We’ve all felt the agony of loss, heartbreak, labor, illness or defeat. An overwhelming emotion that can cripple the strongest of men and women. For others, it can serve as a driver pushing them to the next plateau.
Serena Williams secured a spot in 2018’s US Open after not making the cut in her last two tournaments. Despite the news of a defeat by opponent, Osaka, and outburst at the finals on September 8, 2018, her courage cannot be ignored. The pain endured since the birth of her daughter barely a year ago makes her appearance at these finals very meaningful.
Women all over the world give birth each day. We rarely stop to consider the complications that can arise during a delivery. It happened to Serena. Making the road back to where she was today challenging. Proving that pain weakens but can also make us stronger. Pain is our greatest, most forceful weapon to fight back from adversity.
The tennis player enjoyed a normal pregnancy. The delivery, however, was life-threatening as it was complicated by severe health risks. She developed a pulmonary embolism and hematoma. The conditions required several surgeries to remedy the medical problem. For someone as active as Serena, six weeks of bed rest to recover was difficult. Imagine a 23-year career championship tennis player not having the ability to so much as pick up a racket. The weakness her body endured must have been excruciating, physically and mentally. Once the ordeal was behind her, the process to return to the courts while assimilating into motherhood could not have been anything short of painful. Heavy training and travel schedules keeping her from bonding with her newborn baby. Reconditioning her body to return to the game like a champ – and she did just that. We can imagine the tremendous pain she must have endured. Not to mention the emotional toll of juggling the various roles. Women as mothers, wives or partners and professionals. We are all champions in our own right.
In a recent interview, Time magazine quoted Serena as saying, “Some days, I cry. I’m really sad. I’ve had meltdowns. It’s been a really tough 11 months. If I can do it, you guys can too.”
Everyone has experienced pain. The feeling can be debilitating leaving us in a state of despair if we give into it for too long. We need to feel and live it, in order to know how to deal then let go. The key is to release it so it doesn’t retain power over our spirit hindering progress.
Athletes feel all kinds of pain. I think it’s one of the reasons glory has so much significance for them. What’s the difference between us and them? I’m not an athlete but it would seem they use pain to propel them to a higher level than themselves. They acknowledge it but are capable of beating the resistance.
Human beings have an incredible spirit which some of us are yet to uncover. What would you be capable of it you turned your pain into a strength?
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