Motivation to Restart Exercising: Learn From Simone Biles

Have you gotten out of the habit of exercise and looking for some inspiration to get back in shape?  We can all learn from the example of Simone Biles whose comeback is simply astonishing.  This time around she is taking a wiser, more balanced approach that we can all imitate.

In general, looking to those who have made successful athletic comebacks can be highly motivating.  Simone Biles is one such person who has also had her fair share of trials and difficulties.  Learning from her example and the strategies she uses can help you stay inspired to start your own comeback.

Although not old, Simone is both relatable and admirable to people of all ages.  She has returned better than ever with the same determination, but with a new attitude and adjusted focus.  Read on to see how you can leverage her example for extra motivation to restarting an exercise routine. 

Why Simone Biles is inspiring

Simone recently won her 8th all around medal at the US Gymnastics Championships on August 28th defying the odds and making an amazing comeback. After a two-year break, she became the oldest woman to win the national title at the age of 26, a decade after her first.

While she isn’t the oldest woman gymnast to win an elite title (Oksana won silver metal at 2008 Olympics on the vault at the age of 33) her comeback is simply inspiring.  In a sport dominated by the late teens and early twenties, it took more than wishful thinking or dreaming for such a comeback.

She is keeping her training and return to competition more private, but it’s not about her specific workout that matters.  Obviously, she is still showing up and training, but her attitude and perspective have changed.

She says she is more focused on having a well-rounded life, especially taking care of herself mentally and physically.  Where once life consisted only of gymnastics, she now views it as just a part of what she does.  

The last two years have not been easy ones after withdrawing from some events at the Tokyo Olympics. She opened up about her mental health struggles and publicly testified about abuse suffered by the team doctor. 

Despite these very public challenges, Simone proves she’s resilient and tough.  She continues to show up, has a new process-oriented mindset, and continues surprise herself and the world.

It’s not about age, it’s about showing up

A person’s age is not nearly as important as having the mindset to show up day after day.  While we can’t escape the effects of aging, age isn’t the determining factor of what we can or can’t do. 

Looking at what others have accomplished, like Simone, is proof.  In a sport where the average competitive age is late teens and early 20’s, she’s not only keeping up in her older age but WINNING! 

While she may have great genes, like a low center of gravity, she still must train to compete.  How she trains may be different as she grows older, but she continues to surprise herself and gets results.

On the opposite end, I recently read this article about a 104-year-old woman that swims every day for 45 minutes!  The best part about the story is she says motivation doesn’t matter.  She always feels like swimming since it’s something she has always done.

The most important part to re-establishing an exercise routine is to show up regularly.  Set some new goals and plan a schedule that works for you (see my article here on setting goals).  

You may need to be reasonable when starting a new exercise routine, like Simone.  She stuck with simpler skills when training and touring after the Olympics as she was still not recovered fully.  

It will take time and patience to get back where you were before but being consistent is key.  Remember to focus on what’s possible and not your age. 

For more information on how to establish a bullet proof exercise habit see my future article on developing an atomic running habit.

Focus on the Process

We can’t always control what results we will get, but if we concentrate on the process and the results will come.  Simone isn’t sure she will be able to compete at the next Olympics, but that’s not stopping her from training.

She is still showing up the gym, doing the workouts, and seeing where the training takes her.  She knows staying healthy mentally and physically is key but getting to the Olympics it’s not all in her control.

While setting goals is great, it shouldn’t be the entire focus.  What happens after you reach your goal, do you stop working out?  Does it mean you’re a failure if run 1 mile or kilometer short of a marathon?

A process-oriented mindset shifts the focus to what we can control now.  It empowers us to be in the moment and take advantage of what we can do today.

It also reduces the stress and anxiety that can come from focusing too much on a goal.  While some stress is good, it can easily get out of hand as many athletes experience, including Simone.

Some other benefits of focusing on the process include:

  • Setbacks and failures become opportunities to adjust and grow
  • Finding enjoyment and fulfillment along the journey not just the destination
  • Progress feels more achievable and sustainable
  • Developing habit and routines for long-term progress
  • Allows for learning and adaptations
  • More intrinsically motivated so more likely to stay committed and enthusiastic
  • Overall well-being as physical and mental health are more important than the goal

Goals provide direction and motivation, but the process is what makes achieving your goal possible.  In addition, focusing on the process means motivation is less important so it’s a lot easy to do.

Focusing on the process is more practical and ultimately more important in the long run.  The process is what becomes the habit and affects our daily lives, not the results or the goal. 

Key Takeaways

There is a lot we can learn from Simone’s example not only when it comes to a fitness comeback, but in life.  Re-establishing a workout routine can give you the confidence that you can comeback from other setbacks in life.

Showing up and focusing on the process like Simone are small steps you can do right now.  It won’t be long before you have your exercise routine back on track and perhaps better than ever.  

Recent Posts