Injuries wrecked havoc on his career and Brett Lee's perseverance wavered several times but the Australian speedster says music therapy kept him going, helping him overcome professional as well as personal challenges that life threw at him quite frequently.
The 35-year-old retired from Test cricket in 2010 after being ravaged by injuries that came with the rigours of throwing down deliveries at over 150kph.
Carrying the scars of 13 surgeries on his body, four on the ankle alone, Lee said it was quite a challenge to keep himself motivated but music filled up a massive vacuum in his life and helped him cope with several personal crises which included a divorce in 2008.
"At 17, I was told by the doctor that I could never play cricket because of an elbow injury but I told him I will live my dream. I proved him wrong and played quite a few international games that too as a fast bowler. And music had a huge role to play in keeping me motivated," Lee said at the launch of a music academy for underprivileged and autistic kids here.
"I turned to music during professional problems, during the personal crisis that I endured a few years ago. Music provided relief after a bad day in cricket and everything else. Music therapy has been brilliant for me," added the pacer, whose initiative -- 'Mewsic, A Brett lee Foundation' --is setting up academies all over India to help kids in orphanages and slums rediscover life through music.
"When you come home after playing in front of 100,000 fans at the Eden Gardens, it is important to unwind and I do it through music. And I also fell in love with the great feeling that came with helping people through music after interacting with a few autistic kids."
The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer said he took no formal training in music till he was 21 but born in a family connected deeply to music, he took up the bass guitar to complete the missing element in his life.
"There was a part of life that was missing and music completed that. Now, I am trying to be a stepping stone for kids who don't have the best of facilities at hand. Just to see the look on their faces gives me a lot of satisfaction because a lot of these kids don't know anything about cricket," he said.
"The most selfish thing in life is giving because it makes you feel good," he smiled.