Simone Biles and Choosing Peace Over People Pleasing
Watching the Olympics without a hint of athletic ability, a bowl of ice cream in hand, has become a pastime of mine recently. I'd never be able to conquer such athletic feats, but my gosh, I am an enthusiastic fan and I just want everyone to win.
Seeing Simone Biles in gymnastics was a game-changer for me. We just didn't see black women in gymnastics. All she had to do was wave and I was already hype.
This year, for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, the diversity of the American Olympics team has me hooting and hollering! We have a whole team of strong women of color, it's amazing.
Watching Simone Biles this year, I cheered for her flips. And like a black woman in church when a child stutters through their Easter speech, I still cheered for her stumbles ("That's alright, baby!" "Go ahead, baby!").
So when I heard the news that Simone decided to withdraw from the competition, citing mental health issues, I felt a confirmation in my heart stiring.
I knew at that moment, that I was not just admiring someone who was the GOAT. I stan an absolute queen.
That queen energy is in all of us though. We are all champions that are deserving of love and care and praise. We are amazing being that touch and inspire the immediate people in our lives just in the ways that Simone had inspired us.
And because of this, we all deserve to choose peace when we need it. We have the right to choose ourselves over everything. Even when everyone is watching. We don't have to light ourselves on fire to keep everyone else warm.
Simone Biles is an inspiration, a person to be admired. And it has nothing to do with her bringing a medal home. Simone prioritizing her mental health over all else, in such a huge spotlight, gives us all permission to do the same. For that, she will always be a champion to me.