Today we’re talking with gymnast Karen Campbell. Let’s welcome her!
Tell us a little bit about how you got into gymnastics and why you love it so much.
My story is like so many other elite gymnasts, I was already flipping all over the furniture by age two and my parents wanted me to burn off some energy in safer place.
What are some sacrifices you’ve had to make for the sake of your dreams? Would you say they were (and are) worth it?
I only know the media answer to this question and by that, I mean that I’ve been told what “normal” teenagers do, but since I haven’t done many of those things, nothing really feels like a sacrifice. Okay, maybe I miss eating some of the foods I ate without second thought as a kid—ice cream, cake, fried cheese sticks—but my healthy and more limited diet doesn’t bother me too much and I don’t feel as well prepared for workouts if I’m not eating right. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t imagine my life without gymnastics, so it has to be worth it, right? Who would I be without it? I have no idea. It’s so much a part of me.
What’s the ultimate goal that you’re working towards?
I’m tired of blending in. Tired of my skills blurring with a dozen other gymnasts. I’d never say this out loud to anyone, but I think I’m ready to stand out, whatever that means.
What would you do (or how would you react) upon achieving that goal?
There’s really no way to know until I get there. One thing that helps me a lot when it comes to things like this, is that I love the day-to-day training, I love the process as much if not more as the outcome. Of course I want to win, but when I’m up there on top of the podium, I want to have flashbacks to all those hard days and the relentless repetition and the hours and the discipline.
Who or what inspires you?
Right now, I feel like the idea of being the only person to do a skill or having the most difficult routine of anyone in the competition or the best execution, is my driving force. I used to be much more conservative and only really cared about my own performance. I wanted to hit all my routines, even if that meant making them easier. Now, I have these fantasies of doing something incredible that makes the audience and the other gymnasts gasp.
After your parent’s accident, Coach Bentley took you in; how’d you feel about that? What’s your opinion of his son, Jordan?
With Coach Bentley, most of the time, I can’t figure out what he’s thinking or why he says or does certain things. It drives me crazy. So until I figure out why, I don’t really know how to feel except grateful that I stay at my gym with my teammates. And Jordan…I don’t know what to say about him other than, he’s setting the standard for every boy I meet from this day forward.
I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how have you coped since your parents’ accident? Who or what has helped you get through this?
I’m not sure. I wish someone could give me a score or an evaluation sheet and tell me what I need to work on to though everything. I’m not there yet. Not even close.
What’s something you’ve learned about life recently? Where do you place your hope?
My hope is in myself and my own ability to overcome obstacles. I just hope that this isn’t too big of a mountain for me to climb. I don’t know what I’ll do if it is.
About the Book...
Pub. Date: August 1, 2013
From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest Series...
Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics...
I've gotten used to the dead parents face. I've gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I've even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that's made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan--being around him, talking to him, thinking about him--makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That's something I haven't been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it's like to wonder--what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you're struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be...maybe...probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can't happen, can it? But kissing him...well, let's just say it's not an easy activity to forget.
Buy the book here:
About the Author…
Julie Cross is the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere (8/13), a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict. You can find her online via twitter, her personal website, email, facebook, Goodreads, or co-moderating the YAwriters section of reddit.
*GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY*
AUTOGRAPHED FINISHED COPIES of...
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ARCs of NOV 2013 - FEB 2014 YA RELEASES
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- Personalized signed copies of TEMPEST + VORTEX (a foreign edition if available can be swapped for the U.S. edition)
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