“It's like I'm a big piece of muscle. There is hard work that I have put into my body, and I like that I can feel all of it.”
How did you feel about posing for the Body Issue?
To be honest, I wasn't nervous, just really excited. I had seen past issues and completely respect how ESPN The Magazine portrayed the athletic ideal. It's a challenge to portray beauty on the naked body, and they did it super well.
I remember when I saw the picture of Camilo Villegas in last year's Body Issue, I was so impressed with what that picture said. I saw it as more than just Camilo posing naked with his legs crossed. For me it meant sacrifice and all the hard work that he puts into his body. I hope my picture will mean something, too.
Have you ever felt self-conscious about your body?
No, not at all. I've always accepted myself as I was. My family is really athletic -- both of my parents have great bodies. They kept up my brother's and my nutrition and diet. They would only allow us soda once a week, and there was never any candy at my house.
As a baby, I couldn't have milk, so my parents would substitute it and put smashed fruit in my bottle. I've loved fruit ever since. I've never had an issue replacing cakes with fruit for dessert. On top of that, I'm not a TV person. I'll spend an entire week in the hotel without once turning the TV on. And I was never into video games or wasting time on the computer either. I got that from my mom -- she never sat around on the couch. She never stopped moving.
I picked up golf at the age of 9, but also did a lot of other activities: rode horses, played basketball, running. (I actually thought I'd be a track star.) Maybe if we weren't raised that way, I wouldn't have an athletic body.
How has your body -- or your perception of it -- evolved?
I don't think it has changed at all. I never paid particular attention to that. I'm way beyond that kind of thing.
I love that my body is in one piece. It's strong. It's fit. There is a sense of cohesion; I feel stable when I walk. I can trust my body: my knees are not going to bail on me when bend down. It's like I'm a big piece of muscle. There is hard work that I have put into my body, and I like that I can feel all of it.
-- Interview by Morty Ain