By: Shawn Johnson
The world met Shawn Johnson, a little powerhouse of a girl, on the gymnastics stage. She vaulted her way onto the scene and quickly skyrocketed past every one's expectations. By the time she was 16, she was competing in the Olympics and thriving under more stress and pressure than most of us will ever experience. However, her gymnastics career wasn't without it's disappointments. Not all her dreams came true, and she had to learn some of life's hardest lessons with the world watching.
I've been a fan of Shawn since seeing her doing gymnastics on TV. I was watching her and amazed at all she could do. Obviously, I only knew a small fraction of her life. But, that small fraction held wisdom I could learn from. As I read her book, I couldn't believe how such a young girl had such a mature head on her shoulders. I truly wish more of today's athletes thought the way she did.
Her first coach informed her Mother that Shawn had no talent. Thankfully, her Mother didn't listen. Shawn later moved to a new gym that opened in her home town and history began. Through the help of a strong family base and loving people around her, Shawn took the world by storm. Beijing was the place where her Olympic dreams would come true, though not in the way she originally thought. I was constantly amazed at how Shawn was able to find the positive amongst every negative she faced. Instead of letting a disappointment stop her in her tracks, she chose to focus on the good. A key example of this is when she's at the Olympics, ready to do her floor routine in the hopes of scoring her dream: a gold medal in the Women's All-Around. However, as she's waiting for her turn she quickly learns her fellow teammate (and friend) got a higher score than her and there was no way she would be able to get the gold. Right there, on the floor with cameras rolling, she realizes her dream is gone. However, she is able to turn that thinking around. Amazing!
The book doesn't just focus on her gymnastics career. You travel with her to Los Angeles as she does Dancing With The Stars. She takes you through the whole experience- including the stalker incident that almost stopped everything in it's tracks. Again, in minutes she's able to turn the tables on a negative situation and focus on the positive. In the end, Shawn wins the show!
Shawn Johnson is an inspiration to the world- especially athletes. Through Faith, family, and a firm grounding she is able to live her life with dignity and respect. Anyone can learn from her lessons and experience.