As a mother of a teenage daughter, I have something to say to Simone Biles about her decision to step down from the Tokyo Olympics.

“Simone, F*ck Yeah, girl!”

Why am I so spirited about our best chance at winning the gymnastics gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics NOT participating because something, “didn’t feel right, mentally”?

I will tell you why:

Because how many times have you felt, in your gut, that you shouldn’t do something, but did it anyway because you didn’t want to disappoint someone else? I am 43 years old and I still do this and I hate myself for it. Why don’t I see myself as valuable enough to do what makes sense to me?

Why is it better to disappoint yourself versus other people? Simone looked within and had enough self-respect to listen to her intuition and make a choice that is best for HER. She didn’t fall into the trap of choosing her teammates, coaches, fans, or endorsement deals over herself.

“GOOD FOR YOU, SIMONE BILES! You just taught so many young women who look up to you that self-care and mental health is PARAMOUNT. I am grateful to you for showing that strength isn’t just what you CAN do, but also, what you choose NOT to do. Most times, that is the harder choice.”

Anyone who is disappointed in Simone for her decision, can train for hours everyday for hours and learn to execute her amazing moves and go for the gold yourself. She doesn’t owe you anything!

Thank you, Simone Biles. You didn't just make your parents proud, but you just made this parent proud as well.

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