IF you weren't getting paid, would you do it for free? It's the poignant question whenever it comes to our passions, if that's what they truly are.
For former NSW Origin prop Tim Grant, the answer's a pretty emphatic yes. That's why he still donned a Thirroul jumper a fortnight ago in a 22-16 win over Wests in round one of the Presidents Cup.
Why he was also kipping at the Ryan's Hotel a couple of nights a week between shifts at the pit in Helensburgh so he doesn't miss a single training session.
That's not to say it wasn't a surprise for the club, or coach Jarrod Costello. When he called the 196-game NRL veteran when the Illawarra League barred player payments, he fully expected the 32-year-old to say thanks, but no thanks.
When he made the same call once the Illawarra League first grade competition fell over, Grant had his second chance to walk away.
And yet he gave the same answer, a 'yes' to continuing the commute from Penrith, training after night shift and all the rest.
Ask him why, and the answer's pretty simple.
"We had the conversation at the pub the other day with the boys and I just said, if I walked in there and it was 'Thirroul Butchers Leagues Club' and there were hundreds of poker machines going off, I probably would have my hand out," he says.
"But when you walk in there and it's salt of the earth blokes, really good people selling raffle tickets and local businesses that are sponsoring even while everyone's doing it tough.
"They just love their footy. It's not a poker-machine dollar or a liquor dollar, it's a salt of the earth club and you can't put your hand out to that. I've earned enough money from rugby league.
"It's always good to get some extra dollars but it's not he be-all and end-all. There's some money getting thrown around now but I'm committed to the Butchers and I'm definitely content with where we're at getting paid or not."
In a lot of ways those chats over a beer at the pub are payment enough for a bloke who wouldn't let a drop of alcohol past his lips during the NRL season.
He's not about to start drinking the Gibson Park Old Boys hill dry - he'll leave that to the punters and the odd journo - but it's one aspect of post-footy footy he's come to enjoy.
"I wouldn't drink in-season at all when I was playing in the NRL because I wanted to be at my best all the time," Grant said.
"When I was coming through I was pretty focused on high performance and that sort of stuff. I had good times, I got on it with the boys at other times, but I was really mindful of injuries and looking after my body to be the best I could be.
"I still don't drink a whole lot now but, that's a part of why I wanted to play [park] footy, not to get on the piss all the time, but I enjoy a beer after a game and after training and it's been good."
Staying bone-dry through the season was one of the smaller sacrifices he made amid countless others after arriving at his first junior rep camp with the Panthers and vowing not one person there would work harder than him.
It took him the heights of Origin footy, and a famous collision with the previously immovable Petero Civoniceva that still features in yearly highlight packages.
The dedication was rewarded but once it waned, however slightly, he knew it was time to look to the next phase after tearing his pec in round 12 last year at age 31.
He was still young in front-rower's years - Petero was five years older when Grant put him on his backside - but he was content to move on.
"I probably would've liked to continue playing but, in saying that, I had the injury and I finished at a club I really love," he said.
"For me to go to another club and go through the rehab... if your heart's not in it you'll get exposed and it'll let you down. I could've gone somewhere else, pottered in and out and done the rehab but for what?
"I wasn't going to play rep footy again, the teams I could've gone to would've probably been rebuilding clubs looking for a bit of experience.
"If Penrith were in a rebuild and I could've gone back for another year and help out I would've, but they were moving forward with the young guys and now they're a top-four team.
"I think I was playing some good footy when I got injured, but I was playing first grade in a Penrith jersey so that was enough for me. It was just time to move on and I was pretty content with it."
The timing couldn't have been better for the Butchers, with Grant joining a fairly illustrious list of old Panthers to have donned the blue and white.
Luke Swain captain-coached the Butchers to the finals in 2015, while former Test forward Trent Waterhouse is also an Old Boy. The latter played a handy role in getting Grant to Gibson Park.
"It's a good transition from [professional] footy, you're in a team environment, you've still got the banter and all that stuff so it was something I wanted to do," Grant said.
"I was going to play for [junior club] St Mary's out there but by the time I finished work I just wouldn't be able to do it. If I could find a local [Wollongong] team it would make achievable logistically from work to training and that sort of stuff.
"I spoke to a few clubs down here and I got a call from Trent Waterhouse. He really wrapped the Butchers and all the boys there. He loved it so I just took his word for it, I went down and I haven't looked back. I've loved my time here, it's been unreal."
As far as introductions into the Butchers culture go, it doesn't get much better than coming from 16-4 to beat Wests at the death at Gibbo.
"I know the rivalry, I don't pretend to understand it that much, but as soon as you put on a jersey next to the boys you've trained with, anything's a rivalry," he said.
"I think we performed well enough to get the win obviously but we were way off our best I think. I thought we were in control of the game, we just had some teething problems you expect in the first game.
"We'll build from there, the boys will understand each other and gel a bit more. I think we'll be better for it but, certainly beating Wests, the boys and the locals were pretty happy so I got the idea it's a pretty fierce rivalry."
It was a fair start, but you get the feeling Grant's real value will come as the Butchers look to progress through the NSWRL Presidents Cup, a season that looks vastly different to what anyone expected.
After a bye last week, the Butchers travel to North Sydney Oval on Saturday to take on the highly-fancied Jason-Taylor coached Bears outfit.
The Bears line-up also features a pair of Wests Devils alums in skipper Tom Freebairn and hooker Josh Daley, but Grant's presence will bring plenty of confidence for the Butchers.
"A mate of mine, and one of my ex-coaches, Jason Taylor is coaching them and he's one of the best coaches I've ever had," Grant said.
"I haven't really seen much of the opposition, it's just footy, you play who's in front of you and do your best. There's a lot of respect for the guys that are in the NRL systems but we've got some good players as well, we've got a lot of experience.
"It's one of those things, you can't overestimate anyone just like you can't underestimate them. It'll be a good measuring stick to where we're at but I'm pretty confident we're ready for the challenge."