One of the best parts of ESPN Magazine's annual Body Issue is that athletes open up about their bodies in intimate, honest, revealing ways. It's easy to assume that professional athletes must have no body image issues, or that they're totally comfortable in their skin. But, because they are human like the rest of us, that's not always the case.
In 2017's issue, Danish tennis superstar Caroline Wozniacki talks about learning to listen to her body and how being a public figure has shaped her self-esteem.
The 26-year-old has been on the Women's Tennis Association tour for an astonishing 12 years. She admits that her body needed a break, and her ankle injury last year forced her to slow down in a way. She tells ESPN that when she was younger she would "just kill it in the gym" until she "couldn't stand anymore." However, she said, "The older I've gotten, I'm so much better at listening to my body. If you push yourself too much, it's going to be worse."
She also says that she's learned to stop stressing about what she doesn't have and embrace what she does. "If I don't look like a supermodel on the runway, that's OK because I look good in my own way," she tells ESPN. Part of that is by focusing on how she feels, instead of how she looks or what she weighs.
"I rarely stand on a scale, to be honest," Wozniacki tells ESPN. "When I stop playing, I'm not going to obsess so much about my weight." For her, that means living a healthy lifestyle as opposed to having a goal weight or a goal size.
Wozniacki also credits being in the public eye with helping her care less about what people think. She acknowledges that people are going to judge you now matter what you do. So, for her, she tells ESPN the solution to that has been to say, "'You know what? People will have an opinion. Some people will love you; some people will not.'"
Amen to that. You can count us among the people who love her.
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