Simone Biles recalls being reluctant to go to therapy: ‘I’m not crazy. I don’t need to be here’
Simone Biles talks about how she can find happiness outside of the gym. (Photo: Getty Images)
Simone Biles shares her journey to find a balance in her life as the young adult continues to train for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics while enjoying time with friends and her boyfriend, soccer player Jonathan Owens. However, the 24-year-old admitted she was resistant to the help she ultimately needed for her mental health.
"One of the very first sessions I didn't speak at all," she told Glamor magazine when she first went to a therapist. "I just wouldn't say anything. I thought, 'I'm not crazy. I don't have to be here.'"
Biles' therapist was quick to explain that therapy is not just for "crazy" people, but that it helps the athlete work through all the things that are going on in her life. "I thought I could figure it out on my own, but sometimes I don't. And that's not something to feel guilty about or to be ashamed of," she continued. "Once I got over that fact, I really enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It's a safe place."
Of the things Biles was dealing with at the time, gymnastics was likely high on her list, especially after her workout was interrupted during the pandemic when Texas was completely banned. "I have to process all the emotions," she told the publication. “I had to go through being angry, sad, upset, happy, annoyed. I had to go through it all alone, without anyone telling me what to feel. "
She admitted that "I wanted to give up right now," but ultimately decided "because I was working way too hard".
What she describes as the "hardest part", however, was knowing that after the Olympics were postponed, she had to train longer than expected as a member of USA Gymnastics (USAG) - an organization that has failed to protect athletes from sexual abuse protect abuse, including bile. And while she sees her presence as a source of pressure on the governing body to further investigate and improve its abusive culture - "We have power behind it," she said - it is also difficult for the athlete to continue playing for the USAG while he is away speaks out about the abuse she and so many others have suffered.
"Probably by secession," she said of her survival tactic, "I try not to think about it because I can't afford it - if I let them rule me, they win."
Biles has also focused on finding things that satisfy her outside of the gym.
“I used to just focus on the gym. But being happy outside of the gym is just as important as being happy and doing well in the gym as a new hobby during quarantine. "I'm just really trying to find out who I am."
However, she does not intend to leave the sport behind and at the same time enjoy the joy in other parts of her life. She's even found the freedom to know that the decision to compete is entirely her own, unlike much earlier in her life. "I'm not a little girl anymore. It's definitely up to me. Nobody's forcing me," she said. “Whenever you're younger, you feel like it's a job and you have to be pushed. But now I want to do that, so here I am. "
And with this strength, Biles is ready to use her power to the full and share it with the world - as she is doing with a new Facebook watch documentary Simone vs Herself. She even has a new addition to her jerseys - a goat named "Goldie," which depicts Biles being the greatest of all time.
"The idea was to hit back on the haters. I didn't think it was exactly fair how they could always say what they wanted, but when I said something, it wasn't fair. [The Haters] joked like, 'I swear when she puts a goat on her lion, blah, blah, blah. ' That would make them so angry. And then I was like, 'Oh, that's a good idea actually. Let's make the haters hate it and the fans love it.' And that's exactly what we did and why we did it, "she told Marie Claire about the new sequin detail. “I just hope that children who grow up who see this are not or are ashamed of being good at everything they do. And that's my problem: when people wait around for other people who are good at something. And it's like, anyone can say you're good, but once you acknowledge it, it's not cool anymore. And I want kids to learn that, yes, it's okay to acknowledge that you're good or even great at something. "
Read more from Yahoo Life:
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