These are the dark days. The character-building, making-of-a-team days. The credit in the bank, miles in the legs, days. The rain soaked, hypothermia catching, face in the mud days. The gallows humour days. The days you would rather be anywhere else in the world days.
These are the wind howling, dragging yourself off the couch days. The getting to know you, exposing the bluffers days. The everybody’s in the same boat days. The rehearsals for the big days. The understudies and the stars soldiering shoulder to shoulder days. The days for those in the limelight and those barely seeing the light. The FBD, McKenna, McGrath, O’Byrne, Waterford Crystal, Kehoe and Walsh Cup days. The first days and maybe the last days. The making, or breaking, of days.
These are the days you gamble with exams to establish yourself on the team days. The ‘I will never eat as much at Christmas again’ days. The ‘What the hell am I doing it for?’ days.
These are the days you tell yourself are worth it in the long run days. The days you remember more than any other days. The days that make you be the best days. The character revealing, comfort stealing, legs aching, back breaking days.
The unseen, behind closed doors days. These are the days you’ll raise a glass to when you win it all days, and the first step on the road to redemption days.
Pre-season days. These are the days that make the glory days.