4 Lessons I Learned From Gabby Douglas

It’s been too long since my fingers have touched the keys in this space. Plenty of reasons, but no excuses. The good news is, I’ve taken on a challenge which will keep me attached to this space for at least the next 4 weeks. 30 posts, in 30 days. That means I’ll have something to share… every single day. Challenging, yes. Impossible, no. I look forward to sharing with you all.

The Olympic Games are in full swing, and there are plenty of awesome stories coming out of London, however, none of them have been more inspiring for me than that of Gabrielle Douglas. The 16-year-old Virginia Beach, VA became the first African American to win a Gold medal in the Women’s All Around Gymnastic competition yesterday, effectively solidifying herself as a positive role model for young girls everywhere. Her story touched me, and caused me to reevaluate the way I was approaching some of the situations in my life. With that said, I’d like to share with you 4 lessons  (in no particular order) that I learned from watching Gabby Douglas do her thing.

1) Work Hard. – Great athletes dedicate countless hours in the gym to perfecting their skills. They sacrifice spending time with their family and kicking it with their friends for what may seem like one moment in time. In Gabby Douglas’ case, the sacrifice may have been greater than most. She traveled from her home in Virginia, and moved in with a host family in Ohio in order for her to train with the best in the game. Do you think it was easy for a 16 year old girl to be thousands of miles away from her family, working toward such a lofty goal? She’ll tell you that it wasn’t. She took that challenge, and used it as the steam to propel her toward her dreams. No great success comes without hard work. Granted, we live in a microwave society… we’ve been so accustomed to getting things quickly, with little to no effort. I encourage you to see the value in working hard. You can’t expect to get greatness out of a situation if you haven’t put that greatness in. So, whatever it is you’re working toward, don’t be afraid to put your all in. You’ll be happier with the result, because you’ll know that you deserve it. [See Luke 10:2, Proverbs 14:23, Romans 12:11]

2) Stay Focused. – The Olympics presents the world’s biggest stage. In her previous competitions, Gabby noted that one of her main struggles was staying focused. When there’s cheering, millions of flashbulbs, and the sheer knowledge that the entire world is watching your every move, it would be easy to let the pressure take you off of your game. Gabby wasn’t having that. I watched her handle the attention with the utmost grace… I mean she had nerves of steel. That’s the kind of focus you need when you’re on a mission. You keep the vision of achieving your goals at the forefront of your mind, and let the chatter become white noise in the background of your life. If it’s (or he/she’s) not contributing to the achievement of your goals…block it out. Focus the positive. [See Ephesians 4:31-32, Philippians 3:14]

3) Smile – Gabby Douglas has been lauded for her infectious smile, and for good reason. It’s brilliant. Even when she may not have done as well as she would have hoped, she was sure to flash those teeth and keep pressing. That’s commendable. I’m learning the importance of finding the positive in every situation. Even when the world seems like it’s crashing around you, you have to find the blessing in the situation and SMILE. It not only makes you feel better, but it also will keep you from looking evil. Nobody wants to kick it with the person who always has a scowl on their face, right? Right. So evaluate your blessings.. (I’ll help. If you’re reading this, you have life, vision, and internet… which is doing way better than most) and turn that frown upside down. :) [See Proverbs 15:30]

4) Trust God. – When people doubt you, tell you what you can’t do, and say that your dreams are totally improbable… wouldn’t it be nice to have some reassurance that you actually, can? That’s where faith, and a real relationship with God come in. Throughout her quest for gold, Gabby was very clear about the source of her strength. She meditated on scriptures. She prayed before each event. And after it all, gave God glory for helping her win the highest prize in her sport. She not only believed God for that victory, she excercised her faith and walked in the arena with the confidence to make it happen. In our daily lives, it’s so important that we do more than just believe. You can SAY that you believe in God for something, but if there’s no action behind it… you won’t ever get to live life in the fullness that God intends for you. It’s simple. Talk that talk, but make sure you walk that walk right along with it. [See Matthew 5:23, James 2:17, Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:31 & John 16:23]

Do you have any to add? Share with me in the comment section!

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4 thoughts on “4 Lessons I Learned From Gabby Douglas”

  1. The biggest thing I’ve taken from watching Gabby was that sacrifice can make all the difference! To pick up and leave everything you’ve ever known to train for something that seems so elusive and out-of-reach at such a young age takes indescribable courage! She reminded me of how important it is to step out on faith and how rewarding it is to see the fruits of your sacrifice and labor pay off!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Andrea, I totally concur with your reflections. Furthermore, I must tell you that your blog is socially-conscious, relationally-intelligent, spiritually-sound, and well-written!

  3. Andrea, I fully agree with your reflections. Furthermore, I like that your blog is socially-conscious, relationally-intelligent, spiritually-sound, and well-written!

  4. I think you touched all areas of our being, that if nurtured we have a greater chance of obtaining an fully balanced Life. They are mind, body, soul and Spirit. I really enjoyed the bible verses you added, one for the Spirit :-)! Congratulations to Gabby Douglas and her Family and I hope they continue to work and pray together as I hope the same for Families all around the world. Thank you One Pretty Brown Girl, Keep It Coming!

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