Shawn Johnson East Says Day After the Olympics Was 'One of the Hardest Days of My Life'

Shawn Johnson East won four medals — one gold and three silver — at the 2008 Summer Olympics

shawn Johnson
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty

From the highest high, to the lowest low.

Former gymnast Shawn Johnson East is getting candid about how she felt after the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she won four medals — one gold and three silver.

The 27-year-old said on the #Adulting podcast, “I remember the day after the Olympics being, like, one of the hardest days of my life, because you set this goal and you get so obsessed with something where your entire life revolves around it and then, all of the sudden, it’s done.”

She continued, “And I remember waking up the next morning, and, I always explain it like, I felt like I ran, like, straight into a brick wall at full speed.”

Johnson East — who is expecting her first child with her football player husband Andrew East — said she “felt lost,” and “didn’t know how to eat. I didn’t know how to workout.”

“I didn’t know how to function because I didn’t have this goal that was kind of driving my choices on a daily basis,” said the former athlete. “When all of your choices, all day, every day revolve around the same goal, you kind of pair your identity with it. So, I felt lost.”

Johnson East returned to gymnastics, before ultimately retiring in 2012 due to injury. It was then, she said, that she realized “I need help.”

“I need a therapist,” she shared on the podcast. “I need people to really guide me and help me kind of decipher through without telling me what it is I need to do. And it completely changed the game. I had a nutritionist. I had a therapist. I had everyone kind of coaching me through what I felt and what the next steps should be.”

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