When you’re juggling a career and parenthood, you’re bound to run into difficult circumstances that will test you. If anyone knows that, it’s definitely Serena Williams. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has been balancing her career as an athlete, entrepreneur, and fashion mogul, while also devoting the past nearly four years to raising her three-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian. Over the course of the last few years, Williams has encountered a number of challenges, and she recently shared the three words that have kept her going through it all.
“You’re going to go through a lot of things in life and there’s no way to get through it other than to go through it,” the tennis champion revealed, per Today. “You can’t go around it, can’t go over it, can’t go under it — just go through it, because it’s never going to be easy, but it really builds a different character…after you go through different hardships and hard times.” If this motto sounds familiar to you, then you’ve definitely been brushing up on your children’s literature.
The same words can actually be found in Michael Rosen’s children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, per the outlet. “If you avoid things and avoid problems, that doesn’t really work, so I really love that advice,” Williams said of the three-word mantra. Since becoming a mom, Williams has definitely met a number of a challenges, but she’s always given her best on and off the tennis court to meet them.
The decorated athlete welcomed Olympia in September 2017, and has made it to four Grand Slam singles finals since her return to the sport — at Wimbledon (2018 and 2019) and the U.S. Open (also 2018 and 2019). She earned her first tennis trophy as a mom in Aukland prior to the 2020 Australian, where her elation was so apparent. At 39 years old, Williams is still chasing history, trying to clinch a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title. With every new challenge she encounters, whether it’s raising Olympia or facing an opponent across the net, Williams proves that going through it makes you stronger and better in every facet of life.
Before you go, click here to check out children’s books starring girls of color.