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I don’t want to be all power and muscle.
– Shawn Johnson
Of course, when you’re training your whole life to get to the Olympics, you train for gold.
My approach to gymnastics in Beijing was heavily based on the amount of difficulty I could do.
Gymnastics taught me everything – life lessons, responsibility and discipline and respect.
The body is an amazing machine… If you eat the right things your body will perform incredibly well!
I was able to do Classics, the U.S. national championships and the Pan American Games and feel like I improved with each meet, but I was still struggling with a lot of residual pain from the two surgeries.
In some ways the ACL tear was a blessing. I had hesitated to return to elite gymnastics after the 2008 Olympics. I told myself I had already accomplished so much, and the road was just going to get harder if I continued.
I know how much more I need to do to be where I want.
I missed being considered an athlete and having that competitive drive, and missed having something to work for every day. I’d taken two and a half years away from the sport and was out of shape. I wanted to get back to where I was in 2008.
Everything is about your movements and precision and timing, which is what gymnastics is about.
I always feel like I’m the young one, I’m the small one.
I didn’t make it a priority, and as a result my knee didn’t heal to the extent it should have.
My other life keeps me calm and grounded and normal.
I had surgery to repair the ACL in February 2010 and was back in the gym by June, but rushed things too quickly and ended up re-tearing my MCL in September.
I usually work out 4 hours a day during the week and 5 to 6 hours on Saturday, with Sundays off.
I don’t feel like a star; I never have. I don’t feel like a star; I never have. I always feel like I’m the young one, I’m the small one. I always have someone to look up to, and I think it helps me with motivating myself.
I’m doing four hours of gymnastics training a day, six days a week and then an extra two to three hours in a fitness center as well.
It might have been easier to retire, to say my knee couldn’t handle it and let that be that. At the same time, the prospect of not being able to compete in gymnastics anymore was heartbreaking.
I always have someone to look up to, and I think it helps me with motivating myself.
I have a lot of expectations and a lot of goals I want to fulfill, but the biggest dream is still to make the Olympic team for London.
I was at the Olympic Games winning medals and I still doubted my image. I doubted what I looked like. That’s sad.
When I was younger, my coach, Liang Chow, made all the decisions. I would go to the gym for practice, do exactly what Chow told me to do, go home, come back and start all over again. If Chow told me to do 50 squat jumps, I did 50 squat jumps.