Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Today I was watching the news trying to come up with an idea for an article and came across coverage of Katelyn Ohashi, the famous gymnast. And I looked up her articles and did a bit of research. Some things that struck me and also inspired me in a bittersweet moment were the things below.
- Don’t give up on your dream
- Do things that make you happy
- Don’t listen to all the haters out there
- Your body is beautiful
- Gymnastics is beautiful
- Take time for yourself to heal
- You can overcome a lot with time and patience
Ms. Ohashi may be better known on Facebook for her social media videos showing off her dance moves in sync with the Michael Jackson songs that have gone viral. On YouTube, she’s also a gymnastics sensation. She made waves as a kid when she competed in many gymnastic meets and recently made airwaves again doing perfect 10’s in her competitions. But Ms. Ohashi is simply a person like you or me with feelings trying to undertake the daily struggles in life. Her courageousness to jump into every athletic feat time after time with utter gusto and zest and can-do attitude is quite possibly her most charismatic and inspirational personality trait.
She competed as an American artistic gymnast for the University of California in Los Angeles and was a four-time member of the USA Gymnastics’ Junior National Team and also won the 2013 American Cup. She started in 2009 in the Junior Olympic National Championships placing fourth for all-around and seventh on the vault. She has won silver metals and junior-division gold medals.
However in 2015 to 2016 she suffered a serious injury and setback when she fell off a dismount and landed on her neck. X-rays showed a sternal fracture that kept her out of competition. She took some time out of what she loved which meant competing and gymnastics and was just a regular girl where she felt a lot of pressure to be this and that from different directions and she just needed to be herself.
In the video below in this article she finds what she loves the most and her smile returns and you can tell she’s at home again.
This is a beautiful woman who has a great future ahead of her. I remember in college I met a woman that had been through tough times. Her name is omitted but basically she had trauma as a kid and also an eating disorder. It made me realize that there are many things out there that are bad and you shouldn’t take things too hard or personally. You sometimes have to regroup and find what makes you happy.
It made me decide to do a presentation on eating disorders for my Public Speaking class on behalf of that lady I met in college. Some people deal with very intimate struggles and cope by not eating or have issues such as anorexia or bulimia and other hidden struggles deep in their minds and bodies and cause themselves to inflict pain on their own mind and bodies. When Ms. Ohashi stated she didn’t think she was good enough and had self-image issues it made me think back to that lady in college a decades ago and in reflection and made me feel a bit sad.
Ms. Ohashi is naturally attractive in the way that she was made and competing in the kind of sport she does requires her body to adapt and grow to meet those needs. We think she is an incredible inspiration to others both men and women for what she has had to undergo to be both an athlete and also to come back and recover from what she had to go through.
A lot of young ladies that I have met either at work or socially occasionally reveal they have insecurities. Some have issues about their attractiveness, or their body or weight. But we shouldn’t feel this pressure because a lot of the times this need to please or be a certain way or conform is actually up top, all in our heads. And we get wired to want to be this way because we think others want us to be that way, when really the only person that we should be pleasing and making happy is ourselves. If we were all carbon copies of each other life would be boring. And we could never please everyone. Like the story of the father, son and mule walking and falling off a bridge, when you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one. And everyone is beautiful and special in their own way. Perhaps the thing that you initially despise about yourself is actually attractive in other’s eyes. That can be both good and bad.
There are always things you can do if you feel pressure from those around you and don’t feel like yourself. Here are some resources below if you would like to reach out to someone if you or a friend need help coping through hard times.
Eating Disorder Help
Remember most of the time people may be injured and hurting and the signs are not clearly visible like icebergs. And that’s why a lot of pain and injury often goes untreated. If you need a person or someone to talk to and a team to support you there is also help a phone call or friend away.
If you liked this story or know of an inspiring way to help someone or other resources to help encourage young people who have been discouraged, let us know below. Keep inspiring.