“Dream big because you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Give everything you do your all and never back down. You have to be willing to put forth the effort and never back down in order to achieve greatness.” That’s the advice the Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles gave me when I asked about how she attains her dreams and goals that she sets out to achieve.
As a journalist preparing for any interview, I research my interviewee to make sure I know details about the person I’m getting ready to chat and write about. Each piece I read gushed about the bubbly personality that Simone has and how she exuded positivity within every dynamic. After speaking with Simone, I have to say her excitement for life and positive approach is absolutely refreshing. Simone’s new book “Courage to Soar” is a testament to hard work and dedication – her insight and fortitude to make the most out of her journey is a stance that we should all take. “Confidence gives me the courage to soar. Knowing that I wrote down my goals and I can achieve them through hard work and dedication is reassuring. I always look at my goals to remind myself what I am trying to achieve and where I want to go from here,” said Simone.
In “Courage to Soar” Simone removes the walls and opens up about her upbringing and the struggles that she had to overcome in order to achieve greatness. Simone was raised by grandfather, Ron, and his wife, Nellie – she recognizes Ron and Nellie as her mom and dad. Simone’s biological parents struggled with addictions and were unable to care for Simone and her three siblings. There was no way Ron and Nellie could stand back and allow their grandchildren to be raised within the foster care system; therefore, they adopted Simone and her younger sister and raised them as their own. Simone began her gymnastic career at six-years-old and never looked back. In order to dedicate more time to perfecting her gymnastic career, Simone transitioned over to being home-schooled – this allowed her to increase her training from 20 to 32 hours each week. “Being home-schooled helped me become more disciplined because I had to hold myself accountable for my studies and completing required assessments. Overall it helped me to not procrastinate and to stay on track – I practice those ideals every day,” said Simone.
Simone Biles is more than your average role model. She’s a young woman that is changing history and providing our youth with a positive outlook to embrace as they map out their own goals to achieve. Simone believes the key to prosperity in oneself is remembering that, “It’s important to focus on your talent and not your failures.” Not only will this outlook help build a strong self, but it will also build a brighter future.