I thought long and hard about writing about the phenomenal year of Venus Williams. If anyone had told me when the year began that Venus Williams, at age 37 would win 2 Grand Slam titles, hell if anyone had told me that Venus would actually make it to a Grand Slam final again, I would have run them out of town. For her to actually reach the final and beat not only her sister, Serena to win her first Australian Open title, but then venture to the lawns of her beloved Wimbledon and raise once again the Venus Rosewater Dish, as a fan I could not ask for more*.
At a time when people in the tennis world are celebrating consistency, I want to celebrate the resilience of a player who many, including myself, from time to time had thought was dead and buried.
A few years ago, Venus had to withdraw from a match at the US Open after she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Sjorgen’s Syndrome. As someone who suffers from arthritis, and who had to stop playing tennis as a result of it, knowing what Venus has to endure as a professional athlete made me appreciate what she has been doing more and more every day.
Many of us did not think that Venus had a chance against Serena. After all, Serena was only going for a record 23rd Grand Slam title. This was Venus’ first Grand Slam final since Wimbledon 2009. 8 long years. In tennis terms that is the whole career of some players. For her to not only win that event, but follow it up on Saturday by defeating Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in a thrilling straight set victory should let people know that at no point should you call for the retirement of players who are struggling either with injuries, motivation or just out of form.
In this day and age of social media, there is a hashtag that goes around that is called #LifeGoals. To watch Venus raising trophies at the age of 37, after battling for years and having to listen and read articles about the death of her career, I think we can now say, after watching her overcome so many obstacles that this hashtag sums up her life.
As a fan these are now my #LifeGoals
- never complain when I wake up in the morning with my knee hurting and I don’t want to go for my morning walk #LifeGoals
- never complain when I have to work late into the night because I am tired and really ready to go home #LifeGoals
- if it means never eating sweet potato pudding again in order to live a healthier cleaner life, I will do it #LifeGoals
- I will never complain that life is too hard or that I should give up because others think that my best days are behind me #LifeGoals
- believe in myself even more (and that goes for everyone) because no one knows what is waiting around the corner #LifeGoals
- age is just a number. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (and you) #LifeGoals
- block out the noise of the naysayers, they are who they are and who they will always be. Don’t be a naysayer, be like Venus #LifeGoals
In an age when we are living with mediocrity at the highest levels of government, let us look to Venus Ebony Starr Williams, who at age 37, played 2 of the best matches of her life and showed that despite what everyone else says, she is once again a Grand Slam champion.