Friday, July 30, 2021

To Simone Biles

 Dear Simone,

I am not a huge fan of gymnastics. I tune in, I say, "Wow, that kid is amazing," along with everyone else. But I don't hang on it. I have no real interest in whether you compete or not. I am a mom who sees a young woman who needs help. 

Simone, you're smart, you're strong, and you're a good person. You are young. If you're done with gymnastics, then that's great. You can go to college. You can be a lawyer, or a doctor, or an astronaut. You literally can do anything you want with your life. There are people who want you to keep doing gymnastics. You know what? You owe them absolutely nothing. If you've lost your love for the sport, you need to go find your joy. Do something else. Take a break. Go to Greece and stare at the Mediterranean for a few weeks. Read some good books. Watch TV and pig out on chocolate and popcorn. Be a kid. Do what makes you happy. You can do that. You really can.

And for god's sake don't read what people are saying about you, because they don't matter. They really don't. You could walk around the street and most of them wouldn't look at you twice. You can wander around in a cute hat and kicky sandals and buy yourself some pearl earrings. Go sit in a coffee shop and eat eggs Benedict and people watch. Go be a young woman making her own life, and never look back. 

Maybe that will be a permanent change for you. Or maybe you will miss the gym and you'll want to go back and coach, or even compete. You can do that too. 

I don't know if you will ever see this. But if I were your friend, this is what I would say to you. And maybe some other young woman who finds herself despairing about her situation in life will read this and realize that she is free, just like you. I wish the best for you. I think you're awesome! Go be happy!! 

And thanks for everything.