I hope your inner child got super excited imaging that I was a lucky receiver of a golden ticket from my Willy Wonka chocolate... but sorry to disappoint, no wonka ticket here, despite the 20 blocks my mother bought me because I was persistent to win (I'm not competitive at all guys ...just don't challenge me because.. I WILLLL WINNNN).
When I called my best friend to tell her that I had passed all my ACL return to sport tests and that I had been approved to fly back to Los Angeles she cheered on the other side of the WhatsApp line from London and screamed "Its like you have won a golden ticket !!". We both broke out into laughter and then I continued to tell her how she had literally read my mind because I was drafting this blog at the time and had called it my golden ticket! Freaky right... (I must admit she can read my mind before i have even opened my mouth).
Yes hitting the end of your recovery/rehab session and being able to return to sport can feel like you are charlie opening up that cherished chocolate bar he has waited the whole year for. Well I waited 11 months since that day I slipped in water and ... "I got a golden ticket" ! But let me tell you about my ticket ...
For my golden ticket I am referring to the incredible Book by Brendan Burchard titled "Lifes Golden Ticket". It is an inspiration parable - a tale of personal growth and of a second chance to live as you should have. The question that pulses through this book is - what if you were handed a magical golden ticket that could start your life a new? What would you do differently ?.
I won't spoil too much but the book follows the story of a man who is so trapped in the past that he is blinded to the possibilities, choices and joys around him. Through the book set in an abandoned amusement park he encounters people and situations that confront his beliefs, force him to answer difficult questions, listen to life lessons and through taking a brutally honest look at himself and the life he has created he overcomes tremendous obstacles. In the end he receives a "golden ticket". His pass to a second chance at life through letting go of anger, hurt, worry or resentment that is tied to his old story and to have the strength and courage to start a new. He is given a chance to reclaim the life of purpose, contribution and love that he was destined for. The end of the book holds a surprise for the reader. Again even though I'm itching to tell you because my mum knows best how much I can't keep a secret - I'll let you experience it for yourself.
I read this book when I was in San Francisco on a family Christmas holiday. At the time I was 7 weeks post op, stairs were still a tremendous challenge, my knee was still fat, my jeans too tight (not being able to do cardio and emotional eating plus holiday do not end well) and my mind was fighting daily to remain happy. This book was the first massive turning point for me in my recovery. It was a BAM face palm in the face kind of moment for me. I realized I would have a chance to choose what I make of my life if I chose to work hard for it and I was getting a second chance to re- arrange and priorities the things that actually matter to me. This was my chance to prove to myself what I am made of.
Our lives are paved by the choices we make and also those we don't. The opportunities we didn't take, the risks we did whether they panned out or not, the people we showed our love to and those we should have made more effort for. As a gold member of the Anxiety club I was living my days choosing fear over love...obsessing over decisions to be made, pushing away what my gut was telling me because I would turn to others advice instead, and living through the nightmares of "what ifs" with every ticking second. I didn't live in the present- i dwelled in the past and obsessed over the future. I was creating hell on earth for myself and it took this injury and this pause in time to come across this book, have my world shaken upside down and prove to myself what my purpose here is and what I want to contribute.
Months of hard work, brutally honest confrontations with myself and others, life lessons and epiphanies, pushing my own boundaries, challenging myself with new ideas and experiences has all lead me to my own "end of the book". My physical therapists have handed me my own Golden ticket and now its up to me what to do with it. I get a second chance to drive my own car on that bloody winding road up the mountain of life chasing the detours I take, patching up my own popped tires and heading towards it without a map just simply trusting my gut and making opportunities out of the obstacles and times I get lost.
My time in LA was paused and this hurt my heart so much but in hindsight through the many hours of unemployment spent on the central coast shores of NSW with my acai bowls and talking to myself like a crazy women ( we are all crazy lets be realllllll) I wasn't being the person I wanted to be, or enjoying the journey like I know i should have. I became my own nightmare and was too harsh on myself. I lost sight of what is important to me... but now I get my second chance.
Tomorrow I fly back to the City of Angels with my ticket in hand, with a grateful heart and my dreams shining bright in my eyes. I can't wait to see what this next chapter delivers !!!
If you got a golden ticket today what would you do differently ? Actually don't tell me, go make it happen !