Whether Thea Culley will make it to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 isn't a given but that doesn't mean the Canadian international field hockey player's passion is any less intense.
"In 2020 do I think that it's in the horizon for Canada to be in the Olympics? Yeah but whether I'll be there or not I don't know yet but I still have that big Olympic dream," says the 30-year-old striker, who has represented her ice hockey-mad country in field hockey for a decade.
What the Meralomas (Mermaids) club player knows for sure is that they will be making the most of their Hawke's Bay Cup experience when the third annual Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey starts on Saturday.
Culley, an employee of funding charity KidSport BC, is under no illusions that the oppositions here from Saturday will be first-class ones, considering six have qualified for the Rio Olympics in June.
The Ian Rutledge-coached Canadians have been working on their "out letting" to prepare for back-to-back high-octane games in the space of a few days and that psyche is improving.
"We're starting to be dangerous but not quite consistently enough in being dangerous," she says, emphasising it's imperative to react to mistakes with productive intent and mitigate before turning the tables on their rivals.
Culley says that was the difference in their 6-0 and 5-1 losses in Hamilton to the Black Sticks last weekend.
"When we made mistakes they made sure to capitalise on them to score. They didn't muck around, they showed us where we made those mistakes."
Canada, on the other hand, coerced coach Mark Hager's women into errors but lacked the professionalism to put the goals away.
"Our inclusion into other teams' Olympic preparation must be good so we really want to make sure we prove ourselves to be worthy of the [Hawke's Bay] tournament to make our mark as an up-and-coming team."
While she may not compete at an Olympics, she will no doubt take immense satisfaction either way in knowing she has been part of a revolution to revive the halcyon days of women's hockey in her country.
"The only way you can build a legacy is to build a strong foundation for the next generation to leap forward off it before continuing to build that platform higher and higher so if I can be part of that base or that team then it'll be amazing," she says, finding it a little difficult to think in blocks of four years. But she treats every training and match as if it's her last to draw maximum enjoyment from it.
Culley hails from Rossland in British Columbia, a city of about 3000 inhabitants nestled in the Monashee Mountains and touted as "Canada's No1 outdoor town".
"I chose field hockey because in my small town there was a high schoolteacher from New Zealand who brought the sport to our small community to start a team and it became quite a legacy," she says, revealing a former protege of the teacher eventually coached the team in a region where basketball and field hockey were the only options.
"My mum didn't want to be near the arena because I grew up in a ski town so I skied and skated so mum said, 'no, I'm not hanging out in a cold arena at early mornings every weekend' so that's how the skating started," says Culley with that infectious laughter before crediting other teammates for the ice-hockey skills that have rubbed off on the field.
The impact of ice hockey, she says, becomes evident when players go to university, especially the difference in hand-eye co-ordination, general strength and their tendency to have a better grasp of ball movement.
For someone who has scored around 80 goals in her career, Culley relishes loitering around the goalmouth to snaffle possession to find endorsement from that familiar thud of ball on the back board.
"It's always something that's been fun for me and exciting to be able to take that one touch to beat the defender."
She feels Canada bring a gritty determination in the foundation of a "fearless" philosophy.
"We are resilient and have pride in what we do," Culley said.
"We bring our team values from what ice hockey has shaped our nation to be and we take that to make it our own on the pitch."
Ice hockey still shapes the Canadian culture, Culley says, as indicative of when Vancouver shuts down to support the men's Canucks team in the National Hockey League.
"It is the sport every kid grows up playing, if you're to generalise of a country, and it's something we value and care about," she says, likening it to the impact field hockey has in the Netherlands.
The imposing presence of a centre forward in front of the net in ice hockey isn't lost on the field hockey players, who aren't shy to embrace that demeanour.
While field hockey believe they will emulate the feats of their official No1 code, Culley suspects as a young outfit they have a fair way to go yet.
"We're trying to rebuild our legacy when Canada was quite strong in the'80s and'90s so we kind of got away from that.
This team is looking at re-establishing itself on the stage as field hockey players and not just ice hockey ones on the field," she says of Canada, who have made it to the 1984 (5th place), 1988 (6th) and 1992 (7th) Olympics since making their international debut in 1978 before clinching silver and bronze medals in World Cups.
New Zealand, she says, is by far the most welcoming nation they have toured with people resplendent "in random" gestures of hospitality towards them.