It's been a few years since we last saw retired artistic gymnast Shawn Johnson East compete in the Olympics. But since then, the four-time medalist has accomplished a handful, and at just 25-years-old! Aside from winning the mirrorball trophy on ABC's Dancing with the Stars in 2009 and publushing a New York Times best-selling book, Johnson East married NFL long snapper, Andrew East, a year ago. The couple met through East's brother about three years earlier, according to People, and then tied the knot last April on a private farm in Franklin, Tennessee, hosting the perfect rustic wedding.
But while you'd imagine nothing less than a relaxing and romantic first-year of marriage for the athletes, it's actually been the opposite. "It’s been the craziest year of our lives," Johnson East told People. "One day doesn’t look like the next for us!"After all of the wedding planning and preparation, you'd think that the couple would be able to take a breather. But in reality, there was no time to step on the brakes for the newlyweds. The morning after their wedding, the two had to get on a 6 a.m. flight to California for East's football training."We lived out of a Hampton Inn for four months and we cooked from our hotel room and found our way around Oakland while he was training for the Raiders," Johnson East says about their living situation post-marriage. "A few months later, I flew to Rio to cover the Olympics as a commentator."
But the business didn't stop then and there. Both athletes were busy trying to juggle both marriage and their careers, and had little control over the ups and downs they endured. "It was a long few months, we went through hard things," Johnson East says. "He got cut from the NFL and tried out for another team, we were both going through stressful times in life. But regardless of the struggles, their marraige still holds strong. In fact, after the year of various complications, East Johnson says they're "happier and more in love than ever." "I still can’t believe I’m married to my best friend," she says. "It’s a comfort to be able to come home to him when we are together and to go through life together."
And at the end of the day, it's having each other that makes the marraige worthwhile. "I love him more every single day," says Johnson East. "The first year is the hardest and best year of your life!"