Issy Morris has always loved sport – any sport – and the Welsh triathlete believes that passion can enrich life for everyone.
Morris, from Crickhowell in Powys, will be competing for Team Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which starts on July 28.
But the 22-year-old tried a wide variety of sports as a youngster and feels it was the breadth of experience that gave her a base on which to build.
Triathlon requires a wide range of skills, but they can be enjoyed in the component sports of athletics, swimming and cycling across all ages.
Bringing them together not only broadens that range of abilities, but helps develop attributes of self-discipline, resilience and determination.
Issy says she wanted to enjoy sport, but is adamant that a mixed and balanced approach gave her a firm foundation.
“If I had just stuck to triathlons from an early age, it would have been too much and too intense,” she says.
“I am a big believer in not specialising when you are too young. I think each sport has helped me in different ways, they all teach you so much and I was able to use what I’d learned across different sports.
“You learn so much about life as well. I’ve got to meet so many different people from different walks of life which has been amazing, too!”
It used to be that as a triathlete you would start as a swimmer or a runner and pick up cycling skills.
But for Morris, she combined swimming and running at an early age and resisted pressures to specialise in one or other too soon.
She recalls: “At the age of nine, my swimming coach was saying that I needed to stop my other sports if I wanted to be a swimmer,
“I’m definitely glad I didn’t listen to that advice because at the time I was probably doing every sport I could and that definitely made me the athlete I am today.”
Morris had supportive parents who were involved in her development, as far as practically possible.
“I started off as a swimmer and a runner, then I started doing biathlons, and then I was going down the pentathlon route.
“My father wasn’t impressed! He was looking at the costs of five different sports and a horse!
“We bargained a little bit, and I tried a triathlon.”
Not that everything went smoothly in triathlon during those early days.
“We first turned up with a mountain bike, which didn’t even fit on the racking, which was quite funny. But I ended up just watching because I was so nervous, and I didn’t know what I was doing.
“I had a surfer’s wetsuit, which would take 10 minutes to take off, so I remember watching and thinking about how much I wished I could get involved. It didn’t take me long after that to get my first triathlon underway and I absolutely loved it.”