Manly prop Josh Aloiai reflects on them as the 10 "hellish" weeks that have been made all worthwhile by Friday night's shot at a grand final.
But for the NRL's most controversial transfer of last summer, it's not the two-month period one would expect him to be talking about.
Aloiai created headlines in his messy split from the Wests Tigers last November, with threats to leave him mowing the lawn at Leichhardt to fulfil his contract and a social media spat before gaining a release.
His first season at Manly was split in two by injury, missing 10 games due to wrist surgery after he tried to play through the pain of ligament damage.
"It's probably the most adversity within a 12-month period that I've faced in a really long time," Aloiai said.
"It's just been one of those years where you have things thrown at you from every angle.
"Adversity is really good for character and if anything, I think it's really moulded me into a better and more resilient person."
Aloiai's hell did not come in last summer's ugly exit, but rather in an intense rehabilitation from wrist surgery to be ready to peak for the finals.
Desperate not to let his new teammates down, the 25-year-old threw himself into two months of conditioning with head trainer Don Singe.
"I just never wanted to feel like I've been entitled to come straight back in the team," Aloiai said.
"I told myself every day that I had to work hard ... And there were some there's some really tough days in doing that.
"Donny put me through a hellish eight-to-10 weeks.
"A lot of the time it was just me and him or sometimes we'd have guys who have got short stints in rehab join in on our fun sessions.
"I was able to get some kilometres on my legs ... and it's really paid off now."
Tasked with creating Manly's momentum when he starts against South Sydney on Friday night, Aloiai is certain it was worth it.
And so was the decision to leave the Tigers mid-contract to join the Sea Eagles.
"Yeah, absolutely (it vindicates the move)," Aloiai said.
"I've seen it for weeks and weeks that I just feel very very blessed to be a part of this place.
"I feel lucky and never want to take it for granted, never want to feel entitled.
"I want to continue every week trying to make my teammates next to me proud and never let them down on effort and energy.
"That's one of my real motivators. I don't want to let them down as well as this club and Des and everything they have given me."
Australian Associated Press