Offices workers in the Big Smoke must think shearers are mad, sweating it out in hot woolsheds, with all the stench of the sheep in from the paddock and doing what sheep do.
But it doesn't wash with people like Mataura shearer Brett "Kornie" Roberts, who will again make the 1000km round-trip 10 hours' driving to defend his open title at the Ashburton A and P Show Shears on Saturday.
Roberts won the final in 2019.
Covid-19 restrictions forced its cancellation last year, along with the rest of the show.
Organisers have their fingers crossed for Saturday with an event-by-event set up with mainly competitors and officials.
There will also be limited public attendance due to alert level 2 restrictions.
The journey is the sort of thing Roberts and other shearing sports competitors do regularly in his case - over his 13 seasons of the shearing sports' unique mix of work and competitions - dating back to his start as a teenager.
But it's a case this year of absence making the heart grow fonder as shearers chase the shows that are still standing amid the devastation caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The pandemic has cancelled a range of shows around New Zealand at which shearers compete on the road to such events as the Golden Shears in March – where Roberts won the junior final in 2010 and the senior final four years later.
There's unfinished business, as Roberts strives for the ultimate goal of winning the Golden Shears open.
He'd put up with anything to do it, but most who work in the woolsheds, of Southland and Otago in particular, will say it's hardly an ordeal to do so.
The daily view from the double doors, the wool landing and the window beside the porthole, open paddocks, hills, snow-capped mountains and lakes, beats the view from an office in Auckland any day, but it's just part of the picture.
"You've really got to love it to be in this game," Roberts said, as he was about to get a kip before another day in the shed for employer Cody Waihape, of Eastern Southland contractors Platinum Shearing.
"Those people (city office workers) will never understand."
While there may be something in the notion that some scientist will one day pull it all apart and find the chemical composition in actually the making of the ultimate happy pill, Roberts seems to have not had the time to think why he loves it, with the same passion that pervades the sheds and the competitions, universally.
"Dunno," he said.
"Just a competitive nature in me, I think. Always wanting to be the best. That's where I think the bug comes from."
He can't remember a bad day at the office.
"Not with the crew we work with - a good bunch of competitors."
Thus, as on the many road trips of the past, he won't be alone.
On the car, or cars and/or van as it may be, will be others from open grade down to the junior just starting out, and whose 10 am start at Ashburton sets the timetable for the day-and-a-bit away.
Some will have been working all day Friday, and they have to decide whether they hit the road straight afterwards or get up before the sparrows on Saturday, to make sure they get to the show five hours away on time for the junior heats.
"We've got to support them to keep them going," Roberts said.
By Saturday night the season will have had just three scheduled competitions for the first month of the 2021-2022 season go ahead.
"Hopefully everyone agrees on Friday night – lol."
The season opened with the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra on October 1-2 and the Waimate Spring Shears the following weekend.
There have since been two weeks of cancellations, and Ashburton was among the shows which were cancelled last year, factors which add to the mix, as competition convener Don Ford pulls it together, with 600 crossbred "mainly Coopworth" hoggets waiting as the season starts to get back on the road again.
A week later there'll be competitions at Blenheim and Pleasant Point on the same day, leading into the Canterbury Shears' New Zealand Corriedale Championships in Christchurch on November 11-12.
With competitors hanging out for the chance to compete, it makes it difficult to calculate how many will turn up.
"We'd be disappointed if we don't get at least 15 in the open – enough for a semi-final and a final," Ford said.
There'll also be junior, intermediate and senior events, as well as blades - possibly about 50 competitors, with about 12 judges, as Ford and the crew running the competition under Covid restrictions.
Ford was only involved for the first time in 2019, after retiring from a career in forestry in Bay of Plenty and moving south with his wife Cheryl to be closer to the rest of the family.
He had helped out for friends at the Te Puke show shearing and said that in moving to a new district, he had to get involved in something to get to know the new community.
"We're looking forward to it," he said.