We ask ourselves, how can such challenging, frightening and dramatic things happen to such good, hard-working and determined people?
One of the greatest gifts we can learn from others is the gift of gratitude. Through the sharing of stories of triumph over the most unexpected, even life-threatening circumstances that threaten our ability to achieve our life-long dreams, we are moved to understand what it means to be truly grateful and thankful for our lives.
Learn the gift of gratitude from Michelle. Thanks to a medical innovation, this female body builder avoids open-heart surgery, wins world title, and gives birth to a healthy baby girl.
I was a young woman with the passionate goal of winning a World Natural Body building title. I invested many hours per day in pursuit of my goal, leading and a structured and disciplined life in all areas of training and nutrition. At the same time, I was planning my wedding and hoping to start a family after achieving a world title.
When my cardiologist discovered that my heart was severely enlarged, and that I would need to replace my aortic valve with a mechanical one, I became very depressed and withdrawn. I would no longer be able to train or even compete with any intensity, and starting a family would be quite risky and not recommended due to the medication I would require for the rest of my life. During the month-long wait for my surgery, I did not sleep well, my heart raced, and I became more and more breathless each day.
My depression gained momentum, and I watched television to distract myself. One night a program caught my eye. On it, Tony Robbins spoke of people harnessing the power of decision to turn any dream into reality. I was so inspired that I immediately ordered “Tony Robbins’ Get The Edge Program.” I learned to change my thoughts to positive ones and focused on finding another solution to my surgery.
I searched for alternatives to valve replacements and found a doctor in Melbourne who had been performing a new surgery. While it came with a few more surgical risks, the outcome post-surgery would be far better for me than a mechanical valve.
After my two-week recovery, I was able to return home. Within days, I was at the gym doing my physiotherapy stretches—the beginning of my journey back to peak physical condition.
I went on to win a number of titles, followed by my dream of winning the INBA Olympia World Title Tall Class Figure in front of my family only one month after my original five-year goal.
Two months later, I became pregnant. Today, I have a healthy baby girl. I am preparing to compete internationally again, and have a passion for educating and preparing other young figure athletes for the stage. This brings such satisfaction, joy and meaning to my life.
The 2008 International Basket Brigade has arrived!
What began more than 30 years ago as Tony’s individual effort to feed families in need has grown into the Anthony Robbins Foundation International Basket Brigade. It provides baskets of food and household items to an estimated three million people annually in countries all over the world. During this holiday season, International Basket Brigade volunteers will deliver food, clothing, and hope to those who need it most.
Run entirely by volunteers, the Foundation would be honored to have you become part of this life-changing event—one where individuals like yourself step up and deliver baskets to people around the world. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit the Basket Brigade page on our Foundation website at: http://www.anthonyrobbinsfoundation.org/
Here you will find easy, step-by-step instructions on how to get started. We look forward to your efforts as part of the Basket Brigade.