For Nichola Fryday, there was no feeling quite like stepping back out onto the rugby pitch after Covid-19's many disruptions - even if they did help balance her hectic schedule.
The Irish star, who made her debut in 2016 and has since amassed 17 caps for her country, works as a customer care specialist for food company Kerry and has long battled to maintain both her career and sporting ambitions.
The quest for professionalism remains a hot topic across the women's game, but the Ireland lock quickly discovered one pandemic perk. For once in her life, she had more time.
Rugby
Visser hails 'superb' former Quins teammate Lynagh
13/10/2021 AT 11:03
Time to relax, time to reflect - but also time to train even harder.
"Working from home has been such a change but it's made my life a little bit easier," she said.
"When I was at home in Offaly I was able to gym at my house, I wasn't commuting for half an hour or so on the train to Dublin.
"It's definitely been a change. You have to get used to being at home all the time but it's definitely been beneficial as well, as it's given me that extra time where I'm not sitting in a car or something and I could get those extra little sessions in."
Still, nothing compares to the real thing and, after six months without any proper competitive action, the 25-year-old was elated to get back on the field when the Women's Six Nations rolled round.
Fryday and her Irish team-mates embarked on a mammoth stint of 20 training camps to fill the void left in the schedule after the disruption of the 2020 Championship.
As tedious as it may have been at times, the tough regimen presented the Portlaoise native with a chance to refine her game, and also made the return contest - a 45-0 win over Wales in Cardiff - that much sweeter.
She said: "It was a long six months for us without a game and we knew that we had put in really good training sessions in that time.
"We knew that we were building nicely. We really were focusing on putting that in on the pitch. That was our main goal for when we got out against Wales. I think it came together.
"I think there's obviously things that we can improve on, but I think that we've shown that our hard work over the last six months has paid off and we're in a good spot to push on now.
"I've put a lot of focus on my impact across the pitch. As a second row you have to be making those big hits and clearing those rucks with intent.
"That's an area of the game that I've personally focused on and then through the set-piece, we've put a lot of work into that. Making sure I can perform at that level again. They were my main focus points the last six months."
Ireland were dealt a 56-15 hammering at the hands of France in Round 3 and will battle Italy for third place during Saturday's Finals Day, while Les Bleues will take on England for the title.
Nevertheless, Fryday was impressed with Ireland's performance levels across the two contests in this year's Championship and believes a squad depth like never before is emerging under head coach Adam Griggs.
"There's such competition for spots," she added. "It has been great because it pushes everyone and you could see that on the pitch.
"Everyone was pushing against Wales because they knew that after Wales there'd be another selection.
"You want to make sure you're performing your best because if you don't, there's someone there that's going to come and push on. Do equally as good or better. It's great to have that competition within the squad."
Rugby
Williams issues rousing challenge to Wales ahead of heavyweight autumn clashes
11/10/2021 AT 17:23
Rugby
Thomas throws down the gauntlet to Pivac
11/10/2021 AT 14:53