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Simone Biles has withdrawn from the Olympics. As I write I don’t know if this is her final decision, or if in the future she will compete more. The most common theory is a mental health issue, but does that really matter? I do not follow the Olympics very much, but this issue is interesting.

Many people are losing their minds. How dare she pull out? How dare she sign up to represent her country and then back out? People were relying on her. The stake of the USA Olympic team was put in jeopardy!

How about this? How dare YOU question her decision?

Why did she pull out? Why should we care? Performing at her level takes an extreme amount of sacrifice that 99.9% of the population has no clue about. An athlete like her is so focused and driven that pulling out for any reason is heartbreaking to them. They have striven for years to be at the top of the world. To pull out shows me what a class act she is. She knew the backlash she would get. Maybe it’s more than she realized, or maybe it’s less, we don’t know.

That’s the point of this article. We don’t know what is in her head. We don’t know her thoughts.

We most certainly should respect her decision. I don’t say we need to agree, but respect? Yes. It is her decision.

How does this relate to trucking? This is a trucking magazine. Have I gone off the deep end?

We make decisions every day behind the wheel that will most definitely affect others. You see, an athlete not performing will not impact your life. It might hurt your feelings, but not your life.

Your decision behind the wheel to push through mental or physical pain will affect others. If it causes you to crash, you will likely take others out with you. Injuries, death, loss of loved ones, the impact is enormous.

Driving down the road holding on to pain from a phone call from home that wasn’t good news, is dangerous. Or maybe a confrontation with another person has put me in a bad space in my head. I may be one inconsiderate lane change away from a road rage incident.

I had a driver working for me who took a long time to get somewhere one trip. Instead, he showed up a few hours late. I asked him what was up. He’d had some reason where things were bothering him mentally and he recognized that he needed to stop and decompress. He stopped driving and went to sit in a nature somewhere and clear his mind.

I didn’t understand, or even question what his bad day was about, but I knew that he had saved himself from making bad decisions on the road. So, he arrived a few hours later. Did that matter in the big picture? I don’t even remember what the load was so obviously it didn’t matter one little bit.

I think of that situation often because I’ve had times like that. I have needed to go and just clear my mind. Get out of the truck. Take a walk. Do something that fills my happiness tank.

Driving in a bad mental state will cause damage. The most obvious is to yourself. The pain and trouble will sit in you and fester. A lousy decision by another driver can cause you to snap and make maneuvers that may result in a crash.

In this situation with my driver, it didn’t matter what I thought. It didn’t matter that the load was late. All that mattered was that he arrived safely, in a better state of mind and no issues.

If you’re driving and feel the need to stop, please do. Don’t worry about what anyone else says; it is in your best interest.