Dubbed the 10 Year Challenge, Facebook and Instagram feeds across the globe were flooded with posts of celebrities, athletes and influencers showing the contrasts that a decade can make.
For Brisbane Heat allrounder Delissa , her 10 Year Challenge is the perfect illustration of a life at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
Imagine playing in a World Cup on home soil at 18 years of age and hating the experience. For any fan of the game who dreams of playing for their country on the biggest stage, it’s hard to fathom.
That’s what 'DK’ was going through in 2009 when she was part of Australia’s World Cup One Day campaign.
“I was at a point during that time where I really hated cricket. I had fallen out of love with it and I look back at that now and almost feel embarrassed to say that,” tells the Brisbane Heat Podcast of her 2009 experience.
“Whilst I was representing my country and wearing the green and gold which is what so many people strive to do, I actually hated every second I was there. It really saddens me to say that. When you’re representing your country, it should be the highlight of your career, but it just wasn't for me at that time,” she continues.
Weighed down by the pressure and requirements of being an Australian cricketer, soon after the World Cup she turned down the offer of a national contract, instead choosing the well-worn path traveled by many Australians in their late teens seeking to find their place in the world – a year in the United Kingdom pulling pints.
It was a spare of the moment decision, and while living in a foreign country far from the luxuries of home with little money to your name can come with its challenges, it ended up being a pivotal one in the country girl from Warwick’s life.
“I say now that some of your biggest mistakes in life can end up being your best mistakes. If I hadn’t had done that year in the UK, I don’t think I ever would have come back and played.
“I was washing cars at home and didn’t really know what I was doing with my life, so I applied for my visa to the UK. Within a month I was over there thinking, 'what am I doing?'. I was couch surfing and spent all the money I had saved pretty quickly.”
Despite being faced with a few early challenges, DK was able to find a local cricket club to play for away from the pressures of the being in the spotlight, and her love for the game was rekindled.
“I was living and working at a pub in central London and the lady that managed the pub was really into her cricket. They helped me find a club and I ended up playing some county games for Warwickshire.
“That experience taught me how much pressure we put on ourselves. When you are training all the time and then you go out and get a duck, it is very deflating.
“Over there, I wasn’t training. I was just rocking up and playing, so there was no pressure and I was playing with freedom. And I started to perform . It taught me that sometimes we put so much expectation and pressure on ourselves that is has a detrimental effect and you don’t enjoy the game.
“There is one phrase I use when I reflect on that time. Appreciation against expectation. Sometimes we don’t appreciate where we are, and we put all the expectation on ourselves.
“It took me to step away from the game to appreciate how good I could be. The sooner you can accept in cricket that some days it’s going to work and some days it isn’t going to work, the more you're going to enjoy the game.”
It’s a mindset that has carried her through to her success today where she is considered one of the game’s elite.
In the last 12 months alone, she has won a T20 World Cup, the WBBL with the Heat, an Ashes series in the UK and been involved in the Australian Women’s Cricket Team’s record-breaking run of 18 ODI victories.
It marks a stark contrast from the 2009 version of Delissa who was playing for Australia but hating the game at the same time.
In 2019, she’s playing with freedom and passion. And most importantly, loving every minute of it.