Greenwich doctor has her sights set on Rio Paralympics
Until recently, Sophie West's competitive sporting achievements were confined to swimming gala's scattered throughout her primary school days.
Fast forward a couple of decades - which saw her qualify as a doctor, discover she suffered from a congenital hip condition and undergo six operations - the Greenwich resident now considers herself "a true example" of the legacy spanning from London 2012.
The 31-year-old has now set her sights set on a much bigger sporting scenario and smashing some hefty statistics to reach the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio as a freestyle and individual medley swimmer.
After assisting as a doctor for the equestrian team during London 2012, it was only when she settled down in front of the television to watch the Paralympics events in the Stratford aquatics centre that the possibility of a sporting career raised its head above water.
"The commentators were going through the certifications and what the swimmers had and they said one of the swimmers had Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips (DDH) like me," she said, explaining her condition had been diagnosed in 2009 after she suffered crippling pain preparing for a triathlon.
"I had started training with James Collington, a personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club, that year just to build up a bit of leg muscle and he started joking and saying 'we will make you a paralympian'.
"I was like, whatever!
"Once someone puts an idea in your head and you keep joking about it, it kind of sticks.
"Until the Paralympics, it didn't even occur to me (DDH) could count as something like that."
As well as having her pelvis broken in six places to reorientate the bone around her left leg socket, Sophie also suffers from a rare metabolic condition where her body struggles to break down the lactic acid produced by exercise.
After settling on swimming as opposed to running or cycling and battling fears of being "too old" to compete at a professional level, the trainee radiology consultant has immersed herself in a gym and pool training regime - both at Reebok Sports Club and with the Greenwich Royals.
This start of a new chapter will also see her reduce her working hours to a part time role from January.
While her training regime of five sessions each week will become more intense, the aspiring Paralympian has upped the pressure by striving to break the 50 metres Paralympic British Record by April next year.
This, in addition to securing the qualifying times needed for the 50 metres freestyle, 100 metres freestyle and 200 metres individual medley in her S10, SM 10 and SB9 classes.
"I don't think I've quite got my head around it yet," said Sophie.
"Of course, I am committed to doing it, you have to be committed to doing it when the alarm goes off at 5am
"I find it amazing I managed to get myself in this situation.
"It's exciting that it's off the back of the Olympics being in London - I am sure I wouldn't have watched it quite so carefully if it hadn't been in London.
"Now, at the age of 31, I am starting competing in sport at a national and international level - I still giggle at it sometimes."
Lorcan Loughrey, swimming coach at Reebok, and James Collington, land trainer, have teamed up to help Sophie on her way to international sporting stardom.
"It's been great to work with Lorcan and give each other feedback with what we are doing in the next sessions, and how we can improve," said James.
"I am trying to mimic as many movements as we can outside of the pool in the gym environment.
"The training with Sophie in comparison with most people is very different and it's been great fun as well."
Lorcan said the pre-Christmas pool focus would be on pushing Sophie with her breathing technique.
"I hope this inspires other people," Sophie added.
"Three years ago I got out of breath walking up a flight of stirs, now I can swim for two hours.
"I hope it inspires other people even when things seem completely dark, dismal and horrible.
"I remember when I was sitting in hospital in pain, so what I do now, it's quite cool."