October is breast cancer awareness month, and the former head coach of the 7 time NCAA Champion UCLA women's gymnastics team made a stop in Brooklyn. Her goal was to inspire young gymnasts, by discussing her battle with breast cancer and how to overcome adversity.
Valorie Kondos Field has coached many gymnasts, including Olympic champions Simone Biles, Jordan Wieber and Nastia Liukin. In her book "Life is Short Don't Wait to Dance" the former ballerina says nothing changed her life like her breast cancer diagnosis in 2015.
She shared her story of struggle and joy with gymnasts at Gotham Gymnastics on Saturday, October 19th. Kondos Field says struggle is the ultimate road to success. She revealed to NY1 that the disease and her journey to survival made her stronger and more grateful. She says, "what breast cancer did for me was help me live every day to fully be my best. And If I can just impart that onto a young person. Don't waste one day!"
The retired coach, author and motivational speaker also offered critique to the gymnasts during the day-long clinic and gave them journals and pens to document their personal challenges and accomplishments. College sports consultant Jill Hicks was also on hand with Field to answer gymnasts' questions about the sport and recruitment.