How is it that a COMMERCIAL can make me have so many FEELINGS? Yeah. A commercial. A Nike commercial, to be specific, and let me warn you: you will probably cry, too. But we’re talking tearing up in a good way — these are heartwarming tears, and I loved every minute of it.
It’s a video that splices together a simple scene of Serena Williams practicing tennis as a child with her father — with shot after amazing shot of some of her most epic and iconic games.
“Very good, Serena Williams.”
It’s that last line that gets me. The very last line of the video — don’t worry, no spoilers — and it’s just her dad, reassuring her that she did a good job, and reassuring us, the viewers, that yes indeed, this is Serena Williams. She really was once a wee little thing practicing her serve on the neighborhood tennis courts.
And she became the best tennis player in the world.
The #inspo part of this video is clear — and powerful. We all have to start somewhere, whether that’s a young girl practicing tennis, or a new mom starting her first business in between naps, or an office temp angling to be the first female CEO of her company someday.
We all gotta start somewhere, and it’s okay to dream big. Serena’s dad specifically says: “This is you, at the U.S. Open.” Talk about getting your hopes up! But then there — a shot of Serena actually at the U.S. Open, and you think, Huh — maybe big dreams aren’t so crazy after all.
But as fantastic as that message is, that’s not why I cried. Wanna know what really struck me about this video? What really pulled out the ol’ tissue box?
The power of parenting.
Personally, I am a complete sucker for dad-daughter relationships, and this was a beautiful one — but it absolutely speaks to the power of any kind of parent, or parent figure. How we talk to our kids, how we teach our kids, and how we believe in our kids makes a difference. The voices we use, the time we spend, the encouragement we give time and time again — that matters. And in the grand scheme of things, good parenting can mean the difference between a natural talent —
And a world champion.
So thanks, Serena’s dad, for showing us what a great parent can be. And thanks, Serena, for inspiring us to keep pursuing our dreams, especially while rocking a tutu.
Now just watch this ad, and try not to cry — I dare you: