The life of a professional athlete is full of regiment, discipline and training. But there's always a little time for some R&R 🙂 We caught up with professional soccer player, Lauren Barnes to chat a little bit about her love of the game, passion for sustainability and how she finds her Happy Place...
Tell us a little bit about your love for soccer?
While my favorite sport growing up was actually basketball, my passion for soccer grew out of my love of playing many different sports as a kid. Growing up in Southern California, we were always able to get outside and play, and my brother and I would take any chance we could to compete. As I grew other, my seriousness for the game did as well. I began to focus on just soccer, I attended UCLA and later relocated as a pro in the PNW with OL Reign. Soccer has allowed me to travel the world and play in several countries such as Australia and Sweden. Travel has open my eyes to this beautiful world in which I want to protect.
How important is rest and relaxation to someone with such a physically demanding lifestyle like yourself?
As a professional athlete, I believe that rest and relaxation is arguably the most important aspect of my regimen to help me perform at my best. Having played professionally for ten years, I didn’t realize until I later in my career that the mental and emotional aspect of the game was equally as important as the physical aspect. I have pushed my body physically nearly every day for ten years and faced many different injuries throughout my career. What is has taught is the importance of balancing the stress of sport with life off the pitch. By practicing healthy recovery habits, I have noticed the benefits in my performance, the longevity of my career, and most importantly, my general well-being and quality of life.
Can you cue us in a bit on your passion for sustainability?
My passion for sustainability and protecting the earth started at home. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Southern California, surrounded by nature’s beauty. My passion began to broaden as I got older, as my travels around the world through soccer became the catalyst for my activism and advocacy. With my platform as a professional athlete, I’m able to help elevate awareness about the environment and drive sustainability-focused initiatives that engage athletes and sports leagues to combat issues causing harm to the environment. In April of 2021, I launched the ‘Make a Difference’ Travel Kit (M.A.D), an eco-friendly travel kit aimed at providing professional athletes with an array of products that meet their daily needs and prioritize eliminating the use of single-use plastics.
How do you find your Happy Place at Home?
Similar to my rest and relaxation routine, I love to start my day with a morning routine and end my day with a night routine. Every morning I wake up, take a shower and make a fresh cup of coffee that I enjoy on my porch. I believe its important to start every day with intention. When I have a clear mind and stay consistent with my routine, I find I’m more productive throughout the day. As the hustle and bustle of the day comes to an end, I enjoy cooking a home-cooked meal paired with the company of my friends. Lastly, to wind down before bed I like to take a hot shower.