Video: Interview with Alex Johnson
Oct. 12, 2012
How did you first become involved with gymnastics?
I first became involved with gymnastics when I was about four years old. I was always bouncing off the walls and jumping and flipping over anything I could. I am told that I would even run and jump and flip over my grandparents’ footstool for hours on end. I had so much energy my parents had no idea what to do with me, so they put me into gymnastics. It was actually accidental that I became this involved, because at the time it was only something to help get me out of my parents’ hair.
What are some aspects of the sport that have kept you motivated to continue with it throughout the years?
Aspects of gymnastics that have helped me to stay motivated within the sport are the life lessons that one learns as a part of participating in gymnastics. Gymnastics has taught me that no matter how bad something is, with hard work, there is always a way make things better. When times were hard, due to injury, or any other discouraging event, I would reflect on the past years in the sport, and think about all the work I had put in, and how far I had come, which gave me the determination to keep working and push through the road blocks.
You have experience at the national level (VISA Championships, USA Championships). Can you describe some experiences and/or memories from those competitions?
Every national competition I have competed in had specific memories that stand out, but my most meaningful comes from the 2010 VISA Championships. It was my first time ever competing in a national competition to that extremity, and I honestly had no idea what I was in for. That year I had trained so hard just to make our Region V Team, yet that training helped me to do well at nationals in order to qualify for USA Championships. I can just remember walking in to this huge arena, and seeing all the equipment up on a podium, like something I thought I would only ever see on TV. I was in complete awe by the amount of people I would be preforming for. There were TV cameras on every event, and when I stepped up onto the podium, it felt like I was the only person out there, that hundreds of people all had their eyes on me, and only me. The experience was so unreal, and one that I will cherish forever
How did training at that high level of gymnastics help you prepare for collegiate gymnastics at Ohio State?
Training at the national level has helped prepare me for the collegiate gymnastics in terms of experience and patience. By competing at that level, I learned how to deal with and stay calm in high-pressure situations that will be present in major collegiate competitions such as Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships. The ability to compete at the national level also taught me patience. When competing in a big competition, everything is so exciting and energy filled that it all goes so fast. I had to learn how to maintain my composure in order to preform at the best of my ability, which will help immensely in collegiate gymnastics at Ohio State.
Lastly, you’ve been a student-athlete at Ohio State for almost two months now, what are some fun experiences you’ve had as a Buckeye so far?
There have been too many fun experiences to count, but my favorite so far is being able to walk on to the Ohio State football field at half time of the Scarlet and Gray game. When we went on the field and were recognized, it made me feel apart of something bigger. It made me feel like I had support of all fans and alumni of Ohio State, that I’m not on my own, but that there are hundreds of thousands of people behind me supporting me. It made me feel like all the hard work had paid off, and it was an experience that I wouldn’t have traded for anything