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Yesterday Serena Williams became the 3rd woman in history to win the US Open, the Olympics and Wimbledon in the same year. The only other two women who have done so are her sister, Venus Williams and Steffi Graf. At almost 31 years old, she’s also the 2nd oldest US Open women’s champion.
When we think of Champion Serena Williams, the last thing we imagine is that she’s had personal and health struggles. In fact, if there’s anything we can’t ignore about this champion, it’s her incredibly strong body. And it turns out she’s got personal inner strength to match! Although we might imagine Serena to be as tough as her physical exterior, the truth is that there’s a sensitive woman inside her that has fought against her own personal body image issues and gotten past major setbacks including injuries, health problems and losing streaks.
What makes Serena a champion is her attitude and perseverance. These 10 awesome quotes give us insight into how she handles setbacks and keeps herself motivated!
Embracing Her Body
As a child Serena always realized that she was shaped differently from her sister Venus. Now seeing photos of herself at 6 or 7 years old she notes that even back then her arms and legs were strong. When she was younger, Serena was self-conscious about her body, and compared herself to Venus. Says Serena, ‘I have big boobs and this massive butt,’ unlike Venus who is tall, ‘like a model and fits everything.’ Serena has tried to lose weight in the past, and has tried to yoga and Pilates to lengthen and lean her body.
At the beginning of this year, Serena made the choice to go raw vegan. Although she did slim down, as witnessed on her recent Letterman appearance, weight loss was not the reason for the diet change. Recently, Serena’s sister Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune disease resulting in joint pain and fatigue. Venus was advised to follow the diet because animal proteins can exacerbate her painful condition. The two sisters live together, so Serena decided to support her sister and join her in taking up the diet.
It does seem that Serena has made peace with her muscular figure. She states, “To this day I don’t love my arms. People want more fit arms, but my arms are too fit. But I’m not complaining. They pay my bills.” It definitely is true that Serena’s genetically muscular figure has helped make her career!
Recovering from Injuries
Over the past year or two, Serena has had a number of injuries and health challenges that she’s had to endure. Last year, Serena cut both feet on broken glass while leaving a restaurant in Germany, leading to two operations on her right foot, causing her to miss a tournament. Later she had two foot surgeries on her right foot. Shortly thereafter, she got clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner. Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach’s skin, called a hematoma, requiring another procedure in the hospital. Serena had to make a recovery from all of these surgeries before returning to play tennis this June. Obviously, she made an incredible comeback!
10 Inspiring Quotes from Serena Williams!
- “My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body.”
- “I believe in my game, and I believe in me. At the end of the day, I’m my biggest fan. Well, maybe my dad. But other than that, you have to be your biggest fan. I’m working on trying to stay positive.”
- “I want women to know that it’s okay. That you can be whatever size you are and you can be beautiful inside and out. We’re always told what’s beautiful, and what’s not, and that’s not right.”
- “I told you guys I’m delicious. Today I was vicious and ambitious.”
- “I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile things will work out.”
- “Everyone’s dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard.”
- “Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good.”
- “If anything, you know, I think losing makes me even more motivated.”
- “I’m a perfectionist. I’m pretty much insatiable. I feel there’s so many things I can improve on.”
- “I think you have to love yourself before you fall in love. I’m still learning to love myself.”
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