ESPN

Bodies We Want 2011

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RYAN HALL

Photograph By Jeff Riedel for ESPN The Magazine

"I'm a Christian, and I think God created amazing bodies for us. Growing up, I wanted to be a baseball player -- my dad was drafted by the Orioles -- but I was too small. In the eighth grade, I was five feet and 99 pounds, so small that my parents took me to a doctor. Turns out I was just a late bloomer. But the minute I started running I felt like I was doing something my body was made to do. When I look in the mirror, I'm proud. I only get in trouble when I make comparisons to the African runners, who tend to be much smaller. I believe God gave me a gift, and I need to get everything out of it. After a good, hard 20 miles, you've been through the gamut of feeling great, being dead tired and questioning if you'll finish. You feel like you've really lived."