Shawn Johnson East knows how hard it is to compete at such a high level in sports and can relate to the women trying to climb the ladder in that field. Recently, UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis went viral again after her stunning routine, having already made headlines in March 2020. In an exclusive interview with Johnson East, she shared her thoughts on the video shared and favored by many.
"I loved it," the 29-year-old said. "I love seeing this new wave of creativity in gymnastics routines - it was so fun to see her just own it and bring so much self-expression to the floor. It's something that hasn't been typical in gymnastics, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the sport continues to evolve." Starting her routine to Kendrick Lamar and using other famous artists like Missy Elliott, Soulja Boy, and Tupac, the Pacific Rim team champion, stunned everyone.
Johnson East expects her second child with husband Andrew East later this year, but as she gears up for baby number two, she says this time around, she's feeling a little more comfortable with the process — although it has presented new challenges. "Yes and no," she started after being asked if she felt a little more at ease since she's been pregnant before. "With this baby, I'm more comfortable going through the pregnancy journey because I know more about what to expect, but at the same time, I'm in a different place than when I was pregnant with Drew. Now, I'm trying to keep up with a toddler who is always on the move while also dealing with the uncertainty of the world we're living in. What I'm learning is that each pregnancy will be totally unique — and we can't wait to see how this baby will add to our family dynamic."
Johnson East is used to being a "perfectionist" with having an Olympic background; however, now that she's a mom, she's learned to ease up on herself a little. When asked how she's grown in the process of being a first-time mother, she discussed the images she had in her head, thanks to social media, of what she thought being a mom was suppose to look like. Noting how there are mothers out there that seem to be able to do it all, she's learned that that's not the case for her, and she's okay with that. "[...] Now that I'm a mom myself, I laugh at that thought because it's just totally unachievable, at last for me," she said of the idea of being a perfect mom. "Now that we're going to be parents to two under two, I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to meet that 'perfect' standard."
Johnson East recently teamed up with Eggo for their L'eggo with Eggo campaign that encourages parents to go easy on themselves. The pandemic was hard enough on everyone; the idea of trying to do it all, now that many parents are having to homeschool and still work their full-time jobs, is more stress than a lot can handle.