For Danielle Selley-Busby, life can be manic.

A director of a law firm, two young children, and a sporting commitment that sees her both play and coach youngsters - there isn’t much time to breathe.

But then again, this is nothing new for a woman who spent much of her childhood in the fast lane. Quite literally.

Those who hovered around the local athletics scene in the 1990s and beyond will already have recognised the name. Regarded as one of the best youngsters the Pembrokeshire Harriers have ever produced, she dominated at school level and national titles, Welsh vests, and GB selection all followed.

In her own words, she was ‘annoyingly fast’. As was her brother in fact, which was how her journey began.

“When I was seven Tal joined the Cleddau Harriers and at that age, I just wanted to copy everything he did.

“But I couldn’t compete for them because club insurance didn’t cover people my age. So I went over to Preseli Harriers (Preseli and Cleddau would later merge in 2001 under the ‘Pembrokeshire’ banner) and met the coach, Gerald Codd.”

Sure enough, that meeting would subsequently shape the next decade of her life.

Based at the track in Sir Thomas Picton School, her athletics schedule would include training four nights a week and competing at weekends. Outdoor in summer, indoor in winter, and with no shortage of improvisation.

Those of us old enough still wince at the mention of the STP track before it was renovated. If you fell down, the following week was spent researching the cost of a skin graft.

And for Selley (her pre marriage name) and co, the nearby multi story car park had to double up as an indoor base, before a new arena was built in Milford.

“The training was tough,” she admitted.

“The STP track could be quite dangerous and really heavy on the legs and in Milford the surface was never entirely safe. But the most important thing was although we didn’t have the best facilities or proper equipment, we had places to train at.”

And one thing Selley certainly did have however, was a proper coach.

“Gerald was just amazing,” she said, without a nanosecond of hesitation.

“He gave me the foundation for everything. I was always quick but that can only take you so far, and he would see little things and correct them.

“I used to tense up and sprint with clenched fists. So he had me running holding actual pringles between my forefinger and thumb until it became natural.

“For starts, he’d have a line in front of me to target landing one when I came out the blocks. When he felt I’d mastered it, he’d move the line closer and then closer again. He was pushing me all the time and I might have growled at him a few times, but he knew what he was doing.”

Indeed, Codd invariably knew when to reprimand an athlete, and when to console one.

“He was strict but for all of us, it was tough love.

“He was kind and supportive and like a grandad to me.”

And under his tutorship, Selley excelled in both 100m and sprint hurdles. When representing Pembroke at school level, races involving her were barely a contest. In the relay, she’d take the baton last and if the leaders were within sight, they were easy prey.

Numerous wins were also chalked up competing for the Harriers and Welsh titles, along with stacks of medals, came with them.

And yet, she is amusingly blasé about those times – for example when recalling representing her country at the Under 15s Combined Events International in Glasgow.

“I did a bit of cross country as a youngster but hated it. I was only interested in sprinting and hurdles.

“But the combined events included shot putt, which I was awful at, and the 800m was simply evil.”

Her performance that weekend? She won a Gold medal with a new British record points tally for her age group.

But in 1999, circumstances changed. After a long battle with illness, Codd sadly died, and left local athletics with an unfillable void.

“I remember it all from when he first was poorly and it was so sad. He was a huge loss not just to me but so many other kids as well.”

It was at that point that mum Valmai, whose support had been a constant since Selley started out in athletics, combined parental duties with coaching ones.

“When we were younger me and Tal were always nagging our parents - and they both put so much time into us because they wanted us to enjoy what we did.

“I’d have weekends competing in places like Birmingham and we’d have to drive there and stay in Premier Inns and so on. Dad (Michael) ended up taking Tal to a lot of places and mum took me.

“When she became coach it was weird. In training she had to separate herself from being mum.”

But neither were about to let years of dedication and hard work go to waste.

Now 16, in 2000 Selley won silver in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Edinburgh, clocking 12:21 over 100 metres. Later that year she formed part of the GB girls’ 4 x 100m team for the World Junior Championships in Chile. It ended in disappointment as the team were disqualified in their semi-final, but the selection spoke volumes.

And by the that time a new adventure had begun. For Year 11 and sixth form, Selley was educated in Millfield after gaining an athletics scholarship. The facilities were ‘amazing’, and it was here where she had the most memorable, and perhaps strangest, race of her career.

“I was picked for England Schools’ for the 100m in the British Championships. I was wearing an English vest against Welsh girls I’d grown up with and I really didn’t want to lose to them.

“It was good to be there but at the same time, felt awful. It was a life defining moment.”

Selley duly won Gold, and her time of 11:88 that day would remain her personal best.

But it wasn’t just athletics that needed intense focus. Remarkable, Selley was also playing hockey to international standard - and was part of the Wales Under 16 side that were crowned European champions in Poland.

Surely, this was a detrimental balancing act? Seemingly not.

“Hockey was my fun sport. I didn’t have to work hard at it because I was there for my speed and could skip past people. I played with people like Beth Fisher, who became a full international, and I loved the camaraderie.

“But I needed both sports. Athletics was what I excelled in but hockey was a nice release and I loved it.”

The commitments didn’t end there. While encouraging her sport Selley’s parents, both teachers, had also emphasised the importance of education. In her final year at Millfield, she applied to study Law in Swansea University, which in reality would mean leaving high level athletics behind.

“I was realistic. Athletics was my dream but in those times female athletes weren’t paid well - and I wouldn’t have been able to forge a career in it.”

Sure enough, she was offered a place in Swansea and never competed again.

“I’d always had people there to make sure I trained – Gerald, then my mum, then there was Millfield where the track was on site. In University I had more freedom and maybe got lazy, but then I was happy with what I’d done in athletics.

“I enjoyed it and stepped away with no regrets.”

She did continue to play hockey before returning to Pembrokeshire with her legal qualifications. In 2007, she married Dean Busby, himself a talented local footballer, and two years later sport was well and truly put on the back burner.

“In 2007 Lily, my eldest, was born and I didn’t play any sport for another seven or eight years. Initially it was quite nice – we had Grace then in 2012 so between work and family I was always busy. I didn’t miss it.”

Until aged 32, when her ‘fun’ sport came calling again. But uncharacteristically, there were nerves and doubts.

“I decided to go training with Pembroke Ladies and it was actually scary. It as a big thing for me to do and I was worried about not living up to expectations.”

But the pace, slightly dwindled through years of inactivity, was still enough of a weapon and she would have a big influence as Pembroke were promoted to Division 1 of the South Wales League. The club has since merged with Haverfordwest and rebranded as Pembrokeshire Hockey Club, with Selley-Busby a regular for the first XI that plays in the Premier 1 League.

“I play as a striker and can get past most people and score goals. It’s the recovery time after a sprint which takes a lot longer now.”

She also coaches the under 13s there at tournaments, and while senior games are on a Saturday, development matches are reserved for Sundays. Lily is part of both squads, and a handful of times mum and daughter have appeared together on the same side.

“I want her to be happy playing because that makes me happy. She was a talented swimmer too and has represented the county and is really into her wakeboarding. I’ll help her with whatever she wants to do.”

Throw in her role at Welch and Co Solicitors, which often means long days and late nights in the office, and time for reflection is at a premium.

But when she does take a moment to summarise her youth, she does so with exuberance. Her life perhaps didn’t allow for the recreational time most teenagers enjoyed, but the sacrifices were worth it.

“I enjoyed the ride.

“I feel blessed, I’ve met friends through sport who I keep in touch with to this day.”

And certain memories are vivid ones.

“With athletics I had so much fun but then at the same time I hated losing. There was a girl from Carmarthen Harriers who would always beat me growing up but then when I was 12 I managed to beat her and never lost to her again.

“The same thing happened with an athlete called Alexandra Bick from Cardiff. But that’s what the sport taught me – everyone loses but you need the determination to keep going and put it right.”

At 36, you sense that same determination remains, albeit channelled into different things now.

But for someone who has tasted so much success Selley-Busby remains grounded. Content with what’s gone before, but with no intention of settling for a quiet life either.

“For now it’s all about work, family, and hockey – and that’s the way I like it.”

The track may be long behind her, but it’s still very much a case of life in the fast lane.