Canberra swimmer Ben Treffers has revealed he needed to fall in love with the sport again to recover from three years of heartbreaking results, including surrendering his Australian title and missing Olympic Games selection.
But 100-metre backstroker Treffers believes he's on the path to redemption after securing his place for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and earning senior Australian selection for the first time since 2011.
Treffers' career in the pool has been littered with near-miss moments and shattering losses.
Treffers has twice missed a spot on the Australian team by 0.01 seconds - first for the 2009 world championships and then again at the 2010 Commonwealth Games trials.
Adding to the pain was a failed bid to qualify for the London Olympics when he was beaten by 0.11 seconds in his pet 100-metre backstroke event in 2012.
Treffers insists he has never considered walking away from the sport despite experiencing constant heartbreak moments, but said he had to find a way to make swimming fun again.
Treffers finished a "bitter sweet" second at the Australian championships on Wednesday night, but it was good enough to earn a ticket to the Commonwealth Games.
He backed it up with an Australian record in the 50 metres backstroke on Friday night.
"It was sweet because I'm going to the Commonwealth Games and the Pan-Pacific Championships, but a bit bitter because I didn't execute the race I wanted to," Treffers said.
"I didn't make the right decision at the right time, but the next step is Commonwealth Games. But after the last few years, it's definitely more sweet than bitter.
"The team in 2012 was the hardest to miss because I felt I was in a good position. It took time to deal with missing an Olympics; you can't really describe the feelings. It was quite shattering.
"It's been a long process to get back. It's a big learning process and it's continual. I've just got to have perspective in high-pressure situations that swimming isn't the be all and end all. That's what I took into this meet."
Treffers finished the 100-metres backstroke in second behind Mitch Larkin.
He is eyeing a Commonwealth Games medal as he builds towards Olympic selection for Rio in 2016.
Treffers will also be out to claim bragging rights in Glasgow. His dad, Mark, won gold in the 400-metre individual medley in 1974 for New Zealand and also competed at the 1972 Olympics.
"I just tell him that the sport has changed a lot since then," Treffers laughed.