If you've kept up with your Northern Advocate sport section in recent months, you would have seen multiple articles about the miraculous story of Northland footballer Hannah Wilkinson.
The national football star has come back from two ACL tears, the most recent occurring in October 2018, to be fit and selected for the Football Ferns' Fifa World Cup campaign which starts today in France.
It is nothing short of a physical rehabilitation phenomenon, taking the field about five months before usual recovery time allows for ACL tears. It's an incredible story of a person who believed she could beat the odds and complete a redemption tale fit for the silver screen.
But as so often with life, where there is extreme happiness and joy, there is complete sadness and despair.
Those who have played sport at any level, whether it be nationally or out on the school field, will know for someone to be chosen, selected or promoted, there has to be someone who is ignored, bypassed or delegated.
Such is the tale of fellow Northland footballer Katie Rood, who was not selected for the World Cup team despite taking the field for the Ferns in the Women's Cup of Nations competition in March.
When you read or hear about these selection snubs, which occur across all codes, it usually causes little more than a passing thought of commiseration in your average sports fan.
But anyone looking for more of insight as to what it really feels like to be ignored, bypassed or relegated from the team and sport you've devoted your life to need not look far.
Posted on her YouTube channel, Roodie Roo, on May 19, Rood has shared a visceral and heartbreaking video of her reactions before and after the World Cup team was named.
Before I go into it, I have to say how brave Rood is for doing such a thing. In my short time of communicating with her, I had already come to the conclusion that Rood was a kind, patient and intelligent person, not to mention her incredible skill with a ball at her feet.
But letting strangers into your life, into one of the most painful and personal parts of your life is not something most people have the courage or strength to do.
Titled, "I Didn't Make The World Cup Team", the video starts with a cheery-faced Rood wearing her current English club's (Lewes FC) jersey giving a somewhat stilted introduction in a room. The 25-minute long video is a compilation of her journey prior to the World Cup team announcement and, given the title of the video, it's understandable Rood is unsure exactly how to give the viewer a proper introduction.
The scene changes to Rood sitting in a car and the date is June 26, 2018, almost one year ago. She says she's more fired up than ever to find a team, get plenty of game time, score goals and hit form going into World Cup selections because as she says, "I want to be there and I want to be playing well."
This was during her time at Italian club Juventus which saw Rood restricted in time on the field and caused her to move to Lewes FC.
You can see on her face that she is full of optimism, energy and passion to achieve her highest goal, her dream. Rood even mentions she might fail but you can tell in her eyes that she is focused solely on making that squad as her top priority.
Cut to 11 months later.
A red-eyed, red-nosed Rood flashes on the screen. Her first words: "I failed."
I don't think there's a hardy Far North farmer out there whose heart wouldn't break a little at the incredible change in personalities from a light and bubbly girl in her car to a hurt, broken person in mere video seconds.
Rood is on the verge of tears as she admits she will not be going to the World Cup. I don't know how long she has known but, by the devastation written all over her face, it can't have been long.
She goes on to explain her feelings behind the decision and how she is coming to terms with the fact that a two-year dream of hers has gone up in flames. Credit to her, though, she's right back on the positive talking about how it isn't a real failure with all the lessons she has had.
The video is a prime example of the cruelties of professional sport. The fickle nature of sporting stardom and selection snub. Still in her mid-twenties, Rood has a long way to go and many more opportunities but this year's heartbreak won't heal as quickly as she might hope.