Two-time Olympic gymnast gold medalist, Gabrielle Douglas. Photograph by Allen Fraser

Flip Out with Gabby Douglas and Ray Wetterlund III

Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation and slowing down. Many people take vacations or do fun things in their hometown. But sometimes instead of slowing down, we schedule more activities and events. Summer camps, summer school, pool parties, family reunions, and other activities all are fun, but sometimes by adding more on it can leave us exhausted and more irritable. Rather than add more to your schedule this summer, do a schedule flip flop. Trade activity in for rest. Some of the best summer memories are made on days with no plans or activities. Be willing to be care free and do something unpredictable. Plan a picnic. Do cartwheels in the grass. If you’re a planner at heart, schedule a day to have no plan at all or let your family or friends come up with the plan for the day.

 

We interviewed Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas and professional trainer Ray Wetterlund III and asked them about their faith and how it impacts their sport.

 

Two-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas shares how her faith has impacted her life and gymnastics and her advice on being bullied and feeling discouraged.

 

“Faith plays a big role in my life and it started when I was very young. My mom introduced us [my siblings and me] to the Bible and about Jesus and it’s been a part of my life for such a long time. It plays a big role in my life and we do Bible studies [together]. If you watch the Olympics’ footage or any footage, you can see my mouth moving, that’s me praying. I always have to pray before a competition or before I’m about to compete… If someone is being bullied I’d tell them to speak up. Tell an adult or a friend, and [even] if you feel like you’ve been defeated just keep going. I know that may sound like, “What? Keep going? But I’m so down [depressed].” I had a point in my life when I had my ups and downs and six months out before the Olympics [in London,] I wanted to quit because I was at my lowest point. I was homesick and things in the gym were getting really hard for me. But it was my foundation that kept me on track and saying, “Hey, please don’t give up.” So, if you feel defeated keep going. You don’t want to look back and have regrets. Just keep pushing through and you can do it.”

 

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.” 1 Timothy 4:7-9

 

Wetterlund who trains celebrities and athletes reflects on his faith affects his outlook and how he trains.

 

“I would definitely say faith plays a significant role. I’m an only child and my parents divorced when I was 10 years old, so there was a time when it was very difficult for me and I wasn’t able to comprehend and digest everything that was around me at the time. Bouncing around from school to school, living in a tent trailer, and then living with my mom, I think just having God and a support network of everyone else and faith, was just unbelievable. Everything happens for a reason and there seems to be so many things that are so blessed that come into my life and it’s so crazy to me. It’s very humbling… I always had a spiritual connection and a faith in God being raised as a Christian. Going to church as a young kid and growing up in that, it’s just something that has stuck with me. From what I’ve seen through trials and tribulations with close family members and friends who had to overcome more than adversity, battling for their life with cancer, calling upon the faith of God to help them get through whatever it is and to help their family cope with everything that’s going on around them, God plays a very important role in that. I pray every night and I take time to reflect on what I have, and be so grateful. Without God, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, that’s for sure.”

 

To read our entire interviews with Gabby Douglas and Ray Wetterlund III.

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