Rad Reads

She's got it: Laurie Hernandez inspires with I Got This: To Gold and Beyond

It might be a new year, but we're still reminiscing on all of the epic events of 2016. One of the biggest, of course, was the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where Team USA brought home 121 medals. Two of those medals were won by 16-year-old Laurie Hernandez, aka "the Human Emoji" and an ordinary girl from New Jersey who just so happens to be an insanely inspiring gymnast. Now, Laurie's passing some of that inspo on and telling us all about how she earned her gold and silver—and so much more—in her new girl power memoir, I Got This: To Gold and Beyond.

A love of the sport...
It was Shawn Johnson East that sparked Laurie's love of gymnastics. As a kid, Laurie watched the then 15-year-old compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Immediately, Laurie told her mother, "I want to do gymnastics, and I want to go to the Olympics just like her!" So Laurie's mom enrolled her in a class and the rest is, well, history. What can we learn from this? If you want something, just ask for it!

A difficult journey...
Much of I Got This: To Gold and Beyond details Laurie's road to Rio. She shares exactly what she had to do to get there: spending hours in the gym developing her skills, overcoming tough obstacles like her knee injury and major nerves and dealing with disappointment after bad meets. Even though we're not all gymnasts, everyone can relate to that OMG-this-is-so-scary, butterflies-in-stomach feeling when we're taking a risk.

Her dream spot...
Laurie's hard work paid off in a *big* way when she landed a spot on the US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team alongside some of our fave olympian girls: Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian (with Laurie, they make the Final Five). Together, the girls won gold (gold!) and formed an incredibly tight bond. Laurie also won an individual silver medal for her performance on the balance beam. Right before that epic routine, she muttered the words “I got this"—hence the title of the book! She's proof that with hard work and a little faith, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. 

Dancing into America's heart... 
Not only did she achieve her gold medal goals at the Olympics, but Laurie quickly became one of America’s newest sweethearts as viewers fell in love with the sweet and smiling athlete on Dancing with the Stars. In I Got This, Laurie describes letting her inhibitions go and dancing her heart out with partner Val Chmerkovskiy for weeks. After a long competition, she became the youngest contestant ever to win the Mirrorball Trophy. Another accolade in the bag, Laurie proved that next to her "I got this" attitude, opening yourself up to greatness is another big key to success.

Telling others "You've got this"...
At its core, Laurie’s memoir is all about growing up with a dream, working hard to achieve it and the amazing feeling that courses through you when you've realized you've accomplished it. Her bubbly and expressive personality shines through as she encourages you to go for your own personal gold in I Got This: To Gold and Beyond. Snag a copy from HarperCollins online HERE or in bookstores everywhere.

What's your biggest achievement? Share the moment you're *most* proud of below! 


by Maddie Smith | 1/24/2017