I'm thinking about...Serena Williams' Retirement
“I’m so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.” - Serena Williams, February 2018 (source)
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been having a lot of feelings about Serena’s announcement that she plans to retire. As you also know, she is the literal GOAT and won her 23rd Grand Slam title while 8 weeks pregnant.
I’ve followed her journey closely ever since she shared about her traumatic birth and postpartum experience with her daughter Olympia in 2017. At the time, I was becoming aware of the racial disparities in healthcare–particularly when it came to Black maternal health. Serena, an elite athlete, knows more about listening to her body than anyone, yet was met with doubt and resistance when she sounded the alarm that something was very wrong with her after giving birth. Because of this, she almost died and had to receive 3 surgeries in addition to her emergency C-section.
As soon as she returned to the court, Serena boldly claimed her desire to win more Grand Slam titles.She continued to share their journey, revealing in her HBO documentary, Being Serena, that she had to stop breastfeeding earlier than she wanted because it interfered with her ability to train at an elite level.
In her 2018 cover story for Vogue, she talked about the inherent difference of being a mom vs. being a dad, speaking of Roger Federer whose wife had two sets of twins in 5 years time, saying, “It’s so unfair. He produced four babies and barely missed a tournament. I can’t even imagine where I’d be with twins right now. Probably at the bottom of the pool.”