When I returned from Maui (post to come...I promise) I stumbled across something that was quite random. It was very unexpected and one of the most thoughtful gestures I have ever experienced.
This is what happened: I reached into my mailbox, expecting a pile up of bills and possibly the latest copy of International Gymnast Magazine, when I found a tiny envelope addressed to me. It didn't have a return address, which I thought was weird, but I opened it anyways. Inside was a letter that read:
I'm writing to you because I know that you're going through a particularly trying time right now. I know you must also be feeling an enormous amount of pressure, which probably has less to do with defending your title as much as it has to do with not wanting to disappoint people. Well, I can't speak for absolutely everyone, but I know I represent a large majority who - no matter how this year turns out - will always think of you as a champion.
I say this not only in reference to your amazing impact on your sport, but also to your character. You are gracious, kind-hearted, hard-working and a true role model.
I hope, as you're trying everything you can to get back into competition form, that you remember you're STILL the world's best gymnast. And not only that - you're the world's best gymnast who is also courageously breaking through mental and physical barriers, that maybe no other gymnast could possibly handle. This is the reality of your situation: you already are an inspiration. You're just taking it to a new level now.
Keep believing in your dreams and yourself - you have a great gift that extends beyond your floor routine.
What a powerful, inspirational and thoughtful letter. The only thing is, I have no idea who sent it. It was not signed and I don't recognize the handwriting. It was simply an anonymous act of kindness and it brought me so much hope.
Whoever it was who took the time to send this special gift, I thank you.
I sometimes ask myself the question: Why am I fighting this battle?
It became more clear to me today. I am fighting it because I want to look back on my career and know that I made a difference. I want to show the importance of never giving up and the power of a dream.
Apparantly, I am already well on my way.
I hope you have a wonderful day and if you get the chance, take a moment to tell someone how special they are...even if it is anonymously.