Looking back at 2021..
The year that was 2021 had its surprises. Do you remember when sports had no audiences and the athletes were all in a bubble? It seems like forever ago but it was just this past year! On the tennis circuit, I spent all but one event in complete lockdown and in a bubble. Despite this challenge, there is always a silver lining if you keep yourself open to it. I made friends on tour for the first time since coming on tour in 1990 something. When you have a sister on tour and all your family there constantly supporting you, there is no imperative to make friends. But when I found myself dealing with limited capacities at the tour events and fighting just to get a tournament pass for my coach and hopefully a physical therapist, I was forced to finally branch out and get to know the other players. It turned out to be the most enriching experience! People who understand your experience and what you are going through and speak your language help you to cope and to grow. I knew this in theory but I somehow thought my life in the tennis world was exempt, but it was not! I'm pretty grateful for the friendships I made and the growth it gave me personally and professionally. Next year I look forward to diving in for more!
Expanding my network of friends on tour this year also resulted in me removing my limits on what I could experience in life and it brought me great joy. My new tennis player friends work just as hard as me but didn’t let the pursuit for greatness hold them back from experiencing life as well. In the past, the fear of falling just a millimeter off of my game was just something I wouldn't risk. I stayed focused and leaned into work 100%. But I learned you can (sometimes) have your cake and eat it too. I dived in deep right away. Some of my highlights were booking a trip to Germany to work on my overall health (It's called lanserhof if you want to try it), taking trips to visit my family in DC and LA and I flew to Paris for a day just for fashion week! Yes, it's a long way to go just to turn around the next day but it showed me that in life you have a choice and you can have it all if you just go for it! Life won't wait, I learned I have to start living now.
I'm so excited to think of all the possibilities in 2022. I want to continue to explore life outside of my passion at work. I want to inspire those around me by continually improving the person I am. I want to make new friends on tour and learn from them. I want to design our best line yet ( we are ideating around FW23) inspired by those who inspire me. More than anything I want to connect with our community at EleVen and I am looking forward to letting you know all that we have in store to do that with you next year. This year we started tennis Thursday and it's continually been the best moment of my week each week to connect directly with you on all things tennis while having some fun as well!
I'm most grateful this year for learning to embrace the experience of life, even under tough circumstances with covid. Life is about living to the fullest, living in your best health, and creating memories that last forever. That means you really have to step up and LIVE, even if it is a pandemic! In life, you have to make room to create experiences that you will forever cherish. These experiences and these memories are what create a great life. I'm about living that best life and as we say at EleVen, pursuing your best self in all you do!
Have a great 2022!