When Simone Biles pulled out of the rest of the gymnastic Olympics meet, everyone was in shock. But I have to ask the question of why. The reason? When you are front in center, the pressure is intense. She trained for years to achieve greatness and is given a status of a living legend. There is a reason for this. It’s because she has taken gymnastics to a level no one else has reached. Some are applauding her recognition of mental health, while others are far less understanding. The truth is we all have our breaking points. The stress of this young woman and many others in breakout roles are under a microscope 24/7. Rarely do they get a moment’s peace to themselves. The world has an opinion on what they do and how they do it. I’ve seen many different viewpoints about what she did, and there has been an overwhelming amount of support. Unless you walk in someone’s shoes in the limelight, you have no comprehension of what type of rigorous training they endure.
Hell, I can barely imagine what these men and women go through daily. Can you imagine getting up around 3 in the morning and training throughout most of the day every day? You have to watch what you eat; every movement is under watch; you must be careful of who you associate with and keep your mindset geared towards achieving greatness. No wonder so many athletes and leaders need to recharge after something as big as the Olympics. Every move they make is subject to a reporter getting wind of their whereabouts. Most of us don’t understand the pressure these folks endure, but you can see the stress on their faces. They push through the struggle. They are people, not robots. These men and women experience a vast array of emotions yet can’t express themselves because of a cycle.
I’m glad that mental awareness is gaining exposure. You don’t have to be an athlete to suffer mental fatigue and anxiety. I get the fact that athletes condition themselves to think about the goal and only the goal. Their trainers push them constantly to perfect their mistakes. But the same can be said for all of us on different levels. We have bosses and other folks who push us to achieve the best that we can. Sometimes those challenges are met with high levels of stress and demands. There is a fine line to mental fatigue. Recently I took a day trip away with a friend. I needed that time. I have pushed myself so hard that I couldn’t sleep well. I was studying so much that my brain was quoting the lessons I learned and taking over other jobs. I became my worst enemy.
We all know our limits and limitations. If you feel overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, depressed, anxious, or out of whack, you may need to take a step back and seek professional assistance. Sometimes a vacation is all you need, but if that isn’t working, maybe you need something else. No matter what you do, listen to your body. You are in charge of its navigation system. If you treat your body well, it will generally work better for you. If you treat it with junk, your body will run like a clunker. There are resources available like mentalhealth.gov.
Take care of yourselves. We have one life usually. Very few people get second chances. Monitor your symptoms. Talk to someone professionally if you feel that’s necessary. Even if you don’t feel it’s essential, sometimes getting another ear is the best medicine you can take. We’ve all lost people we love to mental fatigue and illnesses. It’s okay to admit we aren’t human. Sometimes it takes someone famous to remind us that taking care of our mental needs is more precious than gold. We’re all champions in life. Some folks shine brighter than others in different areas, but the world would dissipate into darkness without each one of our lights. Keep your lights going in your health. Have a great day, everyone.