Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, and New York Times Bestselling author. She has been named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year six times ⏤ the most of any female soccer player in history ⏤ and was awarded the prestigious 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, becoming the second American to ever receive that title. She is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In other words, Abby Wambach is a legend.
In late 2015, Wambach retired from professional soccer and devoted the next chapter of her life to activism and other career ventures, like writing books. It was at a writer’s launch event for her first memoir, Forward, that she met Glennon Doyle, another accomplished and widely-known author. Doyle was promoting her second memoir, Love Warrior, a soon-to-be New York Times Bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club pick that would sweep readers across the nation off their feet.
Who is Glennon Doyle?
Glennon Doyle is a former kindergarten teacher-turned-writer and activist who has inspired millions of people, mainly women, to break the bonds of societal expectations and march to the beat of their own drum. Long before she ever became a bestselling author, she was known by millions of readers across the web as the creator of the mommy blog Momastery, which she used to shed light on sensitive topics such as alcohol addiction, food addiction, anxiety, depression, motherhood, and societal expectations.
She quickly became quasi-famous, with a cult following of readers who connected to her isolation, frustration, and ennui that occurred as a result of stay-at-home motherhood. She brought to Momastery all the things she’d once brought to AA meetings: the truth and nothing but the truth, the kind that no one was talking about at Sunday church or on the blacktop or at the bus stop. Not the airbrushed family photos and polite pleasantries, but the honest-to-god ugly truth.
With her three kids and former model-slash-semi-professional soccer player husband, Doyle became a beacon of hope for suburban Christian women across the nation who were silently grinning and bearing their way through their daily responsibilities. But it was one particular blog post titled Don’t Carpe Diem that changed Doyle’s life forever. In it, she described the near-daily exchanges she had with other moms who were telling her to “enjoy every moment.”
“Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn’t work for me,” she wrote. “I can’t even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so a whole diem is out of the question.”
The blog post went viral, garnering millions of views in its lifespan. Within a week, she was receiving calls from New York book agents and shortly thereafter, 10 publishers were vying for rights to her first memoir, Carry On, Warrior. The book shot her into the spotlight, but it was her follow-up memoir, Love Warrior, that catapulted her into the mainstream media, catching the attention of high-profile names like Oprah Winfrey.
Here was a woman who was anything but perfect, but whom you couldn’t help admiring because of her honesty about her imperfections. Love Warrior encapsulated all of that. In it, Doyle openly addresses the discovery of her husband’s infidelity and the struggle they faced in repairing their marriage and keeping their family together.
It was right around this time, while at a writer’s launch event for Love Warrior, that Doyle met Wambach.
Make way for a new power couple, America
In Doyle’s third and newest memoir, Untamed ⏤ which was released at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and became a lifeline for many ⏤ she goes into detail about her public divorce from her husband of 12 years and the earth-shattering realization that she was in love with Wambach, even though up until that point she had never kissed a girl. At that time, Wambach was also fresh off of a divorce, so while all signs pointed to the right thing at the wrong time, the two lovebirds threw caution to the wind and began a new relationship, got married, and created a blended family shortly thereafter.
Untamed became Doyle’s most successful book yet, selling over 2 million copies since its release and spending months on the New York Times Bestseller list. It even captured the attention and admiration of celebrities like Adele, who took to Instagram to say, “It’s as if I just flew into my body for the very first time” after reading it.
Perhaps Doyle’s evolution is jarring to readers who fell in love with the Christian mommy blogger who previously touted the courage of trudging through domesticity. They wouldn’t be wrong for noticing the difference. Doyle herself has said that she doesn’t recognize the Christian-speak she once used in her blog posts.
Momastery was, after all, a way for Doyle to be truthful about how brutal and beautiful life is. “Brutiful,” as she calls it. Perhaps the trajectory of her life since those early days of Momastery is a testament to what happens when you tell the truth long enough.
We can do hard things
Recently, Doyle and Wambach said goodbye to their home in Flordia, trading the beaches of Naples for the shores of California. They can now be found on Instagram, where they regularly share comedic and inspiring insights into what their unfiltered, honest, and very public relationship looks like. As of late, they joined forces to create the podcast We Can Do Hard Things, which debuted at number one and still remains on the charts. The title, if a little corny, has been a mantra of Doyle’s from back in the early years of her sobriety.
At the height of the pandemic, “we can do hard things” became a rallying cry for millions, catching the attention of top political players and news media outlets, further circulating Doyle’s name around the blacktops, bus stops, and churches. At this rate, with her honesty, wit, and unapologetic candor, Glennon Doyle is on her way to becoming a household name.