Laurie Hernandez “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” -Book Review, Book Signing Guest Blog By Cathy

Cathy, one of our readers and guest bloggers to our Pure sites, went to Laurie Hernandez’s book signing in Ridgewood, NJ on January 22, 2017. She writes of her fun experience and about the book itself “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” and how there are some similar parallels to the “Move Beyond: “Live On Tour” and Derek Hough. She also mentions how the book has some Dancing With The Stars mentions. Read on for lots more. If interested, you can purchase “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” at Amazon. To purchase tickets to “Move Beyond: “Live On Tour”, go here. THANKS, Cathy!

“I Got This: To Gold and Beyond and MOVE BEYOND: Live on Tour…Laurie Hernández and Derek Hough both look, reach, and dream BEYOND!”
Laurie Hernández booksigning
Bookends ~ Ridgewood, NJ
January 22, 2017
Guest blog by Cathy

As soon as I received an email from Bookends Bookstore announcing that Laurie Hernández would be appearing there to do a booksigning for her new book on January 22, I knew I wanted to go and meet her! Olympic gold and silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and DWTS S23 champion coming right to my backyard…what an awesome opportunity! Then when I saw the title of her new book, I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, I could see the common theme of *beyond* with both Laurie and Derek…To Gold and Beyond and MOVE BEYOND: Live on Tour! I was fascinated by this thought, so I was planning on mentioning this common thread to her when we spoke.

Bookends is an extremely popular bookstore where many celebrities hold booksignings. In fact, Derek had his first booksigning there back in August 2014, followed by Amy Purdy in ’15, and then Kym Johnson (along with Robert Herjavec!) in ’16. So attending this event with Laurie brought back many fond memories of Derek, Amy, and Kym being there, plus once you enter the store, there’s a constant reminder of all past authors who have had booksignings there with their names posted on the wall, categorized by year. What a super idea!

Laurie’s booksigning was scheduled to begin at 1pm and end…whenever!! I arrived at 10:30am, and as I waited inside the store, by 11am I was fortunate to see Laurie enter through the back door, accompanied by her parents, siblings, publicist, and crew. The line was starting to form outside in the parking lot, so after 11am I decided to join the line and wait outside. One of the staff periodically talked with us and kept us up to date regarding her schedule. He informed us that indeed Laurie had arrived and was upstairs signing the books…all 1,700 of them (!!)…for the awaiting crowd! Due to the massive crowd, in order to accommodate her taking photos with everyone, she was presigning the books so that we could just pick them up after meeting her. Made total sense!

It was a very friendly, gymnastics-oriented crowd…lots of young gymnasts sporting their team jackets. And considering the size of crowd, everything ran very smoothly, and it was all very well organized. Just before 1pm, the media started to arrive, and the line began to move. Each booksigning that I’ve attended at Bookends has been slightly different. Laurie’s booksigning was somewhat similar to Derek’s…with an enormous crowd of excited fans anxiously waiting outside!

While awaiting my turn to meet Laurie, I had in mind what I wanted to say to her, but time constraints allowed only a very (very!) brief conversation. We greeted, I handed her an envelope with a little token of a gift, I congratulated her, I mentioned DWTS, and then I added that I was a huge Derek fan, to which she smiled…but before she could really reply, we were rushed along. With a tremendous line still behind me, I totally understood. What I *wanted* to tell her also was that I love how both she and Derek have this common belief in *beyond.* Both are clearly very like minded, and I love their similar mindset and positive and upbeat spirit. She was so sweet and most gracious, and to see the excitement and smiles on all the young gymnasts’ faces said it all.

I am thoroughly enjoying reading her book. In it she shares her personal journey in life so far (and she’s only 16!), from her family and childhood years to winning the Mirrorball trophy and beyond, and she is very motivating and inspirational throughout. She has dedicated two full chapters to her experience on DWTS, and she writes in such an interesting and captivating way about her journey on the show, the difference between elite gymnastics training and dance rehearsals, how she and Val worked together, challenges she faced, what she learned along the way, and how she grew as a dancer. Beautifully written, and I love her use of emojis at the beginning of each chapter…after all, she is nicknamed “the Human Emoji”!!

BEYOND…one simple, yet extremely powerful word. Not only do Laurie and Derek think and go *beyond* in their own lives, but they inspire us to look, reach, and dream *beyond*…to push past any obstacles, overcome any limitations, and believe and achieve what we never thought was possible. What a beautiful way to live! I am so grateful for their encouraging words and positive outlook. I so look forward to seeing what’s beyond Laurie’s Olympic gold and to attending Derek and Julianne’s upcoming, epic MOVE BEYOND: Live on Tour! Exciting times ahead!