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.
I’m a true believer in the mental side of gymnastics – the 95% mental and 5% physical. It’s totally true. As you get to an older age, at 25 years old, I’ve pretty much learned everything that I need to learn in gymnastics. Now it’s, can I mentally push through the daily grind? Can I push through the small injuries and the aches and pains?
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.
I am completely honest and truthful when I say I don’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 it’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. It’s incredible and that’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.
One of the things about my sport that's important is consistency - being able to do your routines consistently and training consistently. If you change it up or try to make everything more intense because the Olympics is coming up, you tend to put too much pressure on your mind and your body.
It's hard to put what it means into words. It's just a dream I had when I was a little kid. It's not every day [you] get to make your lifelong dream come true. The point of doing things in life is you pursue a goal, and you go after it, you reach it and you pick another one. But they're hard to attain.
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.
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.
The Olympics is a huge deal, and there's such an adrenaline rush, but I am one of those people that finds every little victory in life extremely satisfying - the day I got married, the day I moved into my house, the first car I bought, becoming an uncle. The little victories in life really keep you going, and none of those are any less special than the Olympic team.
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.
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.
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.