Randy Smith: It's Okay To Not Be Okay

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

I have enjoyed watching the Olympics this week, even though I haven't really seen a lot of events. I watched as every possible commentator expressed an opinion regarding Simone Biles and her health issues. The world's best gymnast pulled out of the competition due to what was later described as "mental health" problems. And the best take on Simone's situation came from 24 time gold medal winner Michael Phelps, who expressed sympathy for her and said, "It's okay to not be okay."

Phelps has a unique perspective because he has been there many times before. There can be few things in life as grueling as what Olympic athletes go through with practice, training and competition that leads up to the Olympic Games. Simone Biles decided she had had enough and has now pulled out of at least two events so far. On social media this week, she posted that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. When that happens, it's time to stop and reevaluate.

The 24-year-old Biles has been through a lot in her lifetime. Forget about the grueling training it takes to be an Olympian. She was one of the many athletes who fell victim to the sexual abuse of Dr. Larry Nassar. And of course she is like many other Americans who have suffered through 18 months of the pandemic. There are literally millions of people who are still having depression over the events of the past year and a half due to COVID. All of that may be finally catching up to her and I would imagine it could be at least part of the reason she withdrew.

Depression is an ugly, evil thing. People who have suffered from depression for years can feel wonderful one day and in less than 24 hours will be in the pits of life. You sometimes feel worthless and can become physically sick due to depression. Medication works to a point for some people but very few can just take a pill and get over it.  It also can happen to anyone. No one is immune from the effects of depression.

Mental health issues are extremely difficult to get control of. Unlike physical health problems, treatment is more complex and you can't be diagnosed with just an x-ray or blood work. It's a battle that some people have to fight for an entire lifetime. I hope that's not the case for Simone Biles.  She is the greatest gymnast to ever appear in the Olympic Games. She has so many fans who are pulling for her to get through this and return to competition and we all want to tell her, "It's okay to not be okay."   

* * * 

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


Double-A South Standings/Results

Lee Men Win 2-1 In Overtime

Lee Women Improve To 5-0 With Another Shutout


Double-A South Standings/Results (as of games of 9/18/21) North Division Team W L PCT GB Birmingham (CWS) ... (click for more)

Senior Mattia Balzano scored the game-winning goal for another Lee men's soccer overtime victory, 2-1 against conference foes Christian Brothers on a rainy Sunday afternoon from the Ray Conn ... (click for more)

The Lee University women’s soccer team passed its first two tests in Gulf South Conference competition this weekend and will now enter a showdown at rival Mississippi College on Friday (2 p.m.). ... (click for more)



Sports

Double-A South Standings/Results

Double-A South Standings/Results (as of games of 9/18/21) North Division Team W L PCT GB Birmingham (CWS) 62 56 .525 - Chattanooga (CIN) 58 54 .518 1.0 Rocket City (LAA) 54 ... (click for more)

Lee Men Win 2-1 In Overtime

Senior Mattia Balzano scored the game-winning goal for another Lee men's soccer overtime victory, 2-1 against conference foes Christian Brothers on a rainy Sunday afternoon from the Ray Conn Sports Complex. After a scoreless first half things picked up in the second 45. CBU's Andres Solares tallied a yellow card in the 62nd minute, and two minutes later grabbed another yellow, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Police Say Videos Show Man Who Said He Was Attacked By Gang Initiated Fight, Was Intoxicated And Belligerent

Chattanooga Police say videos show that a man who claimed he was attacked by gangs downtown actually initiated a fight and was intoxicated and belligerent. Police said their investigation showed a number of discrepancies in Stuart Doster's Facebook account that was widely viewed. Mr. Doster on Facebook said he was walking to his car on Cherry Street in downtown Chattanooga ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Ed Johnson Memorial Dedicated

Opinion

False Alarm - And Response

Stuart Doster should be arrested and charged with something. I'm not sure what but CPD should deter future misrepresentations and wastes of time like Mr. Doster's story. He lied to authorities and wasted valuable resources that could have been used to solve real crimes. In addition, his elected official buddy co-signs his falsehoods about black youth terrorizing downtown Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Terrifying Thought

It is no secret the Delta variant of the COVID pandemic has all but crippled our bulging hospitals. There isn’t a room to be found in any nearby hospital and the ravaging consequences are best detailed in our ever-rising death rates. But it could be worse. As of Friday, there were 3,422 patients hospitalized in Tennessee with 1,033 in intensive care, 747 so sick they are on ventilators. ... (click for more)