See why Serena Williams says this period of her life is ‘harder than she ever imagined’
Serena Williams is having a hard time adjusting to the relaxation.
The 41-year-old tennis champion, who announced in August that she is retiring from the sport professionally to focus on her family, revealed Dec. 28 in a tweet that enjoying time off the field has not come naturally to her.
“Right now I’m allowing myself to be tired. Allowing myself to rest. Allowing myself to just be. It’s harder than I ever imagined. I’ve never allowed myself to do any of this before …” wrote Williams, who would normally be preparing for the Australian Open at this time of year.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner revealed in a personal essay published in Vogue in August that she intended to retire from professional tennis to spend more time with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and their 5-year-old daughter. Olympia.
“I never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t seem like a modern word to me,” Williams wrote. “I’ve thought of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.
“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m doing is evolution“, she continued. “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me.”
Williams also revealed that she and Ohanian wanted to have another child – and that she had heard Olympia saying she wanted to be a “big sister”.
“I am the youngest of five sisters and my sisters are my heroes, so this is a moment that I have to listen to very carefully,” the athlete wrote.
Williams, who has played professionally since she was a teenager, told readers that she never wanted to choose between the sport she loved and having a family.
“If I were a boy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the manual labor to expand our family,” she wrote. “I’d probably be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”
During an appearance at a technology conference in San Francisco in October, Williams clarified that she is not done with tennis forever. “I’m not retired,” said the athlete, who was at the conference to promote her investment company, Serena Ventures.
“The chances (of a comeback) are very high. You can come to my house, I have a court,” she added with a laugh.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com