Shawn Johnson East, the American gymnast who first rose to fame in the 2008 Olympics, married her NFL player husband Andrew East a year ago on April 16. Now, the Olympian is speaking out about how difficult their first year was - and how their relationship is stronger because of it.
In an interview with People, the 25-year-old (who recently caught some flak for her April Fools' Day pregnancy joke) discussed what new marriage has looked like for her - and it's been a rocky start. "It's been the craziest year of our lives," Johnson East said. "One day doesn't look like the next for us!"
Much of that tumult has to do with their busy athletic careers. The newlyweds had to pack up and wave goodbye to their rural Tennessee wedding venue to start their lives together in Oakland the actual day after their wedding, because East had been signed to the Oakland Raiders. Johnson East said that the two "lived out of a Hampton Inn for 4 months" before she flew out to Rio to be a commentator for the 2016 Olympics. So basically, not the greatest honeymoon one could hope for.
Between her Olympic duties and East being cut from the Raiders just under 5 months after he was signed, Johnson East says she and her husband were apart for more time than they were together during their first year of marriage. They're now living together in Nashville.
Despite the ups and downs, Johnson East said that after "the hardest and best year" of her life they're "happier and more in love than ever." To mark their commitment to one another in spite of the occasional long-distance stretches, the two even designed an anniversary ring together for Johnson East with the help of jeweler Lindsey Scoggins.
At the end of the day, despite the struggle, it's all good for the couple. "I still can't believe I'm married to my best friend," Johnson East admitted. "It's a comfort to be able to come home to him when we are together and to go through life together." Being newly-married is an adjustment period, and kudos to the retired Olympian for being real about the fact that the early days of so-called "wedded bliss" aren't all rainbows and sunshine.
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