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.
There's mornings when my body aches or my mind is just not with it. But that's part of being an athlete and accomplishing a goal that seems unattainable. You have to find your motivation, what inspires you.
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.