Sarah Fowler, 20, lives a more active life than most; she plays underwater hockey, she free dives and works as a lifeguard at a local pool.
But Ms Fowler is also one of an estimated more than 51,000 Canberrans to have chronic pain.
It's a condition where pain continues longer than three months, and it can take a toll on people's work life, mental health and active life.
The federal government announced $6.8 million in funding on Thursday to help Australians manage chronic pain.
Painaustralia chief executive Carol Bennett said the announcement, which included $1 million for her advocacy group, would help them raise awareness about Australians like Ms Fowler.
The funding included $4.3 million for pain management services and $2.5 million to fund awareness and education services.
"It's a step in the right direction," Ms Fowler said.
But she said Painaustralia's report points to the fact that chronic pain costs the economy billions, and she questioned what difference $6.8 million would make.
In the report, Painaustralia estimated that chronic pain cost Canberra more than $2 million in 2018 alone when it came to health costs and lost productivity.
"You've got to have money for the research, then educate people, educate health care, intervene early and have a meaningful intervention," Ms Fowler said.
She said the announcement came too late for her.
Ms Fowler's chronic pain saw her confined to a wheelchair for six months when she was 10, after a bout with the flu had initially kept her bedridden.
When she finally went back to school and started walking again, she noticed intense pain in her ankles, which soon spread to her whole lower body, leaving her in a wheelchair.
For two years, she was told by Canberra doctors her pain was in her head, until she was admitted, in agony, to Sydney Children's Hospital while on holidays with her mother.
"Pretty much at that point, everything caused pain," she said.
But while doctors confirmed that the pain was in her head, the reason this time was different: her brain was reacting more sensitively to pain signals than usual.
"They sat me in with a nurse and explained what was going on in terms I understood. [They said] it does exist, it's not all in your head," Ms Fowler said.
Doctors told her she'd probably had persistent chronic pain systems since early childhood, culminating in the incident when she was 10.
Ms Fowler, then 12, was put in a wheelchair again for another six months, but this time she was getting help.
Over the years, Ms Fowler took monthly, and eventually yearly, trips from Canberra to a treatment centre in Sydney, undergoing a regime of physiotherapy, medications, hydrotherapy and cognitive therapy until she was about 16.
Nowadays, she said, 80 per cent of her pain management is mental.
"I have pain but my brain deals with it. It's not a big part of my day all the time but I'll have a week where I'm just sore and there's not much I can do," Ms Fowler said.
Those weeks, she said, even walking through cobwebs or having her hair fall on her legs caused "insane pain".
"It's very hard to explain," she said.
It was sometimes a matter of weighing up whether she had actually been injured or whether it was just her chronic pain, she said.
She said spending time in the water helped, and that she would love to live on the coast.
"The one thing about my condition that really stumps people is doing things helps," Ms Fowler said.
"I pretty much have a normal life."