How Serena Williams rewrote the playbook for female athletes juggling motherhood and sport
“I’m sorry, are we just going to move forward?”
Serena Williams stood and stepped away from the microphone, her legs still wrapped in her pink Uggs as she walked back across the dance floor at the end of her Sunday night routine. It was late October and she was trying to walk back to her seat, her Nike shoes scuffing the floor on their way. On the far side of the floor, a girl was dancing to the remix to her song, the one that she’d written herself in her bedroom with the help of a drum machine and a little help from her husband and mother, the kind of song she’d hummed and danced to for years before writing it down. It was after Williams had played this song for years without even knowing it that she figured out a way to put what she loves most on the world stage.
“I just always loved the song,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘This is weird, but I like this song. I’m going to let it all hang out.’ When I’m not practicing, I listen to music all the time, so I thought, what the hell, let’s get back to the game. It was a different feeling.”
In 2012, Williams had grown up and started to work through her grief after the shocking, tragic death of her mother. “There was so much sadness, and I had a lot going on,” Williams said. “Now I just started to feel like I could be myself and just let the sadness and all the hurt go away.” Her songwriting began to change as well. “I was watching a lot of shows, and I got in the groove of writing songs on my own.”
“I just always loved the song,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘This is weird, but I like this song. I’m going to