Simone Biles has spent years perfecting her fitness, as she's dominated gymnastics becoming what many believe the greatest ever in the sport. Now, she says she's working on her mental fitness, as well.
"I’ve spent so much time working on my physical self, I’ve tried to use this time to focus on my mental wellbeing," Biles told Men's Health magazine. "I have focused a lot of my self-care, on feeding my mind with lots of positive thoughts."
Self-care is something, Biles admits, that may have previously been lacking from her daily routine.
"Taking time for myself is so important," says Biles. "I’m a worrier so I try to take care of others before myself. So taking time to myself has been really nice and I think I will be taking that into 2021."
Other things we might see from the 23-year-old superstar in 2021? History. The Texan is the far-and-away favourite to solidify her mark on the sport by becoming the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles since Věra Čáslavská won in 1964 and 68.
Making history in the sport is, after all, kind of Biles' thing. After a record-breaking 2019 World Championships, it seemed inevitable that the 19-time world champion would steam roll through to more gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, changing everyone's plans.
Biles has been candid about the toll Olympic postponement took on her mental health. Ultimately, she decided she had to end her career on her own terms and set back to training full-time in mid May.
"As time has passed, keeping a positive mindset has been tough for me," said Biles. "From COVID to social justice, it’s been a really challenging time."
But Biles is used to challenging times, and in true champion fashion has turned a challenge into something better.
"Activism has played a huge role in my life this year," she said to Men's Health. "I don’t think I would be as active with using my voice and advocating for others (and myself) if it hadn’t of been for this year. It has really opened up my eyes and views that not everyone has a platform and certainly not everyone is being heard."