Shawn Johnson is a truly amazing young woman. Winning Balance is more than just a story about a girl who competed in the Olympics and won gold and silver medals. It's more than a story about a "star" who competed on and won Dancing With the Stars. It's the story of an incredible journey. Shawn shows readers the other side of what appears to be a glamorous life lived in the spotlight. It's a story about a girl who is a star in her own right, and has rubbed elbows with some of America's most famous celebrities, but is still totally down-to-earth. She still feels like the girl next door. She really opens up about the long journey that took her to the Olympics, and beyond. Her story flows naturally, without feeling forced or fake, but instead like an intimate conversation with Shawn.
As I read this story I had to keep reminding myself that Shawn Johnson is only 20 years old! She has already done so much in her life, and has maintained a wholesome image through it all. Her story is woven together with poetry that she has written, Bible verses, quotes that inspired her and the lessons that she's learned.
While reading this book I went on YouTube to watch some videos of Shawn. The thing I noticed most, both on her videos and in her story, is her positive attitude about life. When in competition, whether in gymnastics or DWTS, she always has a smile on her face. Things happened in her life that could have sidetracked her dream, but she persevered, with her family by her side and her faith in God. The book was finished before the 2012 Olympics, and it ended with Shawn not knowing if she would compete there or not. (Of course we know now that her knee injury did not allow her to compete.) But she faced the possibility that she may not be able to compete with her trademark optimism and a promise to her fans and herself to give it her all.
I was so inspired by Shawn Johnson's life. Even though she is so young, she is a role model to people of all ages. The world would be a better place if we could all have her good attitude and optimism. I would recommend this book to anyone, not just young girls.