With Simone Biles being the most decorated gymnast and an Olympian, she’s had to learn how to balance athletics with her life away from the mat.
Biles admitted earlier this month in an interview with Glamour magazine that being in the gym took a lot of her time and attention before she realized, “me being happy outside the gym is just as important as me being happy and doing well in the gym.” Finding those things that make her happy involved therapy, which is something Biles was trying to avoid at first.
Mental health and therapy have become a prevalent discussion among people and especially in the Black community. However, there are still some people that feel apprehensive about going to see a therapist. Before realizing that therapy wasn’t just for people who were “crazy” she said, “One of the very first sessions, I didn’t talk at all. I just wouldn’t say anything. I was like, ‘I’m not crazy. I don’t need to be here.’”
The seven-time gold medalist shared the same sentiments as many people reluctant to go to therapy, which is the idea of being able to handle life alone. She said, “I thought I could figure it out on my own, but that’s sometimes not the case.” The 24-year-old also realized that “that’s not something you should feel guilty or ashamed of.”
She added, “Once I got over that fact, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It’s a safe space.” Besides therapy, Biles has other fun ways that help her wind down, including eating Mexican food, having self-care, and hanging out with her boyfriend, Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens. In addition to that, she’s also tried taking on new hobbies, like learning how to do her hair and nails. However, she said, “I almost ruined my nails, so that is no longer permitted. I’ve definitely gotten better at doing my hair, but clearly I’m not gifted in that department.”
On Friday, June 25, Biles met many watchers’ expectations by securing a lead spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials. She ended with an all-around score 60.565, notching top marks in three out of the four routines she competed in.