Interview with Shannon Miller
Your recently published book was titled It’s Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life? Why is life “not about perfect”?
I titled the book “It’s Not About Perfect” because I think it really encapsulates my view on life right now. It wasn’t always that way. In gymnastics, I was always driven by perfection; the perfect landing, the perfect toe point, the perfect score. During my twenties, I faced many of the issues young women everywhere face feeling that I needed to have the perfect hair, perfect grades, etc. I think battling cancer taught me a very important lesson…life is not about perfect. Rather it is about getting up each day and doing the very best you can with that day.
What lessons did you take away from your cancer sickness?
While my faith has been first and foremost, I relied on many lessons I learned through sport during my cancer journey. The importance of goal setting, consistency, staying motivated, and keeping a positive attitude all came into play throughout my journey. I think cancer taught me to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate the small moments. Every day is a treasure.
Who or what inspires you most?
My children inspire me to do and be the best I can be each and every day. I want to set a good example for them. I won’t be perfect, but hopefully I will also teach them how to handle adversity and mistakes with grace and dignity.
What is your recipe for a fit and healthy lifestyle?
I try to keep a good balance of work, rest and play. I fight my schedule just like everyone else. If I miss a workout one day, I try not to be too hard on myself. Instead, I’ll try to sneak a 5 minute workout before bed (even if it’s squats and calf raises while brushing my teeth). Then I make fitness a priority the next day. I know it’s tougher to eat healthy at the airport, so I’ll eat healthy before and after and not worry about grabbing a slice of pizza while running to the next gate. I have an “everything in moderation” philosophy about health and fitness.
Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?
I have so many wonderful moments. Whether I’m speaking to 1000 people or 30, I simply enjoy sharing stories and a message of motivation and hope. My favorite part is meeting so many different people.