Over the weekend Serena Williams played her heart out in the Wimbledon final. She might have lost the match, going down in straight sets to Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-3, but she proved exactly why she is one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Not only did she make the Wimbledon final, a feat many great tennis players have not reached, but she did so 10-months after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis.
Yep, let’s let that sink in, she had a baby 10 months ago. She is amazing.
"It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really hoping to get this far," Williams said after the match as she appeared to fight back the tears. "It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started."
"To all the mums out there, I was playing for you today and I tried," she added.
While there of course will be people that say she puts too much pressure on mums when there is already SO much, and you can choose to see it like that. Or you can choose to say F&$K yeah that’s awesome.
When you become a mum everything changes. Physically yes, but moreso mentally. We lose ourselves in the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, the patting and rocking, the nursery rhymes, the baby talk - The Wiggles! And we so often wear the tired badge with pride. After a lifetime of getting your life/career to where it is, you then have to suddenly reevaluate where you fit and what you want out of life.
It’s so easy to get bogged down under the literal (endless piles and washing?!) and mental chaos that comes with being a parent. You question everything you once knew and valued and can so easily decide to use this newfound chaos as an excuse. Myself included (my son is teething ATM and I will tell anyone who’ll listen about ALL the sleepless nights).
Like any of us, Serena probably had moments where she was up all night with a screaming baby and didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning to train, but ultimately, she did because it was her dream, and this weekend she saw all her hard work pay off.
Sure, she’s got a team helping her out, and she did admit that she missed her daughter’s first steps while training for the tournament, but I missed my son's too because he decided to do it one day when I was at work. It broke my heart at first but it happens, and the first time I did see him take those wobbly little steps with my own eyes it was no less special.
Seeing Serena play over the weekend really made me stop and think, what if I stopped complaining about how tired I am, if I stop making excuses. Stop saying there aren’t enough hours in the day and just start doing.
Whatever your Wimbledon is, and whether you’re a mum, dad, woman, man, child – anyone – the message is the same, make like Serena.