Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far About Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams  -     By: Shawn Johnson
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Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far About Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams

Tyndale House / 2012 / Hardcover

$13.99 (CBD Price)
Retail: $19.99
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CBD Stock No: WW372105

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Product Description

When 4-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion Johnson failed to take home the all-around gold in Beijing, she lost a dream she'd worked for since childhood---and was forced to rethink her goals. Follow her journey to find success in life that doesn't involve trophies and medals---but does include peace, love, and lasting joy! 224 pages, hardcover from Tyndale.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414372108
ISBN-13: 9781414372105
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Twenty-year-old American gymnast Shawn Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and silver medalist; a national- and world-champion athlete. Already a popular role model to all ages, in 2009 she captured the national spotlight again when she won the widely popular Dancing with the Stars. Yet Shawn is no stranger to hard work and adversity. Her loss of the major gymnastics prize everyone expected her to win in Beijing, the all-around Olympic gold medal, was the loss of a dream she’d worked for since childhood. And later, she suffered a potentially career-ending injury in a skiing accident that forced her life to a halt and made her rethink what was really important. She wasn’t sure who she was anymore. She wasn’t sure what her goals were. And she wasn’t sure she was satisfied with where she was with her faith and God. Could she find the right kind of success in life—the kind that doesn’t involve medals or trophies, but peace, love, and lasting joy? This is the amazing true journey of how the young woman who won an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam became even more balanced.

Editorial Reviews

Olympic gold-medalist gymnast Johnson has written an endearing memoir of her rise to winning three silver medals and one gold at age 16. Every bit as interesting are her accounts of coping with the aftermath of fame, both as an Olympic champion and as a reality-TV star on Dancing with the Stars. Among the details: slips on the balance beam in front of Olympic judges, spats with parents, learning to wear heels, and realizing that what looks good on TV—makeup and hair extensions—can look strange in person. Johnson’s “balanced” beginnings seem almost too idyllic at the start of the book, but as her struggle toward Olympic glory plays out, we come to appreciate the sturdy values of parents who knew instinctively to honor her high energy and uniqueness. Johnson emerges as a powerhouse champion with a winning attitude, always making the best of circumstances, even an injury that could have ended her career. Her book celebrates both family love and faith in God as wellsprings of strength. A solid offering from a woman wiser than her years suggest she might be.

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting story
    November 13, 2012
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is an autobigraphy about Shawn Johnson the "pint-sized gymnast" from Iowa who went to the Olympics in Beijing and was on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

    I found this to be a good book, and the behind the scenes look at the world of gymnastics was interesting. Shawn Johnson's story is inspiring, as the back cover of the book promises.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Winning Read
    September 20, 2012
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A winning read, indeed!

    Shawn Johnson tells her story from birth and adventurous youngster to top gymnast and finding a balance when some of the drama died down. Shawn opens up her life and her heart to her readers, as well as inspiring and encouraging along the way.

    I immensely enjoyed reading Shawn's storyas she shared from her heart the trials she'd been through as well as the joys. I liked how she shared about her faith and how she had grown in a variety of ways during different parts of her life.

    The book had an engaging conversational tone to it, that made it feel more personal.

    I think that my favorite parts of the books were the ones about the struggles she faced and overcame after the 2008 Beijing Olympics were over and how she found her sense of joy again.

    Overall an inspiring read about faith, determination, love, and dreaming big. This is a book that shows the world the true Shawn Johnson. A book I enjoyed the whole way through, I highly recommend!
  3. Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 1, 2012
    Cara Putman
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Because my daughter is a competitive gymnast, I knew this was a book we'd have to own as soon as I discovered it. Our family remembers well rooting for Shawn in the 2008 gymnastics. Watching her smile and intensity. The way she sparkled as she competed.

    When I handed my daughter this book, I was curious whether it would resonate with her or be one she started and then put down. The pages flipped pretty fast as she learned more about Shawn and her journey. The book pairs her journey with her spiritual journey. It's told in a way that perfectly targets teens. The style is conversational taking you behind the scenes in the events in her life. Each chapter also ends with a Lesson I've Learned: a nugget of truth that applies to all of us.

    This is a sports memoir with spiritual applications. A worthwhile read, and one I look forward to reading with my daughter next time.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    The First Half of an Unfinished Memoir
    July 17, 2012
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Shawn Johnson competed as an elite gymnast in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in the years just preceding. This autobiography describes her journey there and back with some of her personal poetry inserted at illuminating points.

    Some things are immediately apparent when reading this book. First, the author is still so young, barely twenty years old at the time it was published. Shawn still has so much of her life ahead of her, a memoir would seem inappropriate where it not for the fact that she has already accomplished so much.

    Second, despite what Shawn may think, immaturity is still very apparent in both her writing style and her self analysis. This is very much a book by a teenage girl, and one who displays the ironies of any child prodigy: extreme maturity where she is most gifted and a huge amount of unrecognized sheltering in every other area of life. It's part journal, part expose, part catharsis. She spends two or three paragraphs describing bargaining for fake designer jeans in Beijing, and only a sentence describing an international competition. She is upfront about her dating history, and manages to completely gloss over the emotional strain of maintaining a relationship while competing at an international level and keeping on homework. She talks about how exciting and great it was to be in Beijing alone without her parents for six weeks combined with the extreme homesickness and pressure she was under; but it isn't until she mentions that she spent an hour crying on the phone to her Mom every week that we get an idea of what that pressure really looks like.

    In the end we are left with half a portrait, a glimpse into the life of a young olympian. There is obviously a lot more story to tell, and maybe Shawn will tell it and maybe she won't. The rest of the story isn't as necessary as one might guess. Reading between the line offers more insight than I think Shawn was prepared to give, and the lessons she has learned and offered - with her experiences as proof - are valuable and valid, even if it is obvious that she has only begun to live out these lessons in real life.

    I would especially recommend this book to young girls/women. Many girls have looked up to Shawn as a role model, with good reason. She is an outstanding example of someone who has worked hard to make the most of the opportunities and talents she has been given. Reading her book can be a huge encouragement to those who are similar minded.

    I would also recommend this book to those who are a little older, a little more mature. Shawn hasn't gone to college yet, hasn't had her first regular paying job yet. Yes, she toured the country for weeks as part of gymnastics and dance shows, doing her own laundry and planning her own meals without her parents telling her to. But now - with her recent announcement that she is permanently retiring from gymnastics - the very balance in her life which gave her book a title has been completely upset.

    The balance she maintained for the first twenty years of her life was extraordinary. So many things have made her into a truly remarkable young woman. Her talents in gymnastics and competition, reaching out to others and encouraging them in health and fitness, and inspiring thousands to do more and reach higher has set her apart her entire life until now. Finishing this book, I was left with a feeling of amazement at how turbulent her life has been so far, and wonder as to the woman she will be twenty years from now.
  5. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    My Review
    June 16, 2012
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The authors hope and dream is to compete professionally and then onto the Olympics in the sport of gymnastics. When she was just a tot her career began at Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute. At home in Iowa she was a normal girl whose life was balanced, she kept a journal, watched cartoons and had a pet named Dude. She loved every aspect of gymnastics and she possessed the dedication and fortitude to succeed.

    I enjoyed reading about what a typical day was like for a gymnast and the rigorous schedule she kept. This charming book is an inspiration to other young athletes. Quite refreshing was reading her testimony and how faith has made an impact in her life. I was entertained getting to know this personable young woman through her writing and would recommend this book to others especially to young girls who need direction and encouragement on how to have winning balance in their lives.
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