'With Great Sacrifices Comes Great Rewards'
Diary #1: "Those times when I want to fly out to Los Angeles, hang out with my family and friends, watch a movie or stay up late talking will have to wait."
Editor's note: As part of "Douglas Family Gold," premiering on Oxygen Wed., May 25 at 10/9c, Gabby Douglas is writing a personal diary about her journey to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
As I sit here and think about why I am putting myself through all of the pain and grueling hours of training, the answer is pretty clear. I love everything about the sport of gymnastics! I even love all of the healed wounds on my body. I don’t see the discolorations on my skin caused from the years of relentless pounding or the roughness of my calloused hands or the many battle scars (as I like to call them) as imperfections. I see them as badges of honor! Each one comes with its own memory and combined they remind me of why I push myself everyday to accomplish, what some are calling, the impossible!
Let’s be honest! Waking up some mornings and thinking about the extreme training I have to do for the day, is sometimes enough to make me want to roll back over and go back to sleep! But after I process the feeling of not being ready to get out of bed, I remember my purpose and what I want to achieve. The momentary thoughts of wanting to ditch the gym, eat donuts, cheesy pizza and gelato and not care about the consequences quickly fade away.
In the end, I realize that I have to make sacrifices and from past experiences, I know that it’ll be worth it! Those times when I want to fly out to Los Angeles, hang out with my family and friends, watch a movie or stay up late talking will have to wait. These are some of the many sacrifices I will have to make to stretch myself to go beyond any thing I’ve ever done before.
My family and I have had to sacrifice so much throughout my 14 year gymnastic career. I can still hear my mom and my siblings saying to my 14 year old homesick self, “With great sacrifices comes great rewards.” Two years later when I wanted to quit and move back home - six months before the Olympics in 2012, they echoed those same words. Whew! I am so so glad that I took those words to heart and pushed myself to reach and cross that finish line!!
Now, I don’t believe that training six days and 30+ hours a week is anyone’s version of fun. However, it’s my passion for my sport and my determination that fuel me to keep going. I don’t know how many blocks of chalk I will break up and spread over my hands and feet or how many times I will tape up my wrists and ankles. But the one thing that I can say is that no matter what happens, I also won’t be counting regrets or how many times I would've said to myself, “What if?” I'll be too busy pushing ahead of the fears, obstacles, set backs and naysayers! The way that I see it, my journey so far has already been golden. So, I am taking this golden momentum and using it to drive me as I work hard to win Gold again!