Dear Simone Biles, I Have a Terrible Thing To Admit

Tiphany Kane
3 min readJul 29, 2021

I have a terrible thing to admit. So terrible that I feel like I am whispering as I am talking, terrified that if I put this thought into words, it will mean that these thoughts are true. So please, read this quietly….when I first heard that Simone Biles was removing herself from the Olympics I was shocked and was actually disappointed in her. Ouch, I said that out loud. The thoughts that ran through my head were, “How can you let your team and your nation down?” and “You worked so hard for this, why are you quitting now?” and “Strong women don’t quit.” OUCH!

Then I looked at those tearful pictures of her and I realized something, that tiny little 24-year-old powerhouse had the wisdom and self-love that I have been working so hard to grow inside myself. That ugly thought, “How can you let your team and your nation down now?”, were the damaging thoughts I had for myself in my 19 years of a painful marriage. Except they sounded like this, “How can you let your children, your family, and your friends down.” It didn’t matter that my stress and utter sadness were destroying me and destroying my health. I pressed on. It didn’t matter that our fighting was destroying my children, I pressed on. I didn’t want to let anyone down and in doing so I was destroying myself. I destroyed myself to the point of being a young mother of two children hospitalized twice for blood pressure that could not be controlled. By not quitting, I was actually killing myself.

When I looked at the photos of her twisting through the air on a vault, I realized that ugly thought, “You worked so hard for this, why are you quitting now?” was actually what I told myself after my divorce when, as a single mom, I pushed myself to the breaking point. I was working full-time as a teacher, going to grad school, being a single parent, coaching my son’s marathon team and the list goes on. During an activity that I loved, aerial (hanging from the ceiling upside down from a piece of fabric), I fell. That fall left me with two fractured vertebrae and a herniated disk. But “I had worked so hard! I couldn’t quit now!” I pushed myself. I ran two marathons and multiple half marathons, graduated with a 4.0 GPA from grad school, was the team mom and scorekeeper for my son’s baseball team….and then I woke up one day and couldn’t walk. I couldn’t walk. I had to quit…

Tiphany Kane

CEO: KaSa Media Productions, Professional Development Expert. Instagram/twitter @tiphanykane, Pod: Radical Audacity Pod: Mastering the Podcaster Mindset