Just a quick note before I start, a lot has been happening in the world lately but as a girl, the one thing that’s really hitting me is this Me Too Movement. And when one of my favorite humans released her story, I felt so overtaken with emotions that I needed to get this out into the world. Enjoy.
Dear Simone Biles,
You don’t know anything about me, except you’ve probably realized I’m one of your biggest fans. I have been supporting you since I saw you win gold at the 2016 Olympics and you have stuck with me since I saw that adorable video of you fangirling over Zac Efron when he kissed your cheek. I’ve spent hours procrastinating on my homework by watching your gymnastics videos and watching interviews you have done. I was so excited when I found out you were going to be on Dancing With the Stars and even more excited when I saw you in Jake Miller’s Overnight video.
I am the proud owner of a copy of your book Courage to Soar and have read it countless times. Yet, each time I read it over, I find some line or quote or memory you have shared that makes me get all teary eyed and by the end of the book I am usually bawling with tissues scattered around me. Your book has inspired me in so many ways and is so beautifully written.
When these stories from Aly Raisman and other gymnasts started pouring out, I saw your support for all of them and it warmed my heart. Though these terrible things had happened to these wonderful girls, they were taking a stand and had an incredible support system behind them. I loved seeing all of your tweets to each other with words of support and love. It’s an incredible thing to have such amazing friends isn’t it?
When these stories started taking over my Twitter feed, it hurt my heart so see so many women hurting because of this issue. It made my stomach hurt to hear stories of girls like your friend Aly who thought they couldn’t say anything or who weren’t taken seriously when they did say something.. It made me so sad, as a fan but also as a young woman, to see these news stories all over social media.
I had hoped and prayed that I would never see your name among the list of athletes hurt by that monster. I had prayed that you, someone who I see as being strong and courageous and happy and energetic and bubbly, had never gone through it. Simone, when I saw your post on Instagram the other day, I wanted to break down at cry for you. My heart hurt so much for you and I wanted you to know that you really are my hero.
Thank you for sharing your story with the world. Thank you for teaching me a whole new meaning of the word ‘courage’. Thank you for putting something out there that I know was hard for you to deal with. Thank you for showing me that strength goes beyond ab muscles and biceps.
Simone, since I have became a fan of yours in 2016, I have learned so many valuable things from you. I have learned to love who I am, through all of the things I see as flaws and imperfections. I have learned to be strong in my faith. I have learned how to love through the glimpses of you and your boyfriend’s relationship I get to see on social media. I have learned to step out of my comfort zone. I have learned to be happy even when it’s hard. I have learned to not take life so seriously. I have learned to be myself. And most of all, I have learned how to be courageous even in the most difficult moments.
While people see you as this happy, bubbly, incredibly talented gymnasts, I think a lot of the time they forget that before any of those other things, you are human. And you hurt and cry and have tough days just like the rest of us. And I love you for coming out with your story and for coming forward about those dreadful things that happened to you. Thank you for giving so many other girls the courage to talk about these things. And thank you for being my biggest inspiration, even though you have no clue who I am.