Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

20 Year old Shawn Johnson is just a normal person. She has dream

20 Year old Shawn Johnson is just a normal person. She has dreams, hopes, and aspirations just like anybody else.

But unlike anybody else, Shawn Johnson is an Olympic champion. She holds 1 gold and 3 silver medals in women's gymnastics, and earned the title of U.S all...
20 Year old Shawn Johnson is just a normal person. She has dreams, hopes, and aspirations just like anybody else.

But unlike anybody else, Shawn Johnson is an Olympic champion. She holds 1 gold and 3 silver medals in women's gymnastics, and earned the title of U.S all-around champion two years in a row, 2007, and 2008, and was the all-around world champion in 2008.

At an age when most people are halfway through college, Shawn has made it all the way to fame, with a mirror ball from the eighth season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars to her credit, as well as numerous television appearance's with well-known personalities, including Oprah, Letterman, and Leno.

But despite all the awards and fame, Shawn insists that she's really just a regular person. Her book Winning Balance: What I've learned so far about love, faith, and living your dreams is the perfect platform for her to share her story with the world. Her writing shines through as honest, genuine, and deeply felt.

Shawn is perhaps a bit different from most gymnasts in that her parents never forced her to train, gymnastics started out as safe way for her to tumble around the way she loved to do, and because of that, Shawn's love for gymnastics grew into a passion that took her all the way to Beijing in 2008, and into the world's spotlight.

Although she wasn't a regular church attender when she was younger, Shawn has grown in her faith, and demonstrates that a relationship with God doesn't grow out of staring toward the front of a church for two hours a week and leaving, it grows from a desire to know God intimately, and from God's desire to bring us into His kingdom.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Because I was not familiar with Shawn or her career as a gymnast, I keenly felt every element of suspense she weaved into Winning Balance. I clapped every time she had a gymnastic victory, I cried along with her when she tore her ACL, and I laughed to myself when she let her wit shine through the pages.

Anyone who is interested in gymnastics, Shawn Johnson, or her faith journey will enjoy this book at all. It is well-written and concisely communicated, and a joy to read.

Having just announced her retirement from gymnastics on June 3rd, 2012, Shawn Johnson is standing on the edge of a new chapter in her life, and wherever God and her passion for gymnastics take her, I will be a cheering fan.


I received this book for free from Tyndale Momentum for review purposes

posted by ShannonMar on June 11, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it.

posted by 610949 on July 14, 2012

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    20 Year old Shawn Johnson is just a normal person. She has dream

    20 Year old Shawn Johnson is just a normal person. She has dreams, hopes, and aspirations just like anybody else.

    But unlike anybody else, Shawn Johnson is an Olympic champion. She holds 1 gold and 3 silver medals in women's gymnastics, and earned the title of U.S all-around champion two years in a row, 2007, and 2008, and was the all-around world champion in 2008.

    At an age when most people are halfway through college, Shawn has made it all the way to fame, with a mirror ball from the eighth season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars to her credit, as well as numerous television appearance's with well-known personalities, including Oprah, Letterman, and Leno.

    But despite all the awards and fame, Shawn insists that she's really just a regular person. Her book Winning Balance: What I've learned so far about love, faith, and living your dreams is the perfect platform for her to share her story with the world. Her writing shines through as honest, genuine, and deeply felt.

    Shawn is perhaps a bit different from most gymnasts in that her parents never forced her to train, gymnastics started out as safe way for her to tumble around the way she loved to do, and because of that, Shawn's love for gymnastics grew into a passion that took her all the way to Beijing in 2008, and into the world's spotlight.

    Although she wasn't a regular church attender when she was younger, Shawn has grown in her faith, and demonstrates that a relationship with God doesn't grow out of staring toward the front of a church for two hours a week and leaving, it grows from a desire to know God intimately, and from God's desire to bring us into His kingdom.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Because I was not familiar with Shawn or her career as a gymnast, I keenly felt every element of suspense she weaved into Winning Balance. I clapped every time she had a gymnastic victory, I cried along with her when she tore her ACL, and I laughed to myself when she let her wit shine through the pages.

    Anyone who is interested in gymnastics, Shawn Johnson, or her faith journey will enjoy this book at all. It is well-written and concisely communicated, and a joy to read.

    Having just announced her retirement from gymnastics on June 3rd, 2012, Shawn Johnson is standing on the edge of a new chapter in her life, and wherever God and her passion for gymnastics take her, I will be a cheering fan.


    I received this book for free from Tyndale Momentum for review purposes

    26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    AUSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's hard to know their life outside of gymnastics.This book showed it !!
    !!

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    Excellent Inside Look at an Incredible Gymnast

    My mom went to a Christian bookstore fair and actually was able to meet Shawn. I extremely enjoyed reading her book. Shawn Johnson is very open and honest, talking about a variety of key moments in her life - from growing up in Des Moines, dedicating almost her entire childhood to becoming one of the world's greatest gymnasts, the fierce competition at the Beijing, a brief but impacting experience in Hollywood, the fear of the man who was planning to kidnap her, a skiing accident, and finally her vital decision to end her career competing. Additionally, she includes some poems she wrote throughout her teen years, and parts from her journal. I highly recommend her book. It is an excellent Part One to her life. Shawn is a great role model to many people today. Since many magazines have written a lot about her, I am glad she took the time to sit down and share her side of the story.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    I enjoyed it.

    I enjoyed it.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    I love gymnastics so I had a feeling I'd love this book. Great

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    Loved it and you will too!

    I was so excited to get to read this book - I received it around the 2012 Olympics, and as someone who pays close attention to gymnastics, especially at Olympics time! -I was super excited to hear Shawn's story.

    Being an elite gymnast is not a simple or carefree lifestyle, and I loved that Shawn's parents were determined from the beginning that she choose it - she would not be forced - and that it stay fun and she have as typical a life as possible. Shawn has a fun sense of humor and it's clear she doesn't take herself too seriously, but she is definitely a hard worker and clearly loves the sport.

    I loved Shawn's openness in sharing her thought process regarding both her struggles and victories; I loved the 'Lesson I've Learned' feature at the end of every chapter; I appreciated her transparency in sharing her poetry in the book....all in all this was a special book and I can highly recommend it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Really Good

    This book is AMAZING... Great story of Shawns incredible journey. Highly recommended!!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2012

    Great Story For Young Girls

    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 thoughtful. I thought how kids in their tweens could benefit from this book. At 20 years of age she is a good role model for them. She has also lived a big life that most 40 years old have not even lived. In this book Shawn walks you through her lessons learned. In the books she has some of her own poetry talks of her time as a child, her time in the Olympics and her time on Dancing with the Stars. I enjoyed this book and found some of the quotes she uses fun. I liked this book. I give it my three star rating.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    loved it

    loved it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Love

    I love this book if you are a gymnast or an athlete or nothing anyone can connect!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Informative and entertaining

    I first read Dominique Moceanue's book (Unbalanced) and then this one. Two gymnasts make the same journey in incredibly different ways! Shawn tells her story in a positive upbeat way and we learn more about the world of competitive gymnastics. Enjoyable read for sure!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Cheyenne's Scavenger Hunt: Clue #3!:{ Cheyenne's Scavenger Hunt: Clue #3!:{)

    Hi! For Clue #2, go to Pretty Little Liars. For the next clue, go to a (in my opinion) terrible book about sparkly vampires. Hint! Hint! If you didn't figure out that clue, the book is Twilight by Stephenie Myer.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    GREAT BOOK!

    A very up close and personal of an amazing personality!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    At 20 years old Shawn Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and si

    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 injury while skiing. It forced her to halt everything and rethink what was really important, to reevaluate who she was and where she was going.

    This memoir by Shawn Johnson was quite good. I really enjoyed reading her thoughts and the details of events that have happened throughout her life. I love watching the gymnastics when they are on during the summer Olympics, and even though I'm not a diehard fan of gymnastics, I really loved reading this book. Seeing her perspective on everything that has gone on while competing and even while practicing really gave great insight into how life in the gymnastics competing world is. This would be a great novel to read even if you just followed Shawn Johnson during Olympics, or even if you have a teenage daughter. It's just a great read no matter what.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    I loved it

    It was great

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Great to understand the presures and dificulities that face these gymnasts face today.

    What a great champion!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    The First Half of an Unfinished Memoir

    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 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 maintaing a relationship while competing at an international level and keeping up 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 similarly 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 who she will be twenty years f

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    My idol's perspective.

    Having been a gymnast, Shawn Johnson was my rolemodel. I always commented about how easy her and the other olympic athletes make their sports seem. Reading this helped.me see that Shawn struggled throughout life, whether it was in the gym or when she was left alone on the playground because no one would play with her. Shawn tells the many stories I already knew but in ways the magazine articles and newcasters can't. She lets you see a lot more than you ever thought was going on behind one of America's sweetheart's famous smile. But she helps everyone to see that if you fight for what you want and stay true to who you are, you can achieve the best "gold medal" of them all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Lionclaw

    Please work

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    I Am A Gymnast

    I am a real gymnast because i am 10 and already have 10 medals and 1 trophy and this is my first season Shawn autographed my book because Ryan is my cousin (Not kidding)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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