While most athletes in 2020 have admitted the COVID-19 pandemic has only had negative impacts, Molly Picklum isn't one of them.
The 2019 Australian World Surf League junior champion was confident she won't look back on the year as a waste of 12 months.
Put simply, it bought the 17-year-old time to continue her development as a surfer.
"I definitely see how it impacted people negatively, but for me, the timing of it all was very fortunate and I look at that as a positive," she said.
"It affected me in a good way because I got to train and prepare for the future and really set myself up.
"I got the basics and laid down the base so then I can move forward in my career."
Picklum cruised through her quarter-final heat of the 2020 Port Macquarie Open at Town Beach on November 14.
I definitely see how it impacted people negatively, but for me, the timing of it all was very fortunate.Molly Picklum
And while she stopped short of labelling the Hastings as a "second home", she admitted it was a place she always felt welcome.
"Port Macquarie is quite a big stepping stone for junior surfing and I've been here quite a bit previously," she said.
"I definitely feel welcome and know the place well enough to feel like I'm at home."
She said despite the disruptions of 2020, it had provided her with the opportunity to finetune training programs while "knuckling down" with strength and technique coaches.
Comparisons to Stephanie Gilmore and Layne Beachley have already been made, but Picklum is taking it all in her stride.
"I hold high expectations so I don't heap that much pressure on myself because it's just me against myself and I'm on my own little path," she said.
"That's the easiest way to be because surfing is so fun."
When surfing makes its Olympic Games debut at Tokyo next year, the Central Coast product will be watching on intently.
Representing Australia at the top level rates highly on her bucket list, but she knows it requires hard work and dedication.
"The Olympics are definitely a goal of mine," she said.
"To compete for Australia would be amazing, but I like to look at what's in front of me first and try to be the best human and surfer I can be.
"If that happens, then hopefully those sorts of things will come."
Picklum is making waves both locally and internationally, competing in the WSL Qualifying Series and is poised to join the WSL Championship Tour in the coming years.
Her next goal is to keep improving.
"I've a good team around me," she said.
"I'm grateful for them because they keep me on my toes and never let me slip up, but I'm onto it myself because I love surfing and am so invested in it.
"It's not hard to not slip up."
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