Bless the Gym
I was raised by Christian parents and we went to church often: to Vacation Bible School, youth programs and all that. But my relationship with God really became more intimate toward the end of 2008. I was faced with an injury and was doing a lot of things that I knew weren’t right. I knew I needed to make some changes, and I turned back to God. I’ve really been growing spiritually since then.
Growth for me has come through focusing on God’s Word, understanding that those promises don’t come without preparation. You need to be aware whose you are and the power you have through Him. That’s what keeps me going and reminds me why I am doing what I’m doing. Verses like Psalm 63:4–“I will live for thee and lift my hands in praise”–and John 14:13 help me focus when I’m practicing or competing.
I try to share my faith as much as possible, using this platform that I have as an Olympian. For me, part of that is just being real and showing that faith is a part of me. This is the truth for me.
My faith is part of anything that I’m doing. God has given me these desires, and He cares about those things. If I’m doing it to glorify His name, there’s no way I can fail. I may not do exactly what I want to do, but if I’m doing it for Him, I won’t be disappointed. I just want to share my story with people and inspire others.
My motto is “Bless the Gym,” and that has multiple meanings. For me, the gym represents our body that we live in every day, so we want to take care of that and live an active and healthy lifestyle. With the physical gym building, I want to bless it with my time, talent and presence, being a good influence to people around me. Whatever your gym is, that’s yours to bless, whether it’s the track or the pool. If you believe in the Word of God, your body is the gym.
The centerpiece of my peace is God, my Lord and Savior. That’s why I do what I do. I’ve been blessed with these abilities, so why would I not want to do my best and leave a legacy through that. I want to excel, not just athletically, but that gives me a platform to connect with people.