Tauranga triathlete Anneke Jenkins knows more about overcoming adversity than most athletes after enduring two major career threatening setbacks and a horrendous bike crash.
But the 26-year-old from Otumoetai is now fully fit and focused on qualifying to compete for New Zealand at the Olympics next August.
Jenkins was a nationally ranked breaststroke swimmer until she was struck down with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2010. She got into triathlon by chance two years after and fell in love with the multiple disciplines of the sport.
She made an early impression on the national triathlon stage but was troubled by shin splints and recurring pain in her hip. Then a serious crash training in the Canary Islands in March this year changed everything.
"I was at the back of a group on a really, really windy day and didn't sight a pretty large rock and just flew over the handlebars travelling at 55k per hour and hit the pavement," Jenkins said.
"They thought for sure my shoulder and elbow were broken and maybe my knee as well, but in the end nothing was broken. My helmet saved my life. I now had worse pain on the other hip and couldn't run so went and saw (surgeon) Matt Brick and a scan showed I had a torn labrum in both hips.
"I had surgery and came home to the Mount and recovered with help from Jo and Graeme Shanks from Share Insurance, who are part of the triathlon community here."
Jenkins then spent two months at an athletic clinic in Colorado, US, thanks to much-needed help from her sponsors Asteron Life and Smiths Sports Shoes.
In October she competed in the African Cup in Morocco and finished third to signal she was back.
Now her focus is on key events in the ITU World Series early next year which will determine if she makes it to the Olympics. She needs to be ranked inside the world's top eight to make the grade.
"For so long I have had this dream of going to the Olympics and it does drive me but I just love the sport. I have not had the chance to push my body the way I want to push it with injury. I believe I can be better and want to see how good I can be."
Jenkins lives most of the year in Spain with her partner Javier Gomez Noya, the world's number one triathlete.
"I have learned a lot from him and the way he does things day to day is incredible. You can tell by living with him for just one day why he is the world champion. He is so focused, eats and trains well, and doesn't get injured."