The fall season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the weather and fall clothes, and Thanksgiving is always a great holiday to celebrate with family and friends. Since Walden is like family to me, I’d like to share three things that I am thankful for this November that have nothing to do with my body. I think it is important to have these types of positive influences in your life so that you can always keep your outlook on your life moving forward.

  1. I am thankful for my family and friends. I don’t know where I would be if I did not have the incredible support system of family and friends around me. My parents and siblings have been so supportive of me throughout my entire life, and while I was the one that competed at the Olympics, they deserve as much of the medal as I do because it was their endless support and love that helped get me there.
  2. I am always thankful to have the opportunity to do gymnastics every day. Gymnastics has been my passion ever since I was a kid, and it has been the rock in my life that has kept me motivated, balanced and that has taught me so many lessons through the failures and successes that I have had. I always say that you need to fail in order to be successful, and having the opportunity to participate in a sport like gymnastics has helped me become a mentally strong and passionate person no matter what it is that I am doing. The lessons I have learned from gymnastics will be lessons I can take with me throughout my entire life, and I am forever thankful for that.
  3. I am thankful to live in such a peaceful and safe environment. That has helped me grow a strong sense of security over the years and it has made me appreciate the amount of kindness, love and support from the people in my community. When I competed in London, I felt like I had the support of a whole region behind me, and it made me so proud to be from a place like Needham. Now, being able to live in such a great town with such wonderful, caring people makes me feel so special.

I encourage everyone to think about three things they are thankful for that have nothing to do with their bodies. Think about the things in your lives that give you confidence, passion, love and laughter. I hope that, like me, you will find that those are the most important things for you to think and care about.