By his own admission, Jake Douglas' CrossFit Games debut earlier this year didn't go to plan.
The Tamworth product made his maiden showing at the finals of the worldwide event in Wisconsin almost four months ago. He placed 38th out of 39 competitors in the open men's division.
Even so, over the past few years, Douglas' rankings in the sport have skyrocketed. Though his build and physical abilities are impressive, the 32-year-old's greatest asset throughout that time has been his studious mindset.
And it was amid that gruelling event, held during the hottest months in the US, that Douglas had an epiphany.
"I was one of the bigger guys at the games this year," Douglas said.
"It really showed in the longer endurance events, and in the recovery between events. In the heat, I struggled, and it was very bodyweight-dominant.
"So when we got back and reflected upon it, we said 'Let's try to get a little bit lighter and change the training a little bit."
In a year where he qualified for one of the most physically challenging competitions on the planet, Douglas won the Tamworth Regional Council's Senior Sports Star of the Year and Overall Sports Star of the Year distinctions at the annual Tamworth Sports Awards on Friday.
"I wasn't expecting it at all," he said. "I'm very humbled by it."
Since he first weighed in at the CrossFit Games, Douglas has shed eight kilograms.
Standing at five feet eight inches tall, he is still a ball of muscle. But he is now leaner, and reaping the physical benefits of carrying less weight on his frame.
"I feel amazing," Douglas said.
"Lots of metrics have improved. My running has improved, my endurance has improved, and my body hasn't pulled up half as sore as it used to."
After his performance in August, which he characterised as "a bad weekend", Douglas intends to use the upcoming Down Under Championship in Wollongong to emphasise why he deserves to be among the top CrossFit athletes in the world.
"My goal is to try and showcase what I know I'm capable of," he said.
"I want to put myself to the test where I think I'm at. It is risky, somewhat, because we've changed so much in quite a quick turnaround."
Having placed second in the 2022 edition of Oceania's top CrossFit event, Douglas knows he can potentially win this year's competition if the changes he's made pay off.
And despite his adverse results in Wisconsin, he left the US believing that he belonged among the sport's best.
"My biggest takeaway is that I am competitive at that level," Douglas said.
"You're not 100 per cent sure until you get there. Being one of the top guys in Oceania is one thing, and then I always had this question of 'What happens when you get amongst the best in the world?'
"I had a couple of good event finishes at the Games, and upon looking at it, I know I can do really well there."