Everyone knows about Niall O'Meara's insatiable thirst for work and the dazzling run which yielded Tipperary's first goal in last year's All-Ireland SHC final triumph but the person beneath the white Cooper helmet is even more impressive than what he does between the white lines.
There's so much more to O'Meara than hurling and while most players were labouring through the slog in January, the two-time All-Ireland winner was doing labouring of a different kind as he helped to build and renovate schools in Kenya.
Ray of Sunshine - an Irish charity which improves the lives of less fortunate children and empowers them to have a better future - struck a chord with him and his second trip to Mombasa saw him on a 60-person project assisting kids who have been sexually trafficked.
Volunteering clicked with him and the 27-year-old decided to make the most of a career break from primary school teaching, even if his unique experiences of a third-world country - "you have to see it to believe it" - left a lasting impression.
It brings perspective to hurling having met the girls and boys which the charity has helped to provide homes for and their heart-breaking stories left him moved to make more of a difference, albeit from 12,000km away. O'Meara continues to sponsor a law student named Faith - which is poignant considering he never lost that quality despite a series of injuries scuppering his career in blue and gold at different points - and takes nothing for granted having seen their plight.
"You'd be teary there a couple of nights," he says. "It sticks in your mind and it's hard to get it out of your head when you're there. Some of the stories are so harrowing that they really would bring you down to earth, how great life can be but also how bad it can be for someone.
"To see what they've been through and see that they still have smiles on their faces, it's hard because you want to help them all but there's only a certain amount that you can help. It's only a drop in the ocean but every drop helps."
He was left with a new-found appreciation for infrastructure, healthcare and the availability of food while it pushed him to become even more connected with family and share their company wherever possible around county training.
O'Meara lost his older brother Paul to suicide in 2004 and he's always quick with a listening ear should friends or relatives need to talk with charities like Living Links Tipperary and Pieta House close to his heart.
He acknowledges that "everybody goes through tough times but a small thing could change someone's life in a big way" and his extraordinary efforts on and off the pitch have gone some way to continuously honouring Paul's memory.
"It left such a gap in our lives that I'd always be thinking about different aspects of life and even now I'm doing a journal and one of the things is 'three things you're grateful for every day'," the Kilruane McDonaghs attacker says.
"Even if you've had a bad day, write down three things that you're happy for or three things that made your day good. Even that positive release before you got to bed actually helps you sleep. Paul was a huge Liverpool fan and I'd go to visit the grave in my own time maybe once every month or so and when Liverpool won the League during Covid, I went down to visit the grave and you'd be talking to him and telling him about it.
"It definitely motivates me and it makes me connect in other ways. It'd often be in your head that you're doing it for the people who have loved and supported you. I suppose I do it for him in a way without ever really overthinking about it."
O'Meara had been threatening to make the breakthrough with Tipp since joining the squad under club-mate Eamon O'Shea in 2014 but a series of setbacks - everything from a punctured lung to shoulder and soft-tissue injuries - halted his gallop before everything fell into place at the right time last year.
A hamstring injury ruled him out of the majority of their Munster SHC but he was back to his best from the All-Ireland quarter-final onwards, despite juggling a persistent hernia problem which required him to go under the knife last autumn.
He toured South America for six weeks after that taking in stunning sites like Machu Picchu in Peru and while hurling is forefront in his life, he has learned to not let it define him with the off-season always spelling some type of adventure.
"Hurling is brilliant and a huge part of my life but there's so much else out there and when you have that bit of a travel bug, it's hard to stay put. I've had so many injuries that it makes you realise that your career could be short so I just want to make as much of the spare time as I can.
"As you get older, you get more used to the situation and the pressure and can enjoy other aspects of your life more, you're not as infatuated with going in training as much as you would be.
"The injuries put a perspective on it that there'll be good and bad days. It's not the end of the world when you do lose, of course it hurts, but it's not the end of the world and it gives you a good outlook."
Australia should have been on the horizon right now with a trip to visit his brother Brian, the former Tipp hurler better known as 'Buggy', in Sydney but he's happy to be back with Tipp as he mixes teaching with the Premier's mission to complete successive All-Ireland wins for the first time since 1964-'65.
Getting his hands on Liam MacCarthy in August of 2019 "feels like a lifetime ago" and after a disappointing club campaign, the bit is between his teeth to get something out of 2020, something which he feels is essential for everyone.
"This season has been so weird, it's like we've had three pre-seasons in a way with the club mixed in but it's great to think that we will have All-Ireland champions by the end of the year," he says.
"Society and the country in general need to be able to sit down on a Saturday or Sunday and watch a game. It's not the same as being there but it will give people something to talk about whether it's FaceTime or on a phone. The way it is now I don't think there'll be much other social interaction but people just have to appreciate it for what it is because it's like no year that we've ever had before and to just have GAA running is huge and it's something to celebrate in tough times."
It will be different with frees likely to become more central given the wintry conditions while agricultural hurling could replace silky stick passing but the short preparation time could play into Tipp's hands.
With the likes of Hurler of the Year Séamus Callanan, defensive linchpin Pádraic Maher and the brilliant Brendan Maher in their 30s, O'Meara admits that the altered season "should suit us" with most counties on a level playing field in terms of preparation.
Squad depth will be called into question - "will lads be able to last 75 or 80 minutes with a shorter pre-season on heavier ground? - but Tipp have plenty of riches at their disposal with Liam Sheedy hoping to go where no Tipp manager has gone in 55 years.
O'Meara, who has a passion for strength and conditioning and is studying with Setanta College in Thurles, lauds Sheedy's ability to maintain positivity around the camp while also fostering each player's personal development.
"He definitely realises that hurling is only a smaller aspect of the bigger picture. When you're there and aiming for Liam MacCarthy, it obviously becomes a bigger picture but at the same time he just wants everyone to be enjoying it and be positive. He always says that 'if you don't have a smile on your face then I don't really want you around'. You won't get what you want out of something if you're not enjoying it.
"He's so positive and he really takes stock of your own life, not just from a GAA perspective. You'll have good nights and bad nights but he'll always say 'if you're tired this week, just stay driving it on'.
"That kind of personal affection just makes you want to give more for the the group. He's big on that, it's not one player, it's 35 players and the backroom team and to respect everyone, whether it's number 1 or 36 or you're the masseuse or the physio and that makes the group well-knitted and everyone buys in."
O'Meara, an avid reader who could pick up anything from Ronnie O'Sullivan's autobiographies to Lord of the Rings, holds a picture taken in Temple Street Children's Hospital on the day after last year's final close to his heart.
It shows Callanan, Sheedy, O'Meara and John McGrath sharing the MacCarthy Cup with a group of sick children and to him it sums up everything which the GAA embodies, and the feeling which he hopes to have once again come December 13.
"That makes you realise the joy that GAA brings to different people. Going around to the schools with the trophy and visiting nursing homes and different parishes or people that were sick, it just gives them such a lift," he says. "A local man cried when we brought the trophy up to him. It brings happiness to everyone and whatever county wins this year will get a huge lift in these tough times. Please God it will be us but it's gonna be tough."