This is very true. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, because I was and am just part of a whole community that has fought this struggle, comprised of every gender and race, but at any rate... I've spent a serious portion of my life putting in the work. The story isn't all about rewards or recognition.
To get where I am now, I've literally spent more time at a keyboard on most days than anywhere else including asleep, most of it in self-directed study or trying to solve some problem or achieve some goal in my fields. That's the story of the majority of my teenage and adult life. And that's the real opportunity cost to operate at this level.
I'm sure as hell not telling anyone that they can't pay that cost because of what's in their pants. The more the merrier, in fact I implore and double dog dare every person reading this to put in that work - we need more of us, IMO.