Monday, May 5, 2008

Thanks

I'm overwhelmed by all of the positive letters, emails and blog posts in response to the book. Glad to have touched so many of you, who claim to have had similar experiences. Have even gotten notes from people who were never gymnasts who say the story resonates with them. The feelings of inadequacy turned inward and self-destructive.
Thank you all for your support. I feel I've made many new 'friends'.
Jen

5 comments:

Rick said...

Just wondering why you deleted your post entitled "Hi Jessica".

The one where you confronted criticism of your book and book tour by your former teammate Jessica Armstrong.

AMANDA said...

Jen,

I finished reading your book last week and I must say, it took me a back. It made me remember a lot of things I had pushed below the surface and locked away. So much of what you experienced hit home with me, especially the disordered eating and misrepresentation/distorted body image. There was so much pressure on us, not only as gymnasts, but also as females in society, to be THIN. I don't blame the sport for my troubled self-image, but I do think it magnified my errant views. Just reading your words, knowing someone else, someone better than me, dealt with the same issues...it helps. It seems like you've truly moved on and found solace in family and life. I think you're a beautiful, amazing person and you were an AWESOME gymnast. I really mean that. USA was lucky to have you among their list of Elite.

Caroline said...

Hi Jennifer,
I just finished reading your book and I was very moved by it. I am not nor have I ever been a gymnast but I am captivated by the sport and awed by the sacrifice of young gymnast as well as by their talent and the magnificence of their skills. I hope you can realize that you are winner even without any medals - that you are good enough for just being who you are. I think women in general struggle with that. I know I do. If one little thing goes wrong in my life, I beat myself up and call myself a loser and an idiot. So I definitely related to your book. I think another reason I love gymnastics is because the skills can be seen as metaphors for life: balance, courage, strength, flexibility, persistence, and energy are things that we all need to get through the day, don't we?
Anyway, please know that I wish you all the best and I will be checking this website often.

gymmom said...

Your book came out at a time when my daughter just left the sport of competitive gymnastics. I found I couldn't put it down. She was praticing 20 hrs a week for the last several years. There were so many things that I could relate to in your book that still happen today. And reading your book has helped me appreciate some of what my daughter had been going through and her decision to quit. I can't wait for her to read it to cement her decision to quit the sport, even though we are lost without it. Thank You.

Paula said...

I just finished reading your book- almost all in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was an elite gymnast in the late 80's and you were one of my favorite gymnasts to watch. I didn't have nearly as difficult an experience as you did, but it had its ups and downs- disordered eating, verbally abusive coaches, clueless parents. I, too, inflicted a lot of misery on myself and was too afraid to let my parents down and tell them about my struggles. I wanted to quit many times. I am proud of you for having the guts to quit when you did. Thankfully, I chose not to move to one of the powerhouse gyms, but I witnessed a lot of inappropriate behavior by those coaches during meets. In college, I heard similar stories to yours from teammates who had trained at such gyms, so it was not hard to believe your story.
Like your father, I am now a pediatrician. It was interesting to me to see how even the most educated parent, who should know better, can still make mistakes. Again, thank you for giving such an honest and insightful look into your life. I hope more gymnasts come forward and do the same. I'm excited to recommend your book to my former teammates- I know it will hit home with them as well.