Charlotte Henrich believed she was not good enough after a move from France to England at five years old left her alienated and low on confidence.
Struggling to learn a new language while suffering from dyslexia, the 400m runner from Canterbury went inside her shell and started to feel like she was falling behind her classmates.
However, a UK School Games event in Loughborough changed Henrich's life forever, transforming her into one of the most charismatic, energetic and talkative young athletes you could ever wish to meet.
Competing and winning silver for Team England at Trinbago 2023 has made the 16-year-old prospect reflect on how far she had come as an athlete and as a person.
"I didn't have much confidence until I was 14 years old when I realised I was good at something, it is a really big confidence boost, and now I feel like I can do anything," said Henrich.
"I couldn't speak English, that was not great, I got into classes and learnt English, but that was really really hard, so it hurt my confidence.
"I also have dyslexia which was horrible, my primary school was really small and I felt like everybody was a lot better than me.
"I used to go home and say, 'I can't do anything', I did not feel like I was good at anything.
"I was taken out of primary school and homeschooled by my mum, and she really helped me.
"I got into this grammar school but that was even harder because I was struggling with my writing and everyone was faster than me.
"I was trying really hard, doing loads of revision and it just would not work out.
"I used to go home and say that I was trying but nothing was happening, I did not really feel like I was very good at anything and that really impacted my confidence."
Henrich's belief that she was not good at anything could not have been further from the truth.
Since that UK School Games event in Loughborough two years ago, Henrich has developed into one of Team England's brightest hopes for the future.
She showed resilience to overtake the majority of the field and win the 400m at the European Athletics U18 Championships in Jerusalem last year.
The 16-year-old still can't believe how quickly her life has changed thanks to the transformative power of sport.
"It is so surreal and so weird, it is something I would have just never expected," she said.
"If you told me two years ago that I was going to go to Jerusalem and that I was then going to go to Trinidad and Tobago, I would have said you were lying and that it was not true.
"I think it is just about believing that you can do something.
"Believing in yourself is so important because if you believe that you can achieve something, then you are so much more likely to do it, it is crazy."
Trinbago 2023 capped a remarkable journey for Henrich off the track, from quiet child to talkative teenager.
"I have grown so much as a person, I can walk into any room and talk to anybody," she added.
"I just feel independent, whatever happens, I will always have those experiences with sport.
"Obviously I want to go to a senior Commonwealth Games in the future, that would be an incredible experience.
"Whatever the event, it would just be amazing.
"Everyone in the track world is kind of similar because we have all had similar experiences, so I am just excited to meet everybody."