Simone Biles and Me

Simone Biles and Me

 

Simone Biles, widely viewed as the greatest gymnast in history, has left the mouth of the planet agape.
At a press conference she explained that she was exiting the Olympic competition because the pressure of perfection had become too much. “We have to protect our minds and our bodies, and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do,”
Which, I’m thinking, is a battle call to me as well. My inner critic doesn’t yell, but these are the things she whispers in my ear, quietly but constantly:
Your house is a mess and you don’t even have a job.
You’ve got kids who are so out of the box, you’ve failed as a religious mother.
You are overweight and you don’t know how to dress.
You don’t write well.
You say the words but you don’t really daven.
You wear that scarf on my head, but you’re an imposter. Where’s your commitment to mitzvot (especially tough, inconvenient ones) to emuna, your connection with Hashem?
I’ve never thought of myself as a perfectionist. I’m so imperfect, how could I be?!
But today, thinking about Simone Biles, and thinking about the high price she’s paid in her pursuit of perfection, I would like to stand with my hands on my hips and state to that inner critic in my best don’t-mess-with-me tone of voice:
I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.
And if, by chance, you were wondering, YOU ARE TOO!

6 comments

  1. You are and so do we!! Everyone on its on way!!! Thank you for that (well needed) post 🙂

  2. brave young lady Ms. Biles. thank GD she is making an exit before she has a nervous breakdown (maybe she already has) or worse contemplates suicide. the pursuit of perfection at all costs is an avodah zara of the worst kind. since we can never consistently measure up to this erroneous pursuit it is a fruitless undertaking.

    The message is a poison seductive and chilling: I am less than, and all of the ramifications of what that headspace entails. the curse of perfection starts in grade school maybe even before, Quite frankly this need for perfection/competition never leaves us. just the props change, that’s all.

    I applaud Ms. Biles as a role model. she is crying, quite frankly she should be smiling as she makes her exit from this world of unhealthy competition and expectation

  3. Thank you, Chana Jenny, for this great blog post. You may not be perfect, but this was the perfect response to Simone Biles.

  4. Thank you Chanah!

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