By Krystle Gabele
Mental health is physical health. Something, our culture and bureaucrats tend to ignore. This stigma needs to change, especially in this pandemic world we live in.
Gymnast Simone Biles made the first statement upon deciding to withdraw from individual competition at the Olympics. She made a difficult and wise decision. It was a decision that was right for her at the time.
Simone is an athlete, who has endured multiple physical injuries on her way to the top of her sport. When you are enduring a physical injury, there is no doubt you are also depressed about the injury. Also, the same can be also be applied to mental health. When you are mentally not in the game, you can’t perform physically the same way as if you would if all pieces were together.
If Simone were to continue competing, she could have placed herself at an increased odds for a severe physical injury – one that includes the possibility of paralysis or death. Let that sink in – gymnastics is a sport that could cause paralysis or death. If you make one wrong turn on the balance beam performing a complicated routine, if you miss the bar in the uneven bars routine, if you have a difficult landing at the vault, or if you take a nasty spill during a floor routine – you could encounter a career ending injury or worse.
Plain and simple, Simone made a choice that allowed her to look out for her health and overall well-being. We can’t fault her for that decision. In the end, this is what makes her a well rounded athlete.
As an athlete myself, I often struggle with getting up early in the morning to knock out multiple miles before the day begins. Being in Texas, this means getting up before the heat of the day – as we know running in the extreme heat poses significant injury and health risks. If I were to wait until 11 a.m., I would place myself at risk for a heat stroke that could place me on the sidelines. On the mental front, this would cause me to make the assumption that I was not made for running and cause me to lose sight of my goals.
Today, I woke up not feeling well – both physically and mentally. It has been a stressful week on the work and home front. While I’m quite certain that I could have forced myself to run, I decided to take an additional day of rest. It was a hard choice, as I let my friend down in the process. However, I would have struggled much more if I chose not to rest and recharge my battery.
Everything has risk involved, but you are blessed with health. Both physical and mental health need to be at the forefront. You can’t have perfect health if both your physical and mental health are in top shape. As a culture, we need to be striving to ensure people are aware of how to improve their overall well being and encouraging people to know when it is okay to take a step back to make self improvements.
Krystle Weeks Gabele was owner of the former Crystal Clear Conservative blog in the Virginia conservative blogosphere. She and her family now reside in Texas.