"I'm Just Serena, You Know..."
How can we not talk about Serena Williams? This amazing, 40-year-old mama returned to the US Open and killed it.
Reporter: Are you surprising yourself with your level at the moment?
Serena: (Laughs) I'm just Serena, you know,
Watching Serena play in the US Open was exciting, suspenseful, and completely inspirational. How can you not jump on the Serena bus after seeing this strong, courageous woman show up to play the #2 best player in the world.
Let's start with the fact that she came to this match as a 40 year-old that took a year off of tennis to refresh and recharge. And at the beginning of her interview she talks about evolving and that she's in no rush. She came to compete, to challenge herself. She said she had nothing to lose.
Unpacking what I observed while watching this match, this is what Serena taught me:
You are never too old to follow your passion
I have to start with this right here. You truly are never too old. Serena in past interviews has talked about tennis being her passion, and during her post game interview said, "This is what I do best." She didn't allow any agist propaganda to diminish her belief in herself and followed her passion.
Don't ever give up. Keep trying until the very end
This match was not a cake walk. If you didn't see the entire match, you missed the difficulties Serena met on the court. She lost the second set. It seemed that the odds were stacked against her. She stayed present and focused.She silenced negative thinking, and most importantly she decided not to give up. She came back swinging and eventually won the match.
Stay in the present and unattached to outcome
In her post game interviews, it is clear that Serena came to challenge herself and feel the rush of excitement tennis brings her. She simply came to play, not concerned about her winning or losing. She said, "I really had nothing to lose." After taking a break from tennis, the odds were stacked against her. Sport insiders expected her to fail, but she didn't care or listen to any of this noise. She had the courage to play and understood that the only way she could ever lose was by not trying at all.
Set challenges and take the necessary measures to work towards them
Let's be clear, Serena is freakin' amazing, but she didn't just get to the US Open passively. She worked hard, practiced hard, ate well, took care of her spirit. She set a goal and made a plan. She then followed that course and eventually arrived to the US Open. You'll never go anywhere without a destination in mind.
Be authentic and find joy in what you do
Serena, is well, just Serena. For me, this was the most inspiring aspect of this victory. Serena embraces and loves who she is. She showed up looking fabulous, dressed like no other, to play the game she loves. When we show up as our true ourselves, honoring what makes us feel alive inside, we will always be met with success.
Thank you so much Ms. Serena Williams for being such an inspiration to all women! Your win, is our win. We celebrate that you have taught us about inner strength, courage, and grace.