Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams
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Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,166 ratings  ·  191 reviews
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 pri...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tyndale Momentum
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Letters to a Young Gymnast by Nadia ComaneciOff Balance by Dominique MoceanuGrace, Gold, and Glory by Gabrielle DouglasNadia by Nadia ComaneciWinning Balance by Shawn Johnson
5th out of 39 books — 9 voters
Boycott by Jerry CaraccioliRome 1960 by David MaranissTriumph by Jeremy SchaapStriking Silver by Tom CaraccioliMark Spitz by Richard J. Foster
The Olympic Games
78th out of 121 books — 68 voters

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Honestly, it was just okay. Shawn Johnson seems like a lovely person, who really seems to care about giving back and being a good role model to younger gymnasts. And that's who I think this book is for, younger (teen and preteen) kids who look up to Shawn. The lessons she learns are very cliche and can be found in numerous self-help books or "change my life" memoirs, so they didn't really resonate for me. I felt like she didn't go into depth about her life or training, just doling out the barest...more
3.5 stars. Ever since I had heard about Olympic gymnast, Shawn Johnson's new book, I looked forward to reading it. I love watching gymnastics, and Shawn's no exception as she is clearly gifted in the sport. Since I love reading memoirs, I was very eager to read this one. While their were a few things I didn't really relate to, or would have done myself, (such as her Dancing With The Stars experience, I personally would want more modest dances and attire, but that's just me) I enjoyed reading her...more
Shawn Johnson may only be 20 years old, but she has already lived an amazing life of hard work, moxie and a bit of Hollywood glamour. Johnson's recently released book, Winning Balance, covers her life from competitive gymnastics to dancing for a shiny mirror-ball trophy and everything else in between.

Since Shawn Johnson admits herself that she is not really old enough for a complete autobiography, this book really is a collection of stories that highlight her journey in life so far. Each chapte...more
Gets an extra star because I'm a fellow Iowan and Shawn really is one of the best ambassadors of Iowa we could ask for.

For everyone else, it's probably a 3-star book. Shawn opens up and lets us know what it was like behind the cameras during the Olympics and during "Dancing With the Stars". (Short answer: not as glamorous as the rest of the world was probably led to believe.)

She includes some of her poetry, which again gives us some perspective into her emotions and thoughts during various momen...more
Being a gymnast, Shawn Johnson has become one of my biggest idols and huge inspirations. I watched her win her Olympic medals in Beijing 4 years ago, and then watched her be the youngest competitor on Dancing with the Stars and win the championship trophy with Mark Ballas. She isn’t just my idol, but is an idol to many other gymnast and people all over the world. In her new book, she describes her successes and failures in her life of being an Olympic gymnast. Her first coach told her mom that s...more
A beautiful book by an Olympic gold medalist whose wisdom, joy, and inner light are every bit as awe-inspiring as her athleticism.

A real highlight is the section on her floor routine in Beijing: after glimpsing Nastia's score and calculating that the gold was no longer within her own reach, she went on to give the performance of her life, winning the all-around "in the way that meant the most to [her]." Afterward, a reporter had the gall to ask how it felt to lose. She replied, "I didn't lose....more
In Winning Balance, Shawn Johnson has written about her successes and failures in her life of competing in the Olympics. Shawn started practicing gymnastics in a small town in Iowa. The first gym coach she had told her mother that her daughter had no talent in gymnastics. Eventually her mother decided to move her to another gymnasium. Shawn stepped into the place she was intended to be. Chow became her new coach and he began teaching her the proper way to handle and compete in gymnastic. Chow wa...more
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 sc...more
I found this book easy to read and very enjoyable. It was great to get a glimpse into the life and mentality of a young gymnast. I remember watching and cheering for her in the Olympics - she was my favorite gymnast that year. She was very honest and open about her doubts, fears, and disappointments - both before and after the Olympics - which made you feel like you were sitting at a coffee shop talking with her. I was surprised by how much of the book was about her life after the Olympics. It w...more
Hlyan Htet Oo
I've never been this much inspired by a book before. This (book) is the amazing true journey of how the young woman who won an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam became even more balanced. Sometimes smiling, laughing, exciting, sometimes feeling tears in my eyes, sometimes feeling deeply inspired, I got the life lessons Shwan wants to give. Thank you to Sanntint who recommended this book to me. I'm confident that I can also recommend Winning Balance to everyone.
I loved that she always had a good attitude and that she pushed herself hard to follow her dream and make it come true. I loved all the good quotes in the book.
Jul 16, 2014 Zoe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of gymnastics / Shawn Johnson
Shelves: nonfiction
    3.5 stars
I think I'd even go as far as to say that 2008 Olympic All-Around Silver Medalist Shawn Johnson is my favorite gymnast of all time. Her confidence, her grace, her strength. And this autobiography was - surprisingly - better than I would have ever imagined.

Johnson's talent is making her life so easy to connect to; despite being somewhat of a celebrity. She appeals to our inner feelings and thoughts, our hopes and aspirations. She finds a way to connect to her readers, and that really...more
This is a cute book, probably written for a younger audience.
If you are a fan of Shawn, you can read this book. You will learn about the Olympics and DWTS and the background which the viewers do not see.
However, the lessons are nothing new. This could easily have been JUST ANOTHER American memoir. The main idea is: I love God, God loves me, I love my family and everything happens for a reason.
Now, as an adult, I lacked honesty and some depth in the book. The last chapters about her body image i...more
Eddy Allen

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 si...more
It's so refreshing to read about a mid-western girl, make it to the big leagues, accomplish her goals, overcome her downfalls & still keep her mid-western, small town attitude & show her love for family & God. These are the people that deserve all they have been blessed with. This book told a story of the ups & downs if both fame & being an unknown. Shawn Johnson is truly an American role model for all kids & some adults could learn a bit too;-) Cuddos to her parents for...more
Die Balance zwischen Pflicht und Kür

Im Alter von drei Jahren entdeckt Shawn Johnson mehr oder weniger durch Zufall ihre Liebe zum Turnen. Schnell wird die Sporthalle zu ihrem lieb gewonnenen Spielplatz. Wenige Jahre später wird dann nicht nur Shawns Elan, sondern schließlich auch ihr sportliches Talent erkannt. Noch weiß niemand, dass aus dem quirligen Mädchen sowohl eine Weltklasseturnerin mit einem olympischen Traum als auch America's Sweetheart werden soll. Als Shawn Johnson es 2008 als Nesth...more
Before I read this I thought that Shawn Johnson was an amazing young women and I only believe that more after reading this. I am so sad she had to retire from the sport but I can certainly understand why. She is a good idol for all the young ladies to look up to.
Although the insights into Shawn's training and competitions were interesting, the entire book reads like a twelve-year-old's Bible camp scrapbook, including prayer/poetry bookends and a "Lesson I've Learned" after each chapter, of which there are many.
I love gymnastics so I had a feeling I'd love this book. Great story about a girl who found an outlet for her energy. I love how her parents always supported her but never pushed. This is a fun and entertaining read.
I am nearly completely done listening to this as an audiobook from my local library (within 20 minutes!) and I thought I would take the time to review it now. Shawn is not the most engaging reader, but for such a young woman she is sharing very wise advice using examples of how she has paved her way to where she is now in her life. I loved hearing about her experiences, how that experience affected her, and the lessons she learned as a result. She has a real talent for introspection and its some...more
I loved Shawn Johnson from the first time I saw her on TV. She had the brightest smile and her performances were amazing. Gabby is the only gymnast that has come close to taking Shawn Johnson's place in my heart. For my birthday in 2013, my siblings gave me her Wii game and this book. Yes, I know it is sad that I am just getting around to reading it, but the timing was perfect.

I was impressed with the information this book contained. Books like this either 1. Make you snore because they are full...more
Logan 2Kliewer
I read the book “Winning Balance” by Shawn Johnson. The strategies that I used while reading this book were setting a purpose, previewing, using prior knowledge, visualizing, and connecting.
The first strategy that I used was setting a purpose. I have wanted to read this book since it came out but never got around to it until now. I wanted to read it because I knew it would inspire me and it is about gymnastics which I am very passionate about. “At the camp, there was literally nothing to do b...more
Aimymichelle Clark
At 20 years old Shawn Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and silver gymnast, a national and world champion athlete. She is also a popular role model to all ages. In 2009 she won the Dancing with the Stars competition, and is no stranger to hard work. Though, she lost the gold medal in a competition in which she was the favorite to win. She had worked on gymnastics all throughout her childhood. But later just when she was going to head back to that world, she suffered a potentially career-ending...more
Gail Welborn
Shawn Johnson’s stirring memoir, “Winning Balance” is an easy inspirational read of encouragement especially for teens, tweens and young adults. It’s about her journey to Olympic Gold in spite of injuries, stalkers and heart-rending losses on and off the balance beam that resulted in eventual exhilarating triumphs.

Her can-do attitude, in spite of disappointments equipped her to become a national and world-champion athlete that won Silver and multiple Gold medals. That same competitive spirit br...more
So with the 2012 summer Olympic Games almost over I was able to get a book I had requested before the games began; my goal was to read about the Olympians. What I found is that everyone at my library might have had the same goal as it was hard to get the books. The book I was able to get was by Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson. It is called Winning Balance What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams .What I found out about Shawn Johnson is that she is creative and thou...more
While it's nice to get a look at the preparation Shawn Johnson went through for the Olympics, hear what her experiences were while in Beijing, and find out more information about her home life, balancing the many demands of her sport, and her life after the Olympics (including what ended up being a career-ending injury), there's a lot of emotion lacking. I love her message of keeping faith and finding balance in life, but to me those messages are a dulled a bit by the fact that a lot of the book...more
Elaine D
Jul 09, 2012 Elaine D rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young girls needing inspiration to follow their dreams
This book is Shawn Johnson's autobiography mixed with life lessons and her relationship with the Lord. She says in the first chapter of the book that it ISN'T her autobiography, but in my opinion, it certainly is. She's been one of my favorite athletes since 2008 and when I saw this book come in at work, I knew I had to read it.

Learning about her life in gymnastics wasn't only interesting, it was motivating. Hearing about her hours upon hours in the gym training for the Visa World Championships...more
Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson shares a piece of her life and experience in a very personable and encouraging way. She talks in detail about gymnastics, but also her crushes on boys, her self image and weight pressures, her time on Dancing with the Stars, her scary stalker, and the injury that nearly cost her her career. She shares many personal stories, thoughts, and poetry. This is really an inside scoop into her life, and I have to say: she has a winning personality. I love Shawn's hones...more
Aug 24, 2012 Brittany rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gymnastics fans.
How I Came To Read This Book: I wrote a blog post on Olympic-themed books awhile back, and came across gymnast Shawn Johnson's book in my research. I just got it from the library (at my order request!)

The Plot: The book is something of a memoir-meets-biography, charting the first twenty years of Shawn Johnson's life (or, up to about spring 2012). For the unfamiliar, Shawn was a favourite at the 2008 Olympics, as part of the USA women's gymnastic team. She had something of a disappointing Games (...more
Lauren Hanna
Ms. Emmett
Academic English 10
5 April, 2013

Winning Balance is an autobiography of Shawn Johnson who is an all American girl that just happens to be an Olympic gold medalist gymnast. Shawn grew up in Des Moines, Iowa who wanted to be a normal girl, but her first love was gymnastics. Throughout her life she balanced gymnastics, a social life, and school until she was fifteen. Then her life started to change; she became recognized for her incredible gymnastics abilities. Despite her man...more
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“ As long as you've done your best, making mistakes doesn't matter. You and I are human; we will mess up. What counts is learning from your mistakes and getting back up when life has knocked you down.” 25 likes
“Everything about ypur movements precision and timing, which is what gymnastics is about.” 7 likes
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