Biles’ decision to be true to herself was better than gold

By now, we all know that Simone Biles removed herself from some of the competitions at the 2021 summer Olympics in Tokyo.


Even if she returns today, as expected, her decision has rocked the world.


Some reacted negatively, but I was one of those who cheered her on for making a decision to put herself and her mental health first, in this case, before even gold medals and worldwide acclaim.


Knowing how hard it is to display our vulnerabilities publicly, I am floored by the personal strength and courage it must have taken to walk away from what many see as the pinnacle of success at a global competition being watched by millions.


Like it or not, we live in a society that values outer accomplishment much more than it does inner well-being. We've all been taught the lessons of accomplishing and achieving so well that we've begun equating our value as human beings to these actions.


But it's time for a reset.


Perspectives are changing and Simone and other athletes are paving the way for the rest of us to rethink our priorities and find the balance we need now -- not when we've become successful in our careers, or financially secure, or even well-loved and respected.


Now.


The good news is, for most of us, rethinking our well-being doesn't have to be done on global television. Nor does it have to completely disrupt our lives.


We can begin alone or by reaching out to others. We can take it slow or jump in all at once. We can take steps forward and then retreat before trying again.


There are no rules.


Simone Biles showed us that. In a sport dominated by regulations, with points deducted for even the tiniest of mistakes, she broke all the rules and remained true to herself.


She set a shining example for the rest of us, and hopefully made it a little easier for us to follow her example.



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