do anything. Like you have to feel comfortable and, and know when, you know, it's your time, um, to do so. And we of course agreed. And then also felt like at that time, um, she had mentioned, you know, as a role model, do you feel, um, do you feel like you could, like you and Ash could come out and, you know, help represent the community and possibly, you know, encourage others to do the same or younger athletes to do the same. Speaker 3 00:40:08 And, um, you know, I think it would be like such an amazing thing. Um, if you did that and as a couple and how powerful that would be, and it could possibly save lives and, and so on and so forth. And so we got into this long discussion and um, long story short, um, we ended up coming home I think, and having, um, a private discussion about it and, and really saying, listen, like, what do we have to lose? Um, you know, and if people don't, you know, like who we are or what we represent, then that's on them. And we can live knowing that we're living our true selves and we can give our sport and our family and our friends, everything we have, not just, um, you know, a certain percent of us mm-hmm <affirmative>, we can actually now say it out loud and give our team, our organization, our friends and family, every little piece of us because we are living our truth. And so I think she kind of sparked that conversation and kind of sparked those questions that we maybe should have been asking a long time ago. And mm-hmm <affirmative> I think, um, yeah, so she had an influence on our decision, um, ultimately was us at the end of the day having to make that decision, but I think she had a really big, um, influence and, and same with Sue and we appreciated that. And so the discussion and having those conversations were really important at the time for us to make that decision. Speaker 2 00:41:33 Yeah. I mean, I'd, I'd be intrigued to know. I mean, obviously you wouldn't portray any confidences, but you must have a lot of young people coming to you asking for advice. And I mean, is that, is that something that you are experiencing more now? Speaker 0 00:41:45 Yeah, I, I think that something that's really, really important to, and I is almost like sharing our scars. Like, I feel that we've been so vulnerable to our fan base and we're so, um, I feel like people ha I, every time I'm like at a coffee shop or, you know, at the mall, I, I don't know. I don't know if it's like, the word is inviting, but because we've been so vulnerable with our fan base, people actually really think they know us. So they come up to us and they wanna tell us like all of the things, like all of the personal things and their struggles and their happiness and how we've helped them through really hard times. And I just find it so cute that like, people really feel like they know us just because we're so vulnerable with our fan base that it makes them think they do, but they really only know a small part of us. Speaker 0 00:42:46 So I just, I, I really want it to be important and impactful in those moments that I truly see them. And I think that's the difference mm-hmm <affirmative> is when, when I have these moments and these intimate connections with people, whether it be 15 seconds, 30 seconds, five minutes, I just want them to feel seen. And I dedicate that moment, no matter how small or big it is for them to be heard and like, feel like it's a safe space where they can have that moment to tell or live their truth and tell me their story. And I think that's such an important place to get to for ally. And I is to that's when you know, you're doing the right things. That's when you know, you're impacting the people around you. And it's so easy just to like piss people off, you know, it's so annoying everywhere you go, people wanna talk, but it's not for ally. Speaker 0 00:43:44 And I mm-hmm <affirmative> because we've, we chose this, like, this is what we, we understand what it's like. And it's, it's almost like people come up to us and they're like, wow, these things <laugh>. And like, I need to take care of that moment because that moment is so impactful for them. And I want them, even though I've had that moment, probably thousands of times with thousands of fans, I want them to really feel like no one else matters in that moment, but us, like, we're just sitting in it. So I think it's a really hard place to get to for a lot of people. And I just feel like it's the easiest choice I could ever make is seeing someone in their most vulnerable state. So I cherish that and I take care of that and I make time for that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and my hope is like other people do too, because it, it is an important thing to do. And, and that's how you impact people is truly seeing them. Speaker 2 00:44:41 Yeah. I mean, I think that is, that's an extraordinary sentiment. It must be difficult seeing other kind of very, um, senior, I guess, senior is the wrong word, but very kind of accomplished sports people or people in their other respective fields kind of perhaps not taking that responsibility and you know, that they're not, and it's like, okay, that must be quite a, um, a challenging thing to do because also, you know, it's quite a lot of pressure for you to take that on. That's a, that's a lot of people that need a lot of love. <laugh> like, and you know, you kind of want that to be shared around a bit. I, I imagine, Speaker 0 00:45:12 Well, I think that's what it comes back to right. Is actionable steps. Mm-hmm <affirmative> like, it's no, there's no point of me sitting here and having this platform and telling you to your face. I wanna make all these changes. I wanna change the narrative, but I'm not willing to do the work. And I think that's such an easy cop out for a lot of people who have the platform to just say all of these things, because they're supposed to say it, but they're not making actionable steps to change it. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I think that's what I, I have to constantly fall back on now, you know, if I'm in the media and I'm saying mental health matters, visibility matters, I gotta make actionable steps to do so. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> otherwise, you know, you know, we're saying, we're sitting here saying, live your truth, be authentic, do all the things. Speaker 0 00:46:00 But if I'm not, if I'm not doing the work and the leg work, mm-hmm <affirmative>, and I'm not doing what I'm saying, I'm doing, then I'm just a fraud. It's just all fake. Totally. And I don't, I don't choose to live that way. Mm. I mean, I think she hit the nail in the head. I feel like, you know, we're living every day and trying to do all the things. And I feel like also another side of it is that we want to share the same passion and, and love for the beautiful game that you know, our fans do because they are the ones who support us and inspire us and motivate us to wanna be better every day. And, um, we want them to keep coming back in order to support, um, you know, the game first and foremost is to support us as players and to support us being able to play, um, and, and use this platform for good. Speaker 0 00:46:52 So I think it goes hand in hand. I feel like we do love to connect with people just in general because of that's like the human beings that we are, but also to really share, um, the game with supporters who have the same passion as we do, and that's important to us. And it is unfortunate to see, you know, maybe other athletes in other sports, um, you know, on different levels, not really care about that aspect, because I do think at the end of the day, um, the game only gives you so much. And I think connections with human beings are, uh, you know, a hundred times better than winning any type of gold medal. So, um, or hitting any three pointer or scoring any goals or, you know, anything. I feel like, um, those connections with our fans, supporters, family and friends is, is what's matter what matters most Speaker 2 00:47:46 Sure. Um, your wedding was featured in Vogue. Um, and it was a big thing. It was a big splash Speaker 0 00:47:53 <laugh>. I just feel like we're always knocking on people's doors for our community and for visibility. And I did a Conde NAS, um, panel mm-hmm <affirmative> and, um, yeah, I just kind of spoke about visibility for the LGBTQ plus community. And I spoke about how, you know, very rarely do you see same sex couples, uh, celebrated in a lot of digital print. And they're just so happened to be a lot of important people in that audience, um, who I spoke to afterwards. I mean, Conde NA is pretty much owns every single big publishing digital company out there and annatour was there. And I spoke to her after the, um, the event and she loved, you know, my passion for my community, for my sport and what I'm willing to do to perfect my craft. And I just had a conversation about lack of, you know, lack of visibility in my community and how, you know, I just feel that a lot of times we're a tragic ending or another bad drug addiction gone wrong, and it's just not fair and it's not the truth. Speaker 0 00:49:21 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I just feel like there's so many false narratives out there about our community, and we're just not celebrated in the same light same sex couples are. And whose fault is that? I don't sit on the board. I don't choose what goes in the magazine. So all I can do is be vulnerable enough to say it does matter and we should be celebrated. And honestly, we've created such a great relationship with Vogue and we've created such a great re relationship with allure and all of these incredible publications that now, you know, we did get the front cover of allure. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you do see Megan Rapino and Sue on the front front cover of G GQ. But like, you didn't see this before, you know, like when you walk in to a tag store, you see, you know, all and I in photos, it it's just so, so, so important for brands to celebrate our differences that make us so special and so unique. Speaker 0 00:50:27 And I think, you know, that has been the biggest motivating factor for ally and I is, yeah, let's open a magazine and see two beautiful men or two beautiful women, whatever the case is because we get happy endings too. So let's celebrate that. And my hope is now young kids are gonna be able to open up these, you know, magazines or see on social media or on billboards, and really be able to understand the process and journey they're going through. Instead of what we went through, we spent 15 years lost because we thought what we were feeling was wrong and not accepted and not rewarded. And that's like, it's already a struggle in itself to feel different, but when you have all these things pointing to saying, we don't celebrate that here in our culture. So you kind of just have to hide, like, that's not the message we need to be sending to our children. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I, I think that's the biggest beauty is getting these brands, being front row and center and talking about the journey and the story and being, um, a good model for young kids to say, oh my gosh, like I get it. I can, I'll be okay. I'll be taken care of like create, I, I like to say, I, I want to create a safe space. So that's what I'm doing by going out there and being vulnerable and talking to the people I need to talk to, to change the narrative. Speaker 2 00:52:01 Mm I'm getting a strong sense of you both being role models, but I guess, you know, who are yours? Who, who were the guiding lights for you that kind of enabled you to kind of get yourselves into this space where you've been able to be so strong for everyone else? Speaker 3 00:52:18 For me, it was obviously my brother, Kyle, who has been a role model, not only for me, but for both of us, I think, um, ever since I was really young and him living his truth when he was in 12th grade. And so, um, and me really not having an understanding that, you know, you know, two women could ever be together. It just wasn't a thing. I didn't even know that that was like real. Um, and so I think, you know, I lived in a neighborhood and community that was like super vanilla. And, um, I don't know, I just was never exposed to, um, you know, two women or men being together. And so when my brother came out to me, it was, um, it was really refreshing in a way. I was like, wow, this is amazing. I'm so happy for you. And like, love who you ever wanna love. And I didn't realize like that from not knowing that, you know, you could be in a same sex relationship that that's something I would say. Mm. Um, right when he told me I was just really accepting and I, um, am happy. I was like Speaker 0 00:53:24 That <laugh>, you know, a, a junior in high school, um, really not having a good understanding, um, of the community itself. So I'm happy that that was my reaction. And ever since then, um, he's been such a huge staple and, and role model for, for me and in my life. Um, not just because of, you know, who we are, but just in general, um, the way he lives his life and, um, how healthy he is and supportive and funny and charming all the things. Um, so yeah, he was one of the main ones. And then through soccer, I think a lot of, uh, the women's national team players who won the 99 world cup mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, because I was 11 years old at the time, and I knew I wanted to be as powerful and strong and good at, at football as, as they were. And so I think they motivated me in my career to just take this path and, and really dream big and follow it through and, and know that I could, I could get there eventually with that same passion and willingness to, to succeed and get better every day. So, um, I would say that Speaker 2 00:54:38 Amazing. Speaker 0 00:54:39 I would definitely say, uh, I had a very, um, unique connection with my grandmother who spent a lot of time raising me. Um, so I would say my grandmother was my biggest inspiration throughout pretty much my whole life and, and just grounding me and, um, pushing me a lot of times and asking the right questions and keeping me on the right track and level headed and humble. She was completely the rock of the family. And I, I just loved the way she could come in to a room and completely change everyone who was in there. And I found that so interesting and intriguing that she really saw everyone. And I wanted, if I could have just a small piece of that with me through my life, I know I'm gonna be okay. And I always have to really sit back and think of that, like what it takes to be that inspiring and that loving and caring and, and putting everyone in a room and you can completely see people F is a really incredible quality. And my hope is I have an ounce of that type of love and care to give to the people around me cuz I know I'll be alright. Speaker 2 00:56:04 I mean, that's a lovely response and I guess leads us on to my last question because we are rapidly running out of time. Sadly. Um, what do you want your, and I guess the answer is in everything that you've said, but kind of, you know, uh, in a small way, what do you want your legacies to be Speaker 0 00:56:23 For me? I think my legacy, I hope people remember me for how I made them feel and for the impact that I made on their life. I don't want people to remember me, the soccer player. I was, I think, records and championships and all of the things are made to be broken. Mm-hmm <affirmative> no one's supposed to keep it for that long. You know, I think sports, you have a short life, people come in and out, but I think how you leave the people you've impacted the most, says a lot about who you are and what type of character you are. So I hope that in some small way that I've impacted the people around me, um, that I hope I left this game better than when I started, you know, playing soccer. So I, I really, really genuinely hope. Um, cuz I, you know, my feeling is ally and I in our home, we don't have one gold medal hanging up. We don't have one trophy hanging up. Um, I think they're actually just made to collect dust on a shelf or storage unit somewhere. It's really just about showing up for the people you're willing to go to war with and impacting them in their life journey. And I, I just hope that people see that when all of this is said and done and I'm done with soccer that I'm still remembered for the type of person that, that I was to, you know, the people I surround myself with. Speaker 2 00:58:03 Amazing Ali, Speaker 3 00:58:06 I think for me, it's something similar that, um, my legacy, I just want people to know that you can be a nice human being and also get to the very top, you don't have to be an asshole and, and, and be selfish and, and get to the top. Um, I feel like I've been, you know, caring along the way and, um, appreciative of the little things. And, um, I've been also really successful and winning gold medals. So I just wanna obviously leave the game better than where I found it, but to show that you can be nice along the way to do and do the same. So I think it's really important to, um, touch people's lives and share the same passions and really impact people's lives, uh, in a way to, uh, inspire them to just wanna be great and be better and create a space for all of us to live and, and, and enjoy, um, life. Speaker 3 00:59:08 So I had one of my teammates actually come up to me. This was probably in January, um, or even October camp of 2020, I can't remember. Um, and she had asked how have you like, built your brand so well, like give me some advice on, you know, what I can do to connect with people more. And, and what do you suggest I do? Like how can I build it to be bigger? And, um, you know, last long because you and Ash have such a great platform and brand that you guys have built individually and together. And I said, wow, thank you, firstly, for saying that I appreciate it's been years and years, but I think showing up every day for the people who you care about and them knowing that you have their back and also to show some, some, um, some sympathy and empathy towards people is really something that has been a game changer for me, I think trying to connect with fans at every game, whether that be for two minutes, you know, or 10 minutes, I think it's really important. And then to connect with people on sets and, uh, sponsorships and be polite and professional and, you know, have some fun while doing it, you know, and just enjoy the time with anyone, um, is, is really important. And I think is what made a difference. And that's what I wanna leave that you still can be nice, but also be very, very successful doing so Speaker 2 01:00:41 Well. I think that's a wonderful note to end things on, um, Ashley Harris, Ali Krieger. Thank you so, so much for taking the time. It's been really wonderful to speak to you at the edge with Tao. Thank you again. Speaker 3 01:00:53 Thank you. Thanks for having us. Thank you. Speaker 2 01:00:56 Thanks guys. Thank you for joining us at the edge. A podcast by tag Hoya. Don't forget to subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. The edge is also an online magazine. Go to magazine dot tag, hoy.com for more articles, interviews, and photo series that bring together our love of watches and our desire to push ourselves to the edge of our limits. I'm your host te van and BRCA until next time, keep an eye out. This is the edge.

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