5 Things we can all learn from Nadia Comaneci

If you do gymnastics, know about gymnastics, have ever watched gymnastics on the television, or are excellent at trivia chances are you will know of Nadia Comaneci. 

Comaneci was of course the Romanian gymnast who achieved the first ever Perfect 10, and at only age 14 at the 1976 Olympic Games. Having read her autobiography myself, I can vouch for the woman as being pretty incredible; fiercely competitive, understanding, perceptive and impossibly resilient. Here are 5 things we can all learn from Nadia Comaneci.

1. It’s okay to be competitive

Sometimes, to be competitive is looked down upon, it’s seemingly uncool to try hard, to be competitive. Comaneci, however dictates her competitiveness as being paramount to her drive.  
“I was very competitive since I was 5. At 5 years old, I competed in kindergarten in a tricycle competition, and I won that too.”

2. Failure is an inevitable part of every process

It’s hard to imagine the World’s Greatest Gymnast accepting failure. However, Comaneci understands the inevitability of failure in any pursuit. The more extraordinary the pursuit, the more failures you’ll face. 
“Be humble and… be prepared to fail.”

3. The importance of giving it 100%

Comaneci also testifies to the importance of determination. It is evident throughout her years as a gymnast, and beyond, that she gave her entire self to any pursuit in order to not only make the most of the moments, but to be the best she could be in every field. 
“Without work and sacrifice, you don’t get anywhere.”

4. Fall down 7, get up 8

They say the things worth having, don’t come easy. Hand in hand with her determination, was Nadia’s perseverance and endurance in chasing goals. You must be relentless in your efforts to reap the rewards. 
“Perseverance is critical. I achieved whatever success I achieved because I was unwilling to stop.”

5. Life is a journey

For someone who was so goal-oriented and lived her life in pursuit of these athletic and life achievements, Nadia is an advocate of the ‘Life is a journey’ principle. There is great importance in understanding and accepting life as a reel of moments which we live for, rather than a series of intermissions between the main acts. When bad things happen, it’s important to be resilient. Keep calm and carry on, because there are always good things just around the corner. 
“I live in the moment. I can turn the page and move on.”
Written by GNSW  resident blogger Enid Sung