CUDGEN swimmer Sara Marson is fighting her way back from a career-threatening shoulder injury.
The 20-year-old had suffered for four years with an excruciating pain in her left shoulder and the ache became so intense at times, she needed to have cortisone injections in order to train.
Marson began swimming competitively at national and international levels as a 14-year-old, and she secured top results.
She remained undefeated Australian champion in 100m breastroke for 14-year-olds, until she had surgery in July 2008.
She went to five doctors with her shoulder problem, but they were unable to diagnose the condition.
“I went to the sports doctor and he referred me to the surgeon and he told me to go back to the physio,” Marson said.
“I had been doing physio for four years and that's not what I wanted to hear.
“Then I went before a big board of surgeons which was a bit scary and again they had ideas, but they weren't certain they could really do anything.”
Marson said it was incredibly frustrating and she started to think maybe there wasn't anything that could be done.
“There was a stage a couple of years ago, where I thought it's just not worth it, its too much pain and it cost so much money with all the physio and all that,” she said.
Eventually Marson found a surgeon in Brisbane through a physiotherapist friend.
“After I had the surgery, I went back to the physio and I was told that every other person that has had this operation has never got back in the water and swum before,” Marson said.
“So, I was the first one to get back in the water I am sort of glad I wasn't told that before.”
Marson was eager to dive back in the water and returned last October to Oasis Pool at Banora Point where she now trains with head coach Andrew Hunter.
Marson said she had to ease her way back into the pool and just started with kicking, because she couldn't get her arm over her head at that stage.
“I think the end of February was the first time that I had done a full session,” Marson said.
“It was probably the first time in about years, where I could do the whole session.
“Tthat was a big achievement.”
Waterdragons coach Hunter said Marson was a great talent with a lot of enthusiasm and had been training well.
“Sara has guts and is probably one of the most motivated athletes I have had anything to do with,” Hunter said.
“Sara is never afraid to have a go, always putting in 100 per cent and she is incredibly tough to keep swimming for two years with severe, constant pain.”
Marson's first meet back was Brisbane Winter Short Course Meet on June 20 and June 21 and her efforts were rewarded with a second in 50m freestyle and three thirds - 100m freestyle, 100m breastroke and 200m breastroke.
Marson is now training for National short course in August.