We are huge gymnastics fans in this house so we spent last Friday and Sunday evenings watching the US Women Olympic Team Trials. After the Trials were over on Sunday night the Olympic team was announced complete with confetti, streamers and flowers.
In 2016 one gymnast, MyKayla Skinner, was selected as an alternate for the team, but didn't compete in Rio. After the games she left USAG competitions and joined the team at University of Utah. But then a couple of years ago she left that team and returned to USAG to work towards a spot in the Olympics. On Sunday she earned one of the individual spots and will be competing in Tokyo.
I'm sure the decision to leave USAG and then to leave her college team and return to USAG were ones she took seriously. It's possible she even agonized over them or devoted a lot of mental time and energy to them. But that's not why I'm talking about her today.
I came across this post on Instagram today in the mysterious "other posts you may like" section. I presume the IG algorithm gods showed it to me because it was about gymnastics. But the part of the post that stood out to me was essentially because she is going to compete in the Olympics her decision to return to USAG was the right one.
And I take issue with that.
Does that mean if she'd performed to the best of her ability, left everything she had on the floor and went all in at her shot to go to Tokyo and hadn't made it, she should have stayed on her college team? I don't think so.
Outcomes don't determine whether the decision is right or wrong, good or bad.
What if MyKayla had stayed on her college team? She could be left wondering if she could have made it to Tokyo if she tried. She could have had a career-ending injury at a college meet. She could be planning to spend next month in a cave without internet or TV so she doesn't have to watch other gymnasts realize her dream of competing in the Olympics.
Honestly, I have no idea what could have happened. But what I do know for sure is that when she left USAG competitions to go to the University of Utah it was the right decision for her at that time. And then when she made a different decision to go back to USAG it was the right decision for her at that time. And that's the case regardless of the outcome last weekend.
When you make a decision you have to fully commit to it and believe that it's the right one no matter what happens later.
Once you do that, living the life you want is within reach because you're looking forward not back.
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