Sydney Leroux in ESPN’s Body Issue: “I’m happy with who I am”
While we either find inspiration in these phenomenal nude physiques or gawk in pure lust, the issue also features very motivating interviews.
Each athlete reveals their own body “issues” and hang ups, what keeps them going, their weaknesses and much more.
A forward for the Boston Breakers in National Women’s Soccer League and the US women’s national team, Leroux was the youngest player on the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2012 and was a goal-scoring member of the 2012 Olympic Team in London.
She set a record of 14 goals scored off the bench in a year by breaking the previous bench scoring record of nine goals set by Debbie Keller in 1998.
Enjoy photos from her Peter Hapak-photographed Body Issue shoot and see a few snippets from her interview below.
Why she decided to pose and what she likes about her body:
“I think a lot of females struggle with the way they look, and I wanted to show that everyone’s body is different. I think it’s a big deal to be an athlete and feel confident in your body and show it off. I’m not going to say I’ve never struggled with how I look, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m happy with who I am.
I like that I have scars. I have scars all over my legs. I don’t ever try to hide them; they remind me of how hard I play. I like that I look tough. It’s something to celebrate, and it’s my job.”
On if she would change something about her body:
“Maybe a couple of years ago I would have changed something, but now I’m happy — though I might change my hair because when it rains it turns into an Afro. I struggled in college with how my body looked. I would say my legs looked too big. I wasn’t confident. High school, too — even more than college, actually. I was at a school where there were no people of my ethnicity.
Everyone was blonde and skinny, and I was different. It made me want to be something I wasn’t. When I got to college, that changed because UCLA was pretty diverse. Now I like what I have, but I think if you talk to any girl, in high school she wanted to be like everyone else.”
The most unusual training she’s done:
“I love yoga. Yoga calms me. But I’m not a fan of hot yoga. Why would I want to sit in my own sweat for an hour and a half? When I got to Boston, a friend of mine was like, “Come do it with me!” It ended up being absolutely the worst experience of my life.”
The one exercise she can’t live without:
“My ab workouts. My roommates and I do crunches before bed, just for fun, for about 20 minutes. You can have ice cream and some cake right before bed, and then you’ll do some abs and not worry about it.”