I am one of the many people who love to watch gymnastics during the Olympics. Maybe it’s my complete lack of talent in that area, but I can remember at a young age watching every competition during the Olympics. My first memory is of Shannon Miller (I think having the same last name made me especially like her!!) during the Olympic games, and I have memories of every team since then. The same is true of Shawn Johnson who competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Winning Balance is the story of Shawn’s journey to become an Olympic athlete, as well as her personal experiences outside of the gym, and her time following the Olympics.
I liked the overall format of the book, as each chapter began with a quote and ended with the lesson Shawn learned through that particular point in her life. There were also very personal writings from her journal including some poetry that was written during special or trying times in Shawn’s life. I also liked the focus on Shawn’s relationship with God throughout the book. Although she didn’t grow up having a typical, every Sunday at Church upbringing, it’s clear through her words that she puts her focus on Christ. I think that showed in her handling of not receiving all Gold Medals at the Olympics and also her drive and dedication. Throughout the book, she was also gracious toward all of the other athletes she encountered throughout her years of competition. She also wrote many kind words about her coach, and I think her desire to make him proud also shows her kind and caring attitude toward others.
I really enjoyed this book, and I think it would be especially appropriate for a High School or College Student, but as someone in my mid-twenties, I definitely enjoyed learning more about what it takes to become an Olympic Athlete and earn 4 Olympic Medals. Shawn Johnson is the epitome of hard work, but also a great example for balancing a normal life with whatever your passion is. This can relate to anything in life....a career, educational pursuit, sports, hobby, etc. I will definitely be sharing this book with my young cousins, as I feel there are many great qualities of Shawn’s that they can emulate. In my opinion, she makes a great role model for the young girls of today!
Watch this trailer to learn more about Shawn Johnson!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Momentum. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."