It's not about winning or losing a competition, it's about beating the doubt from within yourself and knowing at the end of each day you are one step closer to your goals.
After thorough reflection, I realized that my desire to achieve my goals in this sport outweighed my self-doubt. This perseverance has helped me to be successful not only in gymnastics, but in my non-athletic life as well.
ItвЂ™s called the pursuit of perfection. The pursuit is the idea that youвЂ™ll never be perfect in gymnastics but you can continue to pursue it as long as youвЂ™re doing it. I donвЂ™t think itвЂ™s possible to be perfect in gymnastics. ItвЂ™s just one of those sports that youвЂ™re always trying to improve and pursue that perfection.
IвЂ™m a true believer in the mental side of gymnastics вЂ“ the 95% mental and 5% physical. ItвЂ™s totally true. As you get to an older age, at 25 years old, IвЂ™ve pretty much learned everything that I need to learn in gymnastics. Now itвЂ™s, can I mentally push through the daily grind? Can I push through the small injuries and the aches and pains?
I am completely honest and truthful when I say I donвЂ™t want a gold for myself. I want a gold for the team. You go up there and do it as a collective group and itвЂ™s so much more satisfying, I mean you look around and you see the faces and just wow, this was a team effort and we did this together. ItвЂ™s incredible and thatвЂ™s my dream. I wanna win a gold medal and see the flag go up, hear the national anthem and just know that I did it with my brothers standing next to me.
It was definitely a big change in my life going from the college scene to really kind of being on my own. I got married and moved to Houston and started a whole new journey. It was scary in a way, but what's great for me is just focusing on gymnastics and my wife. I'm really able to put 100% into what my goals are.
There's a point in gymnastics where once you get to a certain age your body just isn't going to be able to handle it anymore. But I'd like to continue on as long as I'm able to help the team out and be a contributor to the success of the U.S. team.
Another big difference about not being in college: In college, you're on the team, you're competing for the NCAA - luckily I had a full scholarship and I was taken care of - then all of a sudden you're a pro and you've got to take care of yourself. I'm gonna keep doing the same thing, keep training, and hopefully everything works out.
There's very few of us who are able to be successful, which is why so many guys out of college can't continue the sport. It's unfortunate because there's just no financial backing. I've been very blessed with sponsors.
When I moved down to Houston, I had people who were willing to support me with sponsorships and different endorsement deals. That's really how I stayed afloat. It isn't ridiculous money where you can live however you want - I still have to be disciplined - but I've been very blessed with having people to support me.
When I was younger, the people making the sacrifice were my parents. It's not a cheap sport. Luckily, I had parents who made a lot of life sacrifices so I could continue in gymnastics.
My mom and dad were extremely supportive. But my mom, she definitely made a lot of sacrifices, specifically because she wasn't working at the time. She ended up going and finding a job so she could continue to put me through gymnastics.
My first workout starts at 9:00 a.m. every morning. I'm in the gym from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. We do strength conditioning, stretching, pretty intense workouts in the morning. We go back in the gym at 1:00 p.m. and train until 5:00 p.m. It's all routines, repetition, doing the same skills over and over again, trying to polish and perfect everything. I head home, eat dinner, spend some time with my wife and start over the next day. I train about six days per week.
I changed my diet drastically. In college, I was a typical college guy who ate junk food all the time. When you're in college, your metabolism is through the roof. I felt like my body started to change when I was 22 or 23, so I started meeting with a nutritionist and it completely changed everything.