Stacey Porter admits there were times where she thought she mightn't have the opportunity to play at another Olympic Games.
Introduced as an Olympic sport in 1996, softball was cut from the program for the 2012 and 2016 games.
Part of the Aussie Spirit teams that won silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008, Porter did question whether she would experience the hype of an Olympics again.
"Once we were kicked out and then we were kicked out again, I don't think I was super confident, because I just never understood how you could kick us out in the first place," Porter said.
Fortunately for the Australian captain and Tamworth native, the sport was re-instated for Tokyo and she is once again throwing herself into preparations for an Olympics tilt.
Presently, she is suiting up for the Aussie Spirit side in the Australia Pacific Cup being played at Blacktown.
The last time tournament the Aussies will play on home soil before the games, it will be a valuable hit-out for Tokyo, with three of their opponents also qualified.
"It's a good chance for us," Porter said.
"We don't get a lot of time playing as a team, and especially on home soil in Australia."
Australia is fielding two sides in the tournament and Porter said she'd be disappointed if at least one of them weren't in Sunday's final.
Having had a bit of time since the Aussie side confirmed their Tokyo berth to reflect and refocus, she is looking forward to what will be an exciting but busy next six months.
From the APC she will go straight into the 2020 Summer Slam - Fully Loaded Softball, where she will captain the Panthers side. The softball equivalent of Twenty20 cricket, the three-day tournament gets under way on Monday and features three innings, shorter fences and loaded bases for every innings.
Following that a 23-player Olympic'squad will be named.
Porter will feel right at home in Tokyo with Japan like a second home to her.
Between commitments with the Aussie squad, she will take to the diamond for SG Holdings in the Japanese League.
It will be her 13th season in a competition she regards as "the best league in the world in terms of strength and dedication".
It has already been a golden year for the 37-year old. Earlier this month she led the NSW Firestars to a fourth straight Open Women's National Softball Championship title in what was an impressive 20th nationals campaign.
"I was super proud of the girls; four-in-a-row, which I think hasn't been done for a little while," Porter said.
In recognition of her outstanding performances last year Porter was one of 25 athletes nominated for The World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.
Unfortunately she didn't make it through to the final 10 but did receive almost 10,000 votes.