We all know the story of Shannon Miller's gymnastics success- to this day she is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She was the teen from Oklahoma who was best known for her frizzy hair, trademark scrunchy, and beautiful gymnastics. She trained at Dynamo under the watchful eye of Steve Nunno and Peggy Liddick-- together they would become legends of the sport. After competing in two Olympic games, Shannon now owns seven Olympic medals; two gold, two silver, and three bronze. In her book, Shannon talks a lot about the training process for both of those games and the key to her success. For all you die hard Shannon Miller fans out there, she does a great job of sharing all the details of every aspect of her career- even her method to sticking all those landings! She also candidly shares tidbits of information such as what she was thinking during the most important competitions of her life and the training plans crafted by Steve Nunno to get her through injuries or difficult times. Reading about Shannon's career in her own words really helps you understand her mindset and how she stays so positive and optimistic. Even in the darkest of times, Shannon would look for the light in every situation.
In the book, Shannon says that winning the 1996 US National Championships was not only one of the greatest moments of her gymnastics career- but of her life. While pushing through a pain in her wrist and a pulled hamstring, Shannon came back from a fall on beam in the first rotation to claim her second National title, something that she describes as a turning point in her life, "Since then, every time I've come up against an obstacle- including when I went toe-to-toe with cancer- my comeback at Nationals and my decision to resume training despite a broken elbow and making the 1992 Olympic team have been my main sources of inspiration," Miller wrote.
At the age of 19 Shannon retired from gymnastics and was left trying to find her identity outside of the sport. For the remainder of the book, she talks about the ups and downs in her life. She shares her struggle with her weight, the college life and her lack of desire to socialize. She talks about jumping into marriage too soon- but also finding her soul-mate later in life. She also talks about the birth of her children and launching her own business- Shannon Miller Lifestyle. The last few chapters focus mainly on her battle with cancer. She applied the lessons she learned through gymnastics to help get her through one of the most difficult obstacles in her life.
It's Not About Perfect is a great read for anybody- not just gymnastics fans! Miller's story is inspirational and her words are motivational, making this a great read for everyone.