Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021
Not Today

When the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) Simone Biles said, “Not Today,” the world took notice.

And we should.

This is my interpretation of what happened. Simone Biles, elite gymnast and Olympic gold medalist performed a vault that didn’t go well. Then she made the stunning decision to pull out of the gymnastics team competition at the Olympics.

I’ve never met or talked to Simone Biles. I only know what she chooses to share in the media. I am a long time fan, but in the moment that she pulled back and said, “Nope, not today,” on the arguably the biggest moment of her life — I became a bigger fan. It takes real self-awareness, confidence and a huge amount of wisdom to stand up and say, “I know there are crazy expectations on me, but I’m not the best person for the job today. But you know who is? My teammates.” Then she stepped aside and cheered on her teammates.

Like I said, I don’t know her, and I can only guess at her motivations and reasons. But in my mind, she stepped up to be a hero for so many women feeling huge expectations on them. There is a grinding pressure on women–some real and some we put on ourselves–that often wears us down. To me, Simone Biles, gave us a powerful message:

Sometimes it’s okay to say, “Not today.”

4 comments to “Not Today”

  1. Silver James
    July 28th, 2021 at 10:54 am · Link

    Mental health is a real thing and the pressure that is put on these kids–and they ARE kids–is enormous. I admire her for knowing that her head is not in the right space and that continuing would penalize her teammates and jeopardize her own well-being. It had to be tough, given the world stage. And that walking away takes far more courage than “gutting it out.” Good on her!

  2. Jenn
    July 28th, 2021 at 1:30 pm · Link

    Silver I so agree with everything you said. I have long struggled with my love of watching the sport women’s elite gymnastics for all the reasons you can surmise.

    I agree “they ARE kids…” and will add “…who weren’t really allowed to BE kids.”

    I’m nodding all over the place in agreement with your comment today :-)

  3. Viki S.
    July 28th, 2021 at 3:09 pm · Link

    I’m so happy that she felt confident in making the decision to step back and take care of herself. I can’t even imagine if she hadn’t and with her mind not “in the game” got hurt. At her level she could have faced a very serious injury. And let’s face it, she’s old for a gymnast.

    She has everything to be proud of.

    I hope you’re having a nice day!

  4. Jenn
    July 28th, 2021 at 3:39 pm · Link

    Viki, I with you on being glad she had the confidence to step back. Her skills are so incredibly dangerous, and seeing her get lost in the air on her vault made me nervous. Her age is a factor too, as you pointed out.

    My day is busy but good, hope you’re having a good day too!

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