Jonathan Woodgate is delighted to have finally overcome his long list of injuries.
The Real Madrid defender has seen his career wrecked by injury in recent seasons and he accepted a loan switch to hometown club Middlesbrough in the summer.
He is now back to full fitness and starring at the heart of the Boro defence and collecting a huge number of plaudits along the way.
Woodgate, though, is over the moon just to be playing again on a regular basis.
"I have had to try to prove myself all over again after the injury troubles and I'm really happy that I'm playing games regularly," he said.
"Touch wood, I would like to think that my fitness problems are behind me now.
"I am playing consistently and I've only missed two league games since I arrived here which was just down to minor knocks. I've been working hard and things are going well.
"There's no secret to my change in fortune, it is down to a change in treatments. I came over to England to see a physio called Dave Hancock at Leeds doing a lot of core work to tackle most of your problems which tend to come from your back.
"If you get your back right then your legs will follow suit. The physios here and the personal trainer took that on board and I'm working hard every day.
"It's a brilliant feeling playing for your hometown club and it's great to be playing for the club I supported as a boy. It was an ambition to do it. I was a ball boy at Ayresome Park and I used to go to The Riverside to watch them play."
Woodgate admits he does regret how things went for him at Madrid.
"I enjoyed my time in Spain but it was unfulfilled because of injury and when I look back I think `what a nightmare - if only I had stayed fit over there'," he said.
"It was a big chance. It's not gone yet but those two years if I'd stayed fit and played regularly then maybe I would have helped the club win some trophies.
"That's a chapter of my life that is unfulfilled. But you never know. Obviously, the thought of maybe teaming up with Fabio Cannavaro in the heart of the Real defence does cross my mind but so does the thought of what I could build at Middlesbrough as well.
"You could build something big at this club with the manager we've got here [Gareth Southgate] and with the backing of the chairman [Steve Gibson].
"Sometimes it's better to start building something from scratch rather than going into a club with a massive history and tradition which is almost guaranteed success.
"I can see both sides of the coin. You can go to Madrid and be guaranteed Champions League football every year and be up in the upper reaches of the league every season and winning Spanish cups and stuff but on the other hand, at Boro you're not but you can build something that would eventually win things."