"You can only control your performance, your job, or your company. You can't control the competition," she tells us. Whether it is a competitive business raising money or another gymnast on the balance beam, Liukin eloquently states, "You can only control the controllable."
So that's exactly what she did. On a regular day since the age of six, Liukin would train from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., attend school from noon to 3:30 pm and practice again from 4 to 7 pm. She'd travel home, finish up homework, complete physical therapy, ice her aching muscles and fall asleep, only to repeat it all the next day.
"What you do outside the gym is almost as important as what you do in training," Liukin says. Just like the life of a serial entrepreneur, your routine on the competition floor is only aided by your hard work off the mat.
"If you love what you do, the sacrifices are worth it. I chose to be home by 9 pm the night of my senior prom. The Olympics were [the] next year! I understood that I would have plenty of nights to stay up late and go to parties."
So what does it feel like to go to the Olympics and bring home a medal? Liukin tells us that it is surreal. But as with any high-stakes scenario, there may be naysayers both at the gym and in your head.
To silence the monster voice inside and amplify the cheerleader, Liukin suggests believing you can have the best routine of your life. Business is a thoughtful process of positively visualizing how you want to see growth; gymnastics is no different.
Her number one tip for hushing the negative is to guide yourself through a routine with keywords. Replace "What if I fail?" with "What do I need to do in order to win?"
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