Monday September 5, 2011
Every athlete has an eternal battle within, but it’s the battle between will and conditioning. In other words, the athlete battles his or her body with their desire to win. They succeed most of the time, but sometimes, their bodies cannot withstand the pain anymore. In rare cases, something unexpected can force an athlete to withdraw from their game.
Tennis player Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open this past weekend. She was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition that destroys tear ducts and can lead to fatigue and other complications. Williams said in a press conference that she is looking forward to return to the court soon. William’s condition reminds us an athlete can suffer just as much as a normal person.
Any athlete can prepare and rehabilitate from any physical injury, such as a broken bone or muscle tear. But a medical condition requires longer rehabilitating. Williams’ condition could take nearly a year to get back on the tennis court again. It’s not impossible, as we have seen other athletes return from illness. Outfielder Darryl Strawberry made one of the most notable comebacks to full time work from illness. Strawberry came back from colon cancer in 1998. He went on to play in 1999 and retired after that season.
Despite the bad news, Williams is the type of athlete that can come back from this and likely could. She has the athlete’s will to compete. It may take a while, but this is not the last time we will see Venus Williams in a tennis court.
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