When did you begin thinking about making a comeback?
I've been thinking about it for six or eight months now. It's one thing to think about it and another thing to actually make it happen. This is my first step, to officially start training full-time and not work.
How long have you been training full-time?
This past spring I started with general strength training. I did that for a month or two and then started doing gymnastics again. I learned some new skills during that time, but then I tweaked my shoulder a little bit. From mid-May/June until now I've been letting my shoulder recover and now I'm back doing gymnastics.
How is training going? Is it easier or harder than you expected?
I can do a lot of tricks on certain days, but when you have to do strength training, gymnastics, skills, and stretching all combined- I get pretty darn sore right now.
It's a battle. It's just something that you understand as an athlete. It's not going to be easy, but you have to find a way to enjoy the process. I'm sure I will, but there are going to moments I'm in pain.
What do you anticipate your biggest challenge will be?
One thing I need to worry about is protecting my body and making sure that I'm fully prepared physically prior to doing certain skills again.
With this shoulder injury, I just pushed too quickly back into a tough trick where I probably needed to spend another couple weeks doing the drills and exercises necessary to build up the strength to protect that joint.
As far as events go, I think that floor is going to be a bit of a challenge because the routines are longer. Other than that, I'm pretty darn optimistic about things.
I personally believe I'm still one of the best all-arounders in the world. I want to see if I put in another full effort, how good of a gymnast I can actually be.
When do you plan to return to competition?
I'm thinking Winter Cup in February 2011. That is the first step, to get back on the national team, and then I'll be able to start competing internationally.
Going back to the 2008 Olympics, you broke your hand just months before the Games and were unable to recover in time to compete. How difficult was it to watch on television?
[The injury] was devastating. I had to have surgery and they put in a plate with nine screws in my hand. I pushed myself to the limit getting back, but I just wasn't ready in enough time.
It was hard not to be there, but I was sitting back home watching the Games and standing up, shouting for the guys to clinch that bronze medal.
You still feel like you're a part of the team.
My efforts, though they may not be out on the competition floor with my own personal performance, they show up somehow in the amount that I was able to push other athletes to beat me and I was able to give one athlete a pointer here and another athlete a pointer there.
You toured until November 2008, then got a job in finance. What did you miss most about gymnastics while you were working?
When I get into the gym, it's like I enter a new world. It's a place for me to just play. Even though sometimes it's really serious and you have to do routines and it's very strict, it's a world where you can forget about the other things going on in your life that might bother you.
You just focus on specific goals you have and that's what I love. I spent ten hours a day sitting in front a computer most of the time and that gets tiring when you're someone who was an athlete their whole life.
Any chance your twin, Morgan, will come back for the London Games?
No, he's decided not to. He's married now and on a different path at the moment. He's going to go back to grad school.
Will you watch this year's national championships?
I will try to watch, but I will be over in Iraq for 10 days [on] a goodwill military tour. I get to fly in helicopters, shoot the guns, and meet people from the military. I'm excited.
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