Simone Biles’ Masterclass in Setting Boundaries
Good morning, it’s another sunny day in the glorious Emerald City. Summer is already more than halfway over, at least if you’re a student in the Seattle Public Schools.
This last week and a half I’ve spent far too much time late at night watching the Olympics on TV. Not that I’m following any particular sport or athletes, I’m just overall impressed at the training and skill levels and performances. Their dedication, focus, and persistence is inspiring.
One of the bigger stories out of this Olympics is Simone Biles’ withdrawal from some events. You know who she is, right? Gymnast for the American team, and one of the top gymnasts of all time. She’s amazing. I admire Simone Biles. And she withdrew from some events, my understanding is due to a lapse in mind-body connection. Something they called the “twisties.” Frankly, I cannot fathom how anyone can keep their mind-body connection during their routines, but again I’m not a gymnast and don’t have that concrete experience. And that’s what makes those athletes’ performances so engaging to me.
There’s been a lot of opinion expressed on social media and broadcast media. Some of it is actually informative, some not so much. I am very impressed with Simone Biles, and not just for her skills and performances. Her recognition that she has to have her own priorities straight (in this case, her wellbeing over pressure to compete), that she can and did take the reigns of control over her participation, and her openness in making it a public discussion. Given her level of achievement and drive, I am certain she did not make this decision lightly. And I trust her judgement about her readiness to spin and flip in the air over and over, and once again land intact. And for that I even more admire Simone Biles.
Simone Biles does not need my validation. I’m not talking about this for her. I’m talking about this, amplifying her, for us more everyday people, who sometimes feel pressured to please someone else at our own expense. Simone Biles is a truly exceptional athlete, and she is still as human as the rest of us. While the pressures on her may be more public than those on most of us, we too can face intense scrutiny over our choices and decisions. And we too can decide what’s best for us, what can be harmful to us, and figure out how to prioritize our well-being in concrete actions. So, let’s do more of it.
On another note, July’s classes were all in-person, August’s self-defense classes too will be in-person, and I’m happy with how they are going and students’ participation. Yes, I’m still asking that all students be fully vaccinated, and even for outdoor classes we’re masking up. I’ve got a lot happening in August, and my Fall schedule should be posted soon. I may even have to cut back on blogging, such as I did last week, just for increased class time. Stay tuned for more updates.
As always, stay safe, live life.