The Olympian releases her memoir, I Got This, on Jan. 24

By Patrick Gomez
January 20, 2017 09:00 AM
Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Laurie Hernandez earned the nickname “The Human Emoji” because of her effervescent attitude, but the Olympian and Dancing with the Stars champ admits she’s far from ever-smiling.

“I’m a big crier,” Hernandez, 16, says in the current issue of PEOPLE of how she can react when a competition does not go well.

The gymnast fondly remembers how her family — including dad Anthony, a court clerk, mom Wanda, a social worker, and older siblings Jelysa and Marcus — rallied around her after she placed second-to-last at her first national competition when she was 12.

“Even when I didn’t believe in myself, my family did,” says Hernandez, whose memoir I Got This is slated to debut Jan. 24. “They remind me that you have to go through those rough points before you sprout into the person you’re supposed to be.”

  • For more from Hernandez, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

But there is one thing Hernandez says she won’t ever cry about: her hectic schedule.

“Some days I’m like, ‘Oh, man. Another day of doing this?’ ” says the teen, who is currently on the Dancing with the Stars: Live! tour. “But then my brain switches to, ‘Look what you’re doing! You’re never going to do this again.’ [Then] I’m ready for the day and giddy walking out the door.”