Meet Venus Expert
I am a 7-time Grand Slam Champion and 4-time Olympic gold medalist, and have a fitness journey of my own. Throughout my 17 years on the WTA tour, during which I have won 44 tournaments, staying fit and healthy has been a major challenge. There have been ups and downs through injury, and each time I have battled back through the proper rehabilitation and rest. Being able to still play at the highest level at the age of 32 is amazing, and I will continue to fight through everything to attain my goal- to be able to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The greatest opponent I have faced made its presence known in the summer of 2011. For months, even years, I had battled a frustrating mix of symptoms that included fatigue, muscle aches, shortness of breath, and an inability to recover during a match. Doctors were convinced it was adult-onset asthma, but nothing they prescribed brought any relief. It was finally discovered that I suffer from Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease in which immune cells attack saliva and tear glands, as well as joints.
Living with the disease has brought about major changes in my lifestyle. Like any other opponent, though, I have attacked it in my usual aggressive style. I have become an advocate of a vegan/raw foods diet, which helps minimize the inflammation brought on by the condition. No more of my favorite cherry pies, as sugar is forbidden. My training is now tempered with one or more rest days per week. Even though it has been 2 years since I was diagnosed, I am still learning how to deal with my disease, and how far and hard I can push myself to train as well as in my everyday life.
I am so excited to be along for the Fitness Journey ride! I know I will learn a ton about myself that I didn’t know before, and I hope my story and my journey encourages and inspires you to join me.