Revealing answers to body questions

Go behind the scenes for the making of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue with Carmelita Jeter.


In Part 2 of our Pro's Questionnaire, we asked athletes -- including NFL defensive lineman Chris Canty, Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Olympians Rachel Dawson, Tim Morehouse, Jake Herbert, Tony Azevedo and Brenda Villa -- five probing questions about their bodies, and about others': what they love, what they wish were different, what brings pain or pride. We unveil the revealing answers.

1. Which part of your body do you like the most and why?

Chris Canty, New York Giants defensive lineman: I am always flexing, so I am going to say biceps.

I am what I am. This is the body God gave me. My hips are wide, my boobs are small, my legs are, well, let's just call them 'hockey legs.' My body is imperfect, but it is me, and acceptance of that is what gives my body its beauty.
Rachel Dawson

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels outfielder: My arms; people say they're muscular.

Rachel Dawson, Olympic field hockey player: My mind. The rest of my body is pretty much relative to the state of my mind.

Tim Morehouse, Olympic fencer: My hands. They do a lot of important work!

Jake Herbert, Olympic wrestler: I like my shoulder/back/lat the best. Built like a wide V.

Tony Azevedo, Olympic water polo player: The part of my body I like most is my chest, because no matter how old I am or how little I lift weights, I look fit and like I work out due to my barrel chest. I'll need a shirt on, of course, in the future in case I have a little belly!

Brenda Villa, Olympic water polo player: I would say my thick legs because I know what they can squat and what they help me do in the water. They make me feel strong.

2. Is there a part of your body you wish were bigger or smaller?

Canty: I am thankful for what I got. I am cool.

Trout: My head being smaller because people joke about it all the time, that I got a big head.

Dawson: No, not really. I am what I am. This is the body God gave me. My hips are wide, my boobs are small, my legs are, well, let's just call them "hockey legs." My body is imperfect, but it is me, and acceptance of that is what gives my body its beauty.

Morehouse: I'm pretty happy with the way I am.

Herbert: I'd like to have a bigger torso from my knees to my ribs. Thicker is better in wrestling.

Azevedo: No, I think my body is perfectly proportioned. The truth would actually reveal one of my weaknesses, so we will stick with perfection.

Villa: I wish my hands were just a bit bigger so I could palm the ball. My ball fakes would be more deadly.

3. What one exercise or drill do you dread the most?

Canty: I don't think anybody likes squats. So I don't like squats.

Trout: Planks, because you gotta get that core strong, but it burns.

Dawson: Long, narrow torso, long arms and an absurdly dense bottom don't bode well for me when it comes to pull-ups. They make me cringe.

Morehouse: Bulgarian split squats. Any exercise with Romanian or Bulgarian in the name isn't going to be fun!

Herbert: The Airdyne bike. I usually ride it so hard and so long I end up puking. It's a love-hate.

Azevedo: Anything involving the word swimming.

Villa: I dread the tip drill. You're in a group of three tipping the ball at your highest point. The longest we have done it for is about two minutes. Ouch.

4. Athletes in what sport, other than your own, have the best bodies?

Canty: Women's track and field.

Trout: Football.

Dawson: When it comes to the ideal athletic body, I'd say, without a doubt, track and field athletes -- the sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers. There have been times when I've looked out onto the track at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and had to ask myself if the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece had miraculously (and for my enjoyment) been brought back to life.

Morehouse: Swimmers have great bodies.

Herbert: Gymnastics. They are like mini wrestlers/ninjas.

Azevedo: I would say female beach volleyball players or rhythmic gymnasts.

Villa: I would have to say that soccer players have athletic bodies. I tend to look to them because they are average height. As opposed to most of my teammates and other sports.

5. Fill in the blank: I feel strongest when I'm ...

Canty: I feel strongest when I'm running through an offensive lineman and sacking the quarterback. That is when I feel strongest.

Trout: I feel strongest when I get done with a workout.

Dawson: I feel strongest when I'm happy.

Morehouse: I feel strongest when I'm filled with strong mental energy.

Herbert: I feel strongest when it's the third period of my match, when I'm supposed to be dead tired.

Azevedo: I feel strongest when I'm finished doing my 24-hour fitness convict workout.

Villa: I feel strongest when I'm holding a water polo ball in my hand ready to pass or shoot.

Look back at more answers from athletes like Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy, Bears receiver Devin Hester and tennis player Christina McHale.

Related Content