At long last, Maria Toorpakai Wazir can indulge her life's greatest love without fear of persecution.
Hounded out of the notoriously dangerous tribal region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan -- once referred to as "Hell's door knocker" -- salvation has been found thousands of miles away on a different continent.
She survived death threats, spent countless hours alone in her room and masqueraded as a boy for years.
And all for her love of squash.
Now Pakistan's number one female player, who is ranked 53rd in the world, is homing in on her quest to become the best female player in the world, under the tutelage of Jonathon Power, the Canadian star whose name was inscribed on the first racket she ever owned.
It is a fairytale story that has taken the 22-year-old a world away from a treacherous existence in the mountains of Pakistan, to Power's academy in Toronto, and morphed her into an agent for social change in her native country.
"I think positive and I do positive so I think people in Pakistan need to be educated, need to take part in sports and skills so they have high integrity, high self-esteem and so they use energy in a positive way," she told CNN's Human to Hero series.
"They will start holding rackets and bats rather than holding guns and grenades. I don't want militancy or Talibanisation -- I just want a brighter future for all the kids. I don't want them to end up as suicide bombers."
Growing up in South Waziristan provided Wazir with a crash course in conservatism, a prevalent theme in a territory with a reputation for fierce tribalism.
"It was an area in between mountains and mud houses and as it was 100 or 200 years ago," she explained. "The girls are deprived of all those basic rights. They stay inside the home and get married off at a young age.
"My whole family was different to the rest of the people in the area -- you could see the progress, the different mindset -- but they were still living in the Stone Age.
"They had no awareness about education or any health or exercise, or women's rights or child's rights. They didn't know how any education can be important for one person as a human."
Exasperated at the barriers placed in front of her, Wazir took drastic action aged just four, burning all her dresses, putting on her brother's clothes and shearing off her long, dark hair.
"My dad believes that it is your choice and your right to live the way you want," she said. "He laughed and he gave me a boyish name Genghis Khan, the greatest warrior in the history of the world. He said 'So, we have a fifth son, and his name is Genghis Khan.'"
However for Wazir and her family, domestic tolerance came at a price.
In a society cloaked by repression and inequality, even being seen unaccompanied in public could be perceived as a betrayal of her culture and Muslim religion.
And the liberal attitude of her father, Shamsul Qayyum Wazir, who encouraged his wife to continue her education and allowed their daughter to play outside with her brothers, was contradictory to the prevailing attitude of ultra-conservatism.
So much so that he family decided they'd had enough after a campaign of intimidation that included the stoning of the family house, attempts on their lives and an imposed spell in an asylum for the father.
The family moved to the city of Peshawar -- another Taliban stronghold -- where Wazir's scrapes intensified, with one scuffle leading to a head injury that required 12 stitches.
Realizing she needed to channel this aggression, her father enrolled her in weightlifting classes at a local sports club, keeping up the pretense she was a boy.
Wazir went on to win a junior weightlifting championship, but she also grew fixated on squash, having seen it played on her breaks from training.
She earned a place at a squash academy run by the Pakistan Air Force, though she had to reveal her true identity to the director.
Such was his delight at seeing a girl enraptured by squash he donated a racket to Maria bearing the name of Jonathon Power -- who won 36 top level events during his 15-year career at the top of the sport.
But as word spread of her emerging talent, the anonymity Wazir had reveled in for so long evaporated.
"Attitudes changed, they started bullying but I used to find a way," she explained. "I used to go early in the morning when there was no-one in my way.