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Musings

Dear UCLA

Dear UCLA

In honor of UCLA celebrating their centennial birthday, I’ve decided to share the speech I wrote for my farewell banquet honoring the greatest university in the world. Dear UCLA, thank you for a life I would have never imagined.  For more than half my life you have welcomed me as a steward of one of […]

Novelty: Intriguing or Frightening?

Novelty: Intriguing or Frightening?

I have written quite a bit about how I attempt to find joy every day through mindful moments of appreciation and gratitude. To be honest, most of the time it’s been pretty easy. For the past 37 years I was able to walk into the gym at UCLA and start my day with 20 hugs […]

Storybook Ending

Storybook Ending

Storybook Endings ~ we all dream of them. We plan for them, work for them, hope and pray for them. How often do they actually turn out? I like to think that if I work hard and smart at something, that eventually my determination and discipline will collide with a bit of luck and that […]

No Regrets

No Regrets

When you know, you know. It’s really a tranquil feeling when you absolutely know that you are making the right decision. Being able to walk away from a coaching career on my own terms, fully knowing it’s the right time is one of the final gifts I will receive from my time as UCLA’s head […]

Words Matter

Words Matter

“To speak with impeccability is to speak from your highest self. It means that you speak with intention and with integrity. It means that your words are in alignment with what you say you want to produce—your vision and your dreams.” ~ Jack Canfield from The Success Principles Words matter. And listening matters. It would […]

Dear Pauley

Dear Pauley

Without exception, for 37 consistent years every time I walk through the doors of Pauley Pavilion I get the sensory reminder that I am, indeed, on hallowed ground. From athletic championships to rock concerts, presidential debates and awards shows, Pauley Pavilion has been an elegant and regal host to some of the most significant people […]

Balance vs. Harmony

Balance vs. Harmony

I have been asked a lot these past few months, “How are you managing to do it all?” An interesting, and at first, daunting question to ponder. “It all” includes all of the responsibilities that go into coaching the UCLA Gymnastics team along with all of the media attention and requests that are a result […]

The Invisible Life Package

The Invisible Life Package

For more than three decades I have watched young women enter the gym. In many instances I could see that some were dealing with personal issues—big and small. Sometimes I knew what was going on and other times I had no idea. Last week I read about a great new visual to help spread the […]

Miss Val’s Favorite Floor Routines*

Miss Val’s Favorite Floor Routines*

I could have retired a long time ago if I received a nickel every time someone asked me what my favorite floor routine was. So when I wrote my first book, “Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance” I knew I had to address this topic. In it, I share the routines I believe pushed […]