Maddie Penna has had to do things few other teenagers would.
But the ACT Meteors rookie isn't talking about the lonely drives from Sydney to Canberra she did in a bid to chase her dream.
She is talking about the knee surgeries and the long stints in rehabilitation. Resilience is what makes Penna who she is.
Now it is all set to pay off with Penna firming for a WNCL debut in the Meteors' season opener against Victoria in Adelaide on Sunday - and a blue and gold cap will mark the end of a long journey.
"I was diagnosed with osteochondritis dissecans when I was nine," Penna said.
Sorry, with what?
"It was just an annoying little thing. It's like a loose bone growth under my knee cap which was always there," 18-year-old Penna said.
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"Whenever I did strength or fitness training, anything, it always hurt. I just learnt to deal with it. It has made me the person I am today and how strong I have become.
"I have had to do things not many teenagers or young kids would have had to do. That has made me who I am now."
Penna had an operation on her knee at the tender age of nine - but even that couldn't fix the problem that caused pain with almost every step.
Then things came to a head when Penna was playing trial games for the Sydney Thunder's WBBL academy team.
The rising star's struggle with the pain saw her booked in for surgery - a tough decision to make right in the middle of last season, but it was a step Penna knew she had to take.
For if she hadn't, who knows where the Sydney-based rookie would be right now?
Perhaps not in Adelaide, setting her sights on a place in the Meteors' middle order to plug the gap left by Angela Reakes' season-ending injury for their clash against Victoria.
Penna will likely have a key role to play in David Drew's side as they brace for an opening weekend without star trio Reakes, Maitlan Brown and Sarah Cady.
The mere prospect of putting on a Meteors cap is still sinking in for Penna, who has made the most of her shot after being called in for a pre-season camp in Darwin.
"When Drewy rang me and said I would be going away with the girls, I honestly had no words to say to him," Penna said.
I have had to do things not many would. That has made me who I am.Maddie Penna
"As soon as I got off the phone I rang mum while she was at work, I rang dad and he was very excited. They've been a really good help through this rehab process.
"Obviously I jumped at that and went up with the girls, had a really good time and played really well.
"They were impressed with how I went and said they would love to have me around as part of the group, which I love.
"Six months ago I was like 'it's going to be ages away'. Now it's here."
ACT METEORS WNCL FIXTURE
Game 1: September 22 - Victoria v ACT Meteors at Park 25, Adelaide, 10am.
Game 2: September 24 - SA Scorpions v ACT Meteors at Karen Rolton Oval, 10am.
Game 3: January 6 - NSW Breakers v ACT Meteors at Hurstville Oval, 10am.
Game 4: January 7 - ACT Meteors v Queensland Fire at Blacktown International Sportspark, 10am.
Game 5: January 21 - ACT Meteors v Queensland Fire at Manuka Oval, 10am.
Game 6: January 23 - ACT Meteors v NSW Breakers at Manuka Oval, 10am.
Game 7: February 4 - ACT Meteors v Western Australia at Phillip Oval, 10am.
Game 8: February 6 - ACT Meteors v Tasmania Tigers at Phillip Oval, 10am.