Karen Gonzalez: A Different Approach

Senior Gymnast Karen Gonzalez has a different approach to life, as evident in her twitter profile.

She recently tweeted:

This is the approach at life that makes Gonzalez so vibrant.

While juggling student-teaching and gymnastics, her days have never been so busy.

She spends the first half of her day at Canyon View High School teaching Spanish, before spending the rest of the day at gymnastics practice.

Southern Utah’s gymnasts practice in the afternoon, so her time constraints force her to practice in the late afternoon/evening , without her teammates.

Gonzalez is almost always exhausted from her busy lifestyle, but balancing her schedule has taught her a few tricks along the way. Here are a few of her favorites:

Keep a Journal

In the eighth grade, Gonzalez broke her arm. She decided to pick up a journal and began documenting her feelings.

Her journaling was very simple in the beginning, but after moving into high school, the pages became more complex. Confetti, guitar picks, photos from concerts and funny doodles accompany her writing.

She tries her best to keep her journals positive and only keep the content that will help her grow as a person.

“When I don’t like the vibe of the journal, I stop the journal and buy a new one because I am not feeling it,” Gonzalez said. “If I don’t like what I’m am putting on paper, I won’t like how it makes me feel when I write in it.”

Writing helps Gonzalez free herself from lingering thoughts that are deep down inside and gives her the clearest mind possible to conquer her crazy busy life.

Be Yourself

Ever since Gonzalez was a young girl, her dad stressed the saying, “La gente es fantasma,” which means, “People are phantoms.” In other words, you shouldn’t care if they judge you.

Gonzalez certainly lives by this saying. She dances like no one is watching, she makes funny faces and noises throughout the day, seemingly not giving a care in the world who she is around.

Even Gonzalez’s students know her true personality and this makes for a fun and productive learning environment.

“If you just try to hide something about you, then your shine is going to be dulled,” Gonzalez said.

This has helped her grow closer to her coaches and teammates in the gym, resulting in an unbreakable bond.

Surround Yourself with Good People

Gonzalez is fortunate to have her two sisters in St. George, so she makes it a priority to spend quality time with them almost every week.

When all three of them get together, it is a party. Both of her sisters are similar to Gonzalez in being true to themselves, so they always connect well.

Gonzalez relies on them to make her better in and out of the gym. When she needs serious life advice, they are the first to help her.

They often drive to a spot that is relaxing and away from all their worries to talk, take pictures and live life in the moment.

“We push each other and help each other to not give up on our dreams.”

Story by: Maddie Loomis for SUU News
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication