The pain of coming so close to a premiership last year, and the prospect of closing out his career with a flag this year, has driven an injury-free Jarrad Waite through every session of the pre-season.
For the soon-to-be 33-year-old Waite, this is the final year of his contract (also the extra year that Carlton were not prepared to give him) and the North Melbourne key forward says he will be playing with the knowledge that his time could be up at any moment.
Before that happens, Waite and a clutch of the club's 30-plus veterans want to finish the journey to a premiership they embarked on with coach Brad Scott.
Part of the motivation to keep working as hard as they need to in 2016 is provided by the near-miss of 2015, with Waite admitting he reflects on the club's preliminary final loss to West Coast and other key moments "every single second of the day".
The Roos led the Eagles by five points at half-time of that game before going down by 25 points at Domain Stadium.
"The performance we put in during the prelim, it wasn't the greatest, so you just continually play them over in your head," he said.
"So I suppose you're always focusing on it in a negative way, but in a positive way as well – it just drives you to get better and stronger and hopefully have a better year this year.
"With footy, you do learn to put some things away, but there are other things that potentially drive you and this is one of the things personally, that's really driven me this year.
"I know everyone else is feeling the same and, like you said, we've got an aging list so it's driving everyone."
Defence has been a key focus during the pre-season for North, with the club finishing the season in fourth position after finals but ranking 12th for average points against during the home-and-away season.
"There's a few things we're working on with that and I feel like we've come a long way, even just since December," Waite said.
Having played a starring role in last year's finals series, and now following up with a flawless pre-season, there is even discussion about whether the injury-prone Waite could go into a third season with the Roos, and 15th overall.
But the 207-gamer was understandably more worried about getting through his second season with the club, and 14th overall, before entertaining any thought of 2017.
"I'm very realistic, I understand where I am in my footy career and it's potentially one injury away from ending," he said.
"But I'm very confident in the way the club sets up their injury prevention stuff and the way my body is feeling.
"It's one of those things - I'll see how it goes during the year and whatever happens, happens."
Waite and his wife are expecting their first child in March, and depending when the baby comes, the athletic goalkicker said he was likely to play in two NAB Challenge games.
The Roos are yet to confirm if Andrew Swallow will continue as captain in 2016, but a decision is expected soon with the players having submitted their vote.
"I think at the end of the day it's Brad's and the coaching staff's decision. At this stage we're under the assumption it's going to be Andrew," Waite said.