Like many things with the pandemic, watching the 2020 Olympics (in 2021) has been a very different experience. The athletes in their Bane-like medal masks is not even the weirdest part. It just feels…not so enthralling.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’ve changed. Maybe we all have.
But one thing that’s come out of this Olympics that I’m cheering big time is the focus on mental health. And how important it is.
When Simone Biles pulled out of the team competition because something wasn’t right, I was disappointed, of course. She’s amazing. But I was more concerned about why such a spectacular athlete felt she couldn’t compete.
When I found out it was a special awareness issue, I was so relieved she had the courage to pull out that I almost cried. I know what it’s like when your brain and your body aren’t talking to each other properly.
I’ll never forget the feeling of helplessness and disorientation when, as part of the neuro exam in the ER right after they discovered my brain tumor, I was asked to hop on one foot. And I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I could visualize it in my head. I could “see” what hopping looked like. I knew I had done it in the past. But even upon penalty of death, I could not have made my body do it at that point.
Thank goodness Simone Biles had the wherewithal to recognize what she was experiencing and the strength to say no.
The “twisties” are a physical issue with a mental component. And the pressure put on these athletes to do things we’d never want people to expect from us is insane. Mental health is as important as physical health. Maybe more so.
Simone Biles owes us nothing. She has only herself to account to. And I’m so glad that she recognized that and defended it.
She shouldn’t have to. But in doing so, she once again proved an amazing role model for everyone. She charted her own course. Critics be damned.
I know a couple of editors like that. They started a series of magazines decades ago that charted its own course. And then they revived it two decades later.
I speak, of course, of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. The cutting edge of modern fiction…unafraid to push the boundaries and publish great stories that others are afraid to publish.
The Pulphouse Kickstarter is in its final days, but it’s not too late to sign on for the spectacular journey that is Pulphouse. From discounts on subscriptions to special workshops for writers to limited-edition collections, there’s lots to love in this Kickstarter.
And with all the stretch goals we’ve already hit, supporters can look forward to a deluge of reading to brighten even your darkest days.
We’ve got stretch goals yet to hit, which means more great rewards for everyone, so if you’ve been biding your time, don’t wait any longer!
Click here to support the Kickstarter today!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.