It's one of the easiest Novembers Jarrod Croker's had in years. And it's the best his body has felt in years as well.
Rather than sweating it up on the training track, the retired Canberra Raiders captain was judging Fashions on the Field at Thoroughbred Park on Melbourne Cup Day.
The Raiders young guns have already returned for pre-season training, while the senior players - like Jamal Fogarty, who was at the track with Croker on Tuesday - will return in two weeks.
Canberra recruit Kaeo Weekes, Xavier Savage, Hohepa Puru, Chevy Stewart and Brad Morkos were all back in training, with the young players returning last Wednesday.
Croker was heeding wife Brittney's advice when it came to judging the fashion.
"I'm letting the experts sort that out really. I'm just here for a smile," he said of his role.
"It's good. Melbourne Cup time is that time of year where you're really enjoying - you've got the Derby, the Melbourne Cup and just in the back of your mind is training again coming around the corner.
"A few of the young boys are back now. The older boys go back on the 20th I think. I'm just very happy I don't have to be one of them."
Croker's enjoying retirement, which has seemingly been a series of weddings - including that of good mate and ex-teammate Jack Wighton on Saturday.
He's feeling fresh and not missing the daily grind of training.
"I'm enjoying it, happy. I'm waking up feeling fresh every morning and not having that head noise of going back and running laps, and getting told I'm slow and overweight so it's good," Croker said.
Croker will sit down with Raiders chief executive Don Furner in the coming weeks to finalise a coaching role with his beloved Green Machine.
His 307 NRL games of experience won't be completely lost to Canberra.
Instead he'll be putting his 2374 points - the third highest in the history of the game - to help the Raiders next gen.
Goal kicking's an obvious area Croker can help with.
While the Green Machine have Jamal Fogarty to take over the kicking duties, he said building some depth below the Raiders halfback was crucial.
"I haven't sorted it out, but I'll be there doing a bit. I don't think I'm needed until after Christmas at the moment," Croker said.
"I'll sort it out with Donny over the next week or two - the exact role and when and what - but I'll definitely be in there doing a bit of stuff, a bit of kicking."
Croker was also one of the most potent kick-chasers in the game, with his uncanny ability to score off kicks helping him to his total of 136 tries - the most in Raiders history.
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Working with that part of the game - as well as edge play in general - was another area the 33-year-old felt he could add value.
"It'll be a bit of everything. Goal kicking - obviously 'Jama's' a really good kicker, but it's like any position you need competition for spots," Croker said.
"So I need to get some kicking done with a few younger kids, some [under-]20s kids and the [NSW] Cup boys as well.
"Edge stuff, edge kick-catch - I scored a lot of tries off kicks so I'll probably throw my hand in there as well."
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