Simone Biles - The True Strength of a Woman
I am a huge fan of gymnastics and especially love watching the olympics when all the greatest athletes in the world are on display to showcase and prove they are the best. These athletes work so hard and have so much talent, how can you not look at them and feel like they are someone to admire? Their drive, dedication, persistence are admirable traits.
When someone like Simone Biles comes along, we are all in awe of her talent and in the case of gymnastics, perfection. Gymnasts are not suppose to have a bad day. When they wobble, take a small hop after a double pike Tsukahara on vault, or step out of bounds after a double double on floor, we gasp. Sticking the landing is the perfection we all want to see and they want to achieve.
If you follow the sport, you know when a gymnast is having a bad day. Most of the time, a bad day for a gymnast is a bobble or step on a landing. And that can be the difference of making the Olympic team and not making it. So to be the best, a gymnast needs to NOT have a bad day on the days that matter.
For Simone Biles, I don't believe I have ever seen her have a bad day. Simone is the GOAT (Greatest of all time) in women's gymnastics. No other woman comes close to her difficulty. That is why she can fall and still score higher. Because she is doing things no other woman does. Though she rarely falls and is always just about as perfect as anyone could ever be. And therein lies the problem. She is human. And no human is perfect all of the time.
Unfortunately for Simone, her bad day happened at the Olympics. And while some want to criticize her and others want to praise her, I think there is a middle ground. Of course we are all disappointed. We were hoping to see her dominate the sport this Olympics. We all wanted to see her perfection.
But she showed her humanity. She quit on the competition when she realized her head was not right. And while people may not understand her fully for doing that, people don't have to. All that matters is that she made the best choice for her and her teammates at the time. She did the best she could do as a human.
I know, athletes at Simone's level are suppose to be so strong mentally that nothing gets to them. But something did. Or everything did. We can all push off things that are happening around us to focus on our goals, but mental challenges affect the body and can affect competitions.
The difference in performing in swimming, or running, basketball or most other sports when you are not mentally strong enough as compared to gymnastics, is that in those other sports, you will just not win. In gymnastics, you could seriously hurt yourself. Getting on the beam or doing flips with the flu, is way different then shooting a hoop and missing because your head is not clear. In gymnastics, their is a much higher potential for injury.
Simone said she got the "twisties." Other gymnasts understood right away what she meant. It is a term that gymnasts use to describe a loss of control in the air when your brain seems to disconnect from your body and you don't know where you are. I personally understand this because I did gymnastics through high school and I felt that way every time I tried to add a twist to a flip. My brain couldn't handle it. I literally had a black out in my brain. It is a frightening experience. So my hardest trick was a back layout, no twists! All the more reason I am in awe of these athletes who do multiple flips and twists and stick the landings! They have the mental capacity to know where they are in the air and the mental ability to control their bodies at the same time. This is all the more reason Simone decided to sit out if she was getting the twisties, because she could literally kill herself with the level of difficulty she performs.
Simone made the right call. And I stand by her. I believe she is so great that she would intimidate me if I ever met her, and there are only a few women who I put in that position. Her power and strength were not diminished by her decision to sit out. Sure, she disappointed me. She disappointed the world. We are all selfishly upset that we couldn't see her be the GOAT at the Olympics and show off her triple vault and other dominate skills.
But she also showed her strength and wisdom. She knew herself. Something many people are not capable of at such a young age. She stood up for herself for what she knew was the right thing to do. Again, not something many people are capable of doing. She knew she couldn't perform. She knew her body and mental state. So she stepped aside. That had to be one of the toughest things she has ever done as an athlete. I think to her, deciding to sit out was tougher than her Yurchenko Double Pike vault. And her making the call to do what she felt was necessary, shows her strength, and that is something that could never be disappointing.
Simone, you showcased the strength of a woman, both inside and out, and I admire you, stand by your choice, and send nothing but love your way.