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Self Care

Some families had Friday Night Football and sports to bond them.  Your author grew up in the most unsporty family possible.  We didn’t play sports until our teenage years and Tennis was sort of foisted upon us.  We didn’t grow up watching sports either, except for a compilation video of the greatest Ice Skaters from the 80’s and 90’s someone must have gifted us.  So it has been a learning experience and a joy to watch my children embrace their father’s love of swimming.  Becoming a swim parent is manageable, we sweat, scream and take videos, check and done.  It is a joy to watch children and teens swim their hardest and see their teammates cheer them on.  

Of course each child wants to win a first place ribbon, but ultimately they learn that doing their best and believing in themselves is the real takeaway.  They learn to listen to their body, when to push and when to step back, important examples of self care. Lessons in fact that will serve them well their entire life.  

You have to believe in yourself when no one else does—that makes you a winner right there. -Venus Williams

Watching the Olympics with the kids for the past several years has been a joy, we cheer for Team USA, google stats and rules and generally enjoy watching Swimming and Gymnastics events the most.  So it has been a hot topic in our household, as well as the world, what is going on with the Women’s Gymnastics team and Simone Biles in general.  Biles has reached an almost cult-like standing in the world of sports.  Currently the most decorated gymnast, she has skills other gymnasts only dream about.  She won 4 gold medals in the Rio Olympics before she was 20.  She is truly a GOAT (Greatest of All Time), but fame rarely comes without a steep price. Endless practices, cameras and news outlets follow her every move and the expectation she went into the Tokyo games was that of course she would match and/or exceed her performance in Rio.  What an enormous and heavy burden to bear.  A burden that became too heavy for Biles earlier this week when she stunned the world by putting her mental health ahead of her Olympic goals and pulled out of her upcoming events.  

I have to put my pride aside. I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. That’s why I decided to take a step back.
-Simone Biles
Biles’ former teammates from Rio, former Team USA gymnasts, past and present Olympic athletes and the First Lady Michele Obama have all supported and praised her for doing what is best for her mental health and taking a step back.  From all of us at Team SG, we would like to say her decision has inspired us, along with every mental health account we follow on social media.  In the year 2021 this should be the norm, not the exception.  

I can say personally, it was something that was very challenging. It was hard for me to ask for help. But it’s so important, especially to teach kids at a young age to take control of their physical and mental health. We’re human beings. Nobody is perfect. -Michael Phelps

So how does what Simone Biles did help you in your less than olympic life?

Excellent question!  

The answer, your mental health is just as valid!
You DESERVE to be able to take a mental health day.
You DESERVE to have access to psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists.
THERE IS NO SHAME in taking medication, psychiatric or otherwise.
THERE IS NO SHAME in asking for help or taking a step back.
SELF CARE is the key, making it a priority allows you to check in with yourself and ask, “how am I, what do I need, what am I lacking, what can I change?”
Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause. -Cecilia Tran
So if you ever find yourself wondering:
Should I put up with this?
Should I prioritize anything over my mental health?
How can I walk away from something I have put so much time and energy into?
If I admit I need time off for therapy or to visit the doctor, what will people say?

Answer: Be like Simone Biles and make a commitment to yourself and your mental health and walk away from what doesn't serve you or is damaging your mental health.  Self care is important, life saving, valid, end of story.  

Michelle Obama tweeted on July 27th:
Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the the silver medal, Team @USA!

As always, thank you to the community, you are our reason and our hope.

Wishing you all the best,

Team SG


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