Recently, we had the absolute pleasure of catching up with fitness inspiration, pro soccer player, and our future best friend Kim DeCesare, who stays fit by kicking butt for the Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. After graduating from Duke University, Kim played for the Boston Breakers, headed overseas to Sweden, and even trained with Chelsea FC.
Check out our interview with Kim below to hear more about her fitness philosophy, life as a full-time pro soccer player (#livingthedream), and, of course, her SweatStyle. Apologies in advance for the workout gear envy.
You can follow Kim on Instagram at @kimmyd19.
Now, this first question might seem a bit obvious… but what is your SweatStyle?
I absolutely need to wear spandex or leggings or something that covers from my waist to the middle of my quad. I have muscles in my legs and my legs touch, so I need that.
I would almost rather that than a sports bra!
Why did you love SweatStyle when you heard about it?
It was unique. I loved the idea that I could say what I liked, have someone go and pick out stuff for me (because normally that would be my mom!), and have it delivered to me?! Yes.
I also loved all the pictures on Instagram. Some social media sites post unrealistic photos of people that don’t seem real. This seemed real. I felt like I could really wear the clothes.
We caught up with you recently in NYC to try out some SweatStyle gear. What was your favorite?
I liked everything! But let me think...
I have a tie. The navy blue sports bra from Nux and the USA colored leggings from Wear it to Heart. I really liked the leggings because of the length – I’m 5’ 10” so it’s hard to find leggings that go down to my ankles! They weren’t too thick or too thin, and kept everything tight. The sports bra was so cute and comfortable.
How did you feel in the clothes? What do you normally look for in workout gear?
Comfort is number one, and everything I wore was extremely comfortable. The white leggings from Varley and the colorblock leggings from Onzie would be perfect for a cross training or recovery day, when I do yoga or a lot of stretching.
When I workout, I also like to match! Sometimes we go to yoga as a team, and I love picking out what to wear. I like to look good, feel good, and play well!
How would you describe your style when you aren't training?
I tend to go casual, but in the past couple of years playing on a pro team, I’ve definitely been influenced by my team members’ personalities. Everyone has their own style, so I’ll take something from one look, something from another, and make it my own. Last night, I went to a concert and wore black jeans, a crop top, a cute jean vest, and converse.
What is your favorite thing about being a professional athlete?
When I was 5 years old in kindergarten (and ever since), when I was asked what I wanted to be, I always said I wanted to be a professional soccer player. I was the type of kid who said something and always did it. Like when my parents taught me to ride my bike and tie my shoes, I would do it until I got it.
So that’s what I did in high school and college, and now I’m playing as my full-time job, which is pretty amazing. I used to go to New York Power games when I was 9 and 10, and now some of those girls are my teammates.
Outside of playing soccer, what is your favorite way to stay fit?
I’m a swimmer. I like to swim, and I like lifting, too. I’ve dabbled in crossfit, bootcamp…
But, Barry’s bootcamp is so hard!!! I’m a pro athlete and looking around, I was getting my booty kicked!
How would you describe your approach to health and fitness outside of your soccer career and regular training?
For me personally, it’s always been about eating really healthy. My mom’s a great cook and she’s always cooked healthy… though we’re also Italian, so we ate a lot of pasta! I cook healthily, but I still have dessert every other day. I think you need to treat yourself. I came home today and someone bought ice cream sandwiches… I could not resist!
And, when it comes to staying fit, I don’t really know how to work out as a normal person! Everything I do is to get better at something – I’m not doing it to burn calories. Everything is performance-based. Sometimes, you get so stressed out about how you perform, but you’re doing something you love and that keeps you healthy and fit.
What do you do to get moving when you’re feeling unmotivated?
I just feel lucky that I get to do what I love all day!
I’ve struggled with injuries on and off throughout my career. When I wake up in the morning and I’m healthy, but I might not be feeling it, I always push myself. I’d always rather be working than watching.
What do you wish people knew about you that they don’t?
I wish people understood women’s professional soccer more. I always get a lot of questions because the league isn’t well known, especially about whether it’s “full-time”. This is my job! Playing pro soccer is like the NBA.
Full-time doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a typical 9-5. It's about a commitment- my commitment to being somewhere, working hard every day, and being healthy every day.
SweatStyle Brand Details
Outfit 1: Black, blue & neon green colorblock legging, Onzie; Black shiny bra, Koral; Knot-front tank, Pheel
Outfit 2: Navy strappy bra, Nux; Red, white, and blue leggings, Wear It To Heart; White tank, Body Language (shown in last image)
Outfit 3: Marble black/white legging, Varley; Black shiny bra, Koral; Pink racerback tank, Brazilwear
Hey Kim fans – ready to sweat in style? Use the code KDECESARE20 to get 20% off!