I am quite outspoken when it comes to my thankfulness to have had the opportunity to grow up in the agriculture industry and be involved in the many different aspects that it has to offer.
Several of the memories that I hold dearest to my heart are all one way or another tied to agriculture — whether it be FFA soils judging or watching my kids show sheep.
It wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that I live, breathe and eat agriculture, but there is one area of my life that I have started to speak about more — and not simply just go along with the stigma that the industry associates with it — which is mental health.
I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since high school, but after being in the passenger seat of a car that was hit when another driver went through a red light not quite two year ago, some lasting injuries caused lasting short-term memory loss and took a toll on my mental health.
I have talked about this in a blog post before, but mental health is no joke and something individuals shouldn’t have to suffer through quietly or alone.
That is why I have the utmost respect for the courage it took for U.S. gymnast Simone Biles to admit on such a public stage as the Tokyo Olympic Games that she was withdrawing from the all-around team gymnastics competition and other gymnastics finals due to her inner demons.
At first, she got a lot of negative feedback from media outlets and individuals who may not grasp the importance and how serious mental health can be, but she refused to let those opinions pressure her into something she knew her body couldn’t do.
Biles is the kind of girl that young individuals everywhere should look up to.