So you’ve won four Olympic medals, rocked “Dancing With the
Stars,” appeared on Oprah and written a book. Now the question is: what more
can you do with your life? Well, Shawn Johnson is about to find out. Because of
a knee injury that has destroyed her chances of ever returning to the Olympics,
the gymnast is moving on from the sport that has defined the first 20 years of
Shawn traveled to Beijing with the American Olympic team in
2008, when she was only 16 years old. She ended up bringing home several
medals, including a gold. Since then, she has been a superstar, judging the
Miss America pageant, speaking on talk shows and being a role model for girls
in every state.
Recently, though, she has had to accept that the torn ACL
she suffered during a skiing trip in 2010 is never going to fully recover for
her to be a competitive gymnast. She had hoped to make it to the Olympics in
London this year, but with a knee that hurts every time she pushes it a little
too much, she’s not quite balance beam-ready. So, Shawn is doing the smart
thing: retiring from her sport.
Just because she’s stepping off the mat doesn’t mean that
Shawn’s life is over, though, and she’s not gonna sit at home twiddling her
thumbs. This active gal is shootin’ for the stars, and why not? She’s been dancing
and chatting with ‘em for years now. So far, Shawn plans on headin’ to college next
fall and using the hours and hours she had been devotin’ to practice for
charity work and summer camp coaching. She’s open to change, too, and knows
that she’ll prob end up jumpin’ into all kinds of unexpected activities.
So what can we learn from Shawn’s smart choice to save her
strength for new adventures?
1. If it hurts, don’t
Shawn knew her knee couldn’t take the stress of competition.
So instead of messing it up even more and possibly destroying other parts of
her life, she’s going to take what she has and put it toward new projects. Take
the hint from Shawn, and don’t risk losing out on your life goals for a tiny
bit of fame now – go easy on your bod so it’ll last you through the rest of
2. Your sport doesn’t
All gals have tonsa talents, and you just have to find
somethin’ new to be awesome at. Just look at Shawn – she’s been a gymnast, a
dancer, and an author. And that’s just the beginning!
3. There’s always room
You might think that you’ll never be as good at something
else as you were at your star sport, but just remember that if you did it once,
you can do it again. And if you don’t shoot for the moon, you’ll never know
what you could’ve done. So find a new niche, and rock it!
4. Do something good
So, you have to quit your fave sport? Use your free time to
benefit others. You must’ve learned about compromising and working hard from
being on that softball or field hockey team, so think about how you can use
those smarts to help people, like Shawn plans to do through her coaching and
When you’re stuck
with tons of free time, how do you get into new activities, babes?
BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 6/4/2012 3:59:00 PM
POSTED IN self-esteem, athlete, sports, gymnastics