What It's Like to Spend 24 Hours with Venus Williams
From training for her next big competition to running multiple companies, there's a lot for tennis icon and entrepreneur Venus Williams to get done in the average day. For our big March issue, the superstar gave us the inside scoop on her busy schedule—and how she likes to spend her (very limited) down time.
Keep scrolling to see how she gets it all done.
Up and at 'em
I aim to hit the gym early because I like knowing my workout is done as I go through the rest of my day. But I’m not a morning person and would ideally sleep in if I could. The first thing I do when I wake up is check the news.
My exercise routine varies and could be anything from biking to doing sprints and fast-paced plyometric moves. I don’t like running on the treadmill because it seems to never stop. In addition to cross-training, I put in a few hours on the court. Right after Thanksgiving I get in shape for the new year. Then I compete for two months, take four weeks off, and repeat the cycle.
Unless I need extra energy for an early match, breakfast is usually a smoothie. I make my own whenever I’m home in Palm Beach or have access to a blender. My favorite mix is spinach, kale, blueberries, pineapple, avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil, and coconut water. I also supplement with vitamin C to boost my immune system and prevent illness.
On the job
I have the best commute ever—just 15 minutes from practice to the offices for my athletic apparel line, EleVen, and V Starr Interiors, my commercial design firm. As the CEO of both companies, I’m lucky that everything is based in the same building. Now I mainly focus on design and big-picture strategy, but I’m involved in a bit of everything: conducting meetings, approving sketches, and even boxing up packages. I’m very hands-on.
A typical lunch is some combination of vegetables and grains, though on match days I have a more carbohydrate-rich meal of rice, beans, and potatoes two hours before playing.
On the Road
I travel a lot for work, so being at home is a vacation. Regular things feel like novelties to me, like sitting on my couch or having access to my whole wardrobe instead of living out of a suitcase. I try to take my dog everywhere with me I can. He's a good guy and likes visiting new places.
The most valuable advice I’ve ever received was from my sister Serena: ‘No matter what, you have to show up—so why not compete?’ I think that’s a great mind-set.
Bust a Move
I go to a class whenever I can. And since I’m so competitive, I always search for someone doing worse than me in the room. I like to think the only reason other students outperform me is that they’re in the studio more often.
My dad lives near me, so I’ll often visit him toward the end of the day. My parents and sisters are huge inspirations for me, and we are always in touch via group chat. In the evening, I like to get dinner with friends, but I can’t stay out late when I have practice the next day—although sometimes I do anyway and regret it. I rarely have people over to my place because I’m a terrible host. I want guests who can take care of themselves. They should make food for me!
For more stories like this, pick up the March issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Feb. 9.