The 13th Annual Nastia Liukin Cup And Other Musings
I can’t believe that we’re about to have the THIRTEENTH Nastia Liukin Cup. What started as a dream of mine to create a space to showcase incredible talent and foster an environment of empowerment and inspiration has turned into over a decade of powerful moments that have surpassed any hopes I had for this little “Cup” of mine.
Every year around this time, I take a step back from the craziness that is preparation for the Cup and I let an immense sense of gratitude wash over me. I let it trickle into every bone, every organ, until I am overcome with the emotion. And I use that to fuel me, and humble me, and ground me. Everything I do is with the next generation in mind, and I hope that I can pass along to them even just one thing I learned along the way.
This year, the Cup is in my own backyard—Frisco! I have so many fond memories in this area. It’s where I spent my formative years training for the Olympics. Every road, every building I pass reminds me of that special time. Sometimes, when I’m driving past certain areas, I get a surge of anxiety thinking I’m late for practice, haha. And by late, I mean 10 minutes early instead of 20. Elite athletics will instill a good sense of promptness in anyone.
I wrote out a list of small learnings and tidbits of advice (besides promptness) on my Instagram, in which I hoped would provide a sense of ease to the young women competing in the Nastia Liukin Cup this year. I thought I’d share here, too, if you find yourself reading:
Control the controllables. Anything outside of that should not be of your concern.
Your personal best IS good enough. Striving for something beyond that is not only unrealistic, but also sets you up for disappointment.
Visualize yourself having the best routine and meet of your life. What steps do you have to take to get there? I can still picture myself competing my Olympic routines, move by move, for each event. Visualize yourself standing on the podium.
Keep a positive thought, because a positive thought cannot be denied. When you let the negative seep in, it can overpower your mind. Push out every negative thought before it even has a chance to form.
Oh, and one last thing: you’re not defined by a medal. You’re not defined by which place you come in or a job title or anything other than your character. Who you are as a person defines you. Who you are to OTHERS defines you. So, no matter what the outcome this weekend, know that in your heart. And carry THAT with you.