It is no secret that I am a gymnastics fan. I used to read all of the gymnastics books they had at the library cover to cover, more than once. Gymnastics is still a sport I follow, but I rely on social media and the Youtube channel from USA Gymnastics to keep up to date. When Nastia Liukin (the 2008 Olympic all Around Champion) announced she had written & self published a book I quickly pre-ordered the book, Finding My Shine.
Finding My Shine Synopsis
Nastia Liukin is an Olympic gymnastics all-around gold medalist, but the road to her success was not an easy one. In Finding My Shine, she shares not only her personal journey of success, but also her biggest challenges, including her career ending fall during the 2012 Olympic Trials that she now says was the defining moment of her life. Throughout this book, she delivers her motivational tips toward reaching any goal, overcoming obstacles, and learning how to pick yourself up after the inevitable falls you will have in life. Nastia’s story is a true American dream. Born in Moscow, Russia, her parents were both champion gymnasts in their native country. The Liukins moved to the United States when Nastia was two and a half, because they wanted to give their daughter every opportunity possible. Even then, Nastia was certain she wanted to be a gymnast, and spent every hour she could in training. That dedication paid off. Nastia became a key member of the US team, winning five Olympic medals. She also won nine world championship medals (four gold and five silver) making her one of the most celebrated gymnasts in US history. Nastia was in the spotlight again in 2015 when she became a competitor on Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Derek Hough. She now speaks to girls and young women across the country in the hopes of motivating them to turn their own dreams into reality. Finding My Shine is a moving story of a remarkable young woman who won Olympic gold, but whose passion truly lies in inspiring others.
Order Finding My Shine on Amazon.
My Thoughts On Finding My Shine
I went into Finding My Shine thinking it would be more focused on Nastia’s gymnastics career and it was not. In the end, that was okay with me. She was not a gymnast who I followed closely when she was competing so I was interested in what she had to say about her career. She talked bits and pieces about her life growing up in gymnastics but there weren’t a lot of specifics. There were some interesting tidbits about her time at Spring Creek & what she liked to do in her free time, but overall I didn’t feel like this was a gymnastics focused book. That wound up being okay for me in the end.
What I did absolutely love about this book was how she talked about inspiring other girls. There is no doubt that in the sport of gymnastics, little girls look up to the girls they see on TV. About 40% of the book was talking about life after gymnastics and her goal of inspiring young girls who look up to her.
She shared her experience at the 2012 Olympic Trials where she literally fell flat on her face, but it turned out to be one of the defining moments of her life. Her example is used multiple times throughout the book as she encourages young girls to get back up even after a bad day.
If you have a pre-teen or teen gymnastics fan in your life, I would highly recommend picking them up a copy of Finding My Shine. As an adult, it didn’t necessarily answer my gymnastics questions, but there is no doubt that I would recommend it to younger girls looking for inspiration.
Are you a gymnastics fan?
Favorite gymnastics book?