Lindsey Huie of the American Heart Association: “I wish someone would’ve told me is it’s OK to be me in whatever form I am comfortable”

I have been pretty ahead of my time pretty early on in life, have had to mature well before most of my peers so there wasn’t much I wasn’t prepared for to be honest…the ONLY thing I wish someone would’ve told me is it’s OK to be me in whatever form I am comfortable. To […]

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I have been pretty ahead of my time pretty early on in life, have had to mature well before most of my peers so there wasn’t much I wasn’t prepared for to be honest…the ONLY thing I wish someone would’ve told me is it’s OK to be me in whatever form I am comfortable. To take more time to explore who I am after spending years married to a sport. It’s ok to not fit social, cultural or familial norms and what’s more important than all that is showing grace, resilience and empathy for others.

As a part of our series about sports stars who are making a social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lindsey Huie.

Lindsey Huie is an American soccer player who plays as a defender or midfielder for the LA Galaxy OC, and made one appearance for the United States women’s national team. She was juggling it all as a busy mom and competitive soccer player until an uncommon heart condition took her by surprise. She now works with the American Heart Association as a “Real Women” volunteer to encourage all women to take action to end heart disease and stroke and commit to making changes that will support their own heart health, while also highlighting the heart health disparities that the LGBTQ community face and how the lack of equality in healthcare may lead to poorer heart health.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to your career path in professional sports?

Well, my college undergrad work is in psychology which has always been an interest. When I graduated, I immediately started doing behavior modification with children with developmental disabilities. I wanted to make sure I did something I felt had an impact on others and this was a great career to start that path. As much as I loved the work in special needs and developmental disabilities, I found myself drawing soccer trainings, strategies, and formations while at work. With a second baby on the way it seemed like coaching would be a fitting career path as I would be home and available to my girls all day while coaching at night. As I’ve continued coaching, I’ve realized that so many players only receive the physical portion of coaching but so few ever receive mental coaching. So, I now do mindset coaching in addition to on-field coaching.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What were the lessons or takeaways that you took out of that story?

The funniest story that I can remember is being at the University of Portland and our bus leaving from the hotel to the field. Everyone was partnered up; each partner was supposed to make sure their other half was accounted for before leaving. Our bus leaves to the field and suddenly, a few minutes later we see a yellow taxi pull up to the field. One of the players forgot that her partner was in the bathroom while we were doing player counts so she got left while she was in the bathroom. The moral of the story was EARLY is on time and on time is LATE, that’s how you don’t get left!

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

My advice would be to work on mental toughness as much as physical preparation. See every obstacle as an opportunity. You might get cut from a team, you might not start, you might get injured, as much as these challenges can seem defeating, they don’t have to be. They can be huge set forwards.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

The person who has made the biggest impact in my life is Clive Charles, my college coach. Even though I only had him for 2 years I feel like I learned something about how to be a better player, teammate, person every day. When Clive passed away it was devastating but I’ve had a lot of peace in being able to be purposeful every day.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about what it is like being a professional sports player?

I don’t know what myths even exist about being a professional?! Maybe that it’s not stressful, it looks glamorous? Being on the National team was STRESSFUL. Even though I traveled to many different countries it was basically all “work”. You get to another country, and you train, then you eat, shower, sleep, and train some more. Then you eat and train again. The amount of free time you have during events is so limited. And when you finally do get a rest day you just want to sleep, rest, or recover.

Let’s now move to the main part of our discussion. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

How have I used success to bring goodness to the world? I use every obstacle in my life as an opportunity. Currently, I have the opportunity to share my obstacle of a heart attack with other women through the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. I also get to use this platform for Pride at Heart. It’s important that in facing these obstacles I help to spread awareness and education to help other people identify warning signs and symptoms. It’s equally as important that the LGBTQ+ community understand some of the obstacles they may face in attempting to get services, about 13% of LGBTQ adults report being denied health care of given poor care because of their sexual or gender identities. Among transgender participants, that number jumped to 40 percent. I use social media outlets to share my story, as well as volunteer with the AHA and Pride at Heart. I try to make myself available for as many avenues and outlets as possible.

What methods are you using to most effectively share your cause with the world?

I’ve chosen to use these particular platforms because they’ve been the most accessible for me.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

I honestly don’t know who has been impacted by my story but most people say it’s captivating?! I guess we all tend to think of health in terms of being unhealthy and unfit, but I was neither of those things and still suffered cardiovascular issues. We have to continue learning what contributes to heart health.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I have been pretty ahead of my time pretty early on in life, have had to mature well before most of my peers so there wasn’t much I wasn’t prepared for to be honest…the ONLY thing I wish someone would’ve told me is it’s OK to be me in whatever form I am comfortable. To take more time to explore who I am after spending years married to a sport. It’s ok to not fit social, cultural or familial norms and what’s more important than all that is showing grace, resilience and empathy for others.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love for my business, GRITNESS to become a movement. GRITNESS is all about how you bounce back from obstacles, trials and challenges. It’s about our ability to reframe negative experiences and use it as fuel and positive opportunities. GRITNESS is about ownership, accountability and responsibility.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

I don’t live by many quotes but I will say that I like my motto to make every obstacle an opportunity.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

A person in the world I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with…WHAT A FANTASTIC QUESTION…first of all there are so many amazing and influential women this day in age that I definitely have my pickings, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Cynthia Marshall, Jacinda Ardern, I mean I could go on and on with powerful women, I’ve also been blessed to know many amazing women who I look up to and admire within my own sport, Jill Ellis my former coach and Christine Sinclair, international SUPERSTAR, but the one I would be MOST interested in meeting would be Naomi Osaka! I know that probably surprises people as it’s outside my sport but I’m pretty well rounded and I enjoy athletics of all kind, is humble amazing CHAMPIONS that intrigue me.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can follow me primarily on Instagram and FB, TikTok and Twitter @getgritness on everything.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring!


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