As our sports stars get older, they seem to enjoy their professions a bit more.
Not too long ago, we witnessed with great appreciation the loving approach Schalk Brits had to the game of rugby when asked to come out of retirement to help the Boks win the World Cup.
From bowing to honour a ball-boy who had given him the oval piece of leather for a lineout throw-in to sharing laughs with players on the field while swapping jerseys, Brits just stood out as a man that knew sport isn’t forever. He enjoyed every moment of it at the age of 38.
Now from rugby and Brits to cricket and Dale Steyn.
After suffering a shoulder injury that saw him leave the Proteas camp at the World Cup, Steyn (36) thought he would never play the game again.
But he got a second chance as the sun begins to set on his career and he’s not going to take it for granted.
After a Man-of-the-Match 3/10 performance for Cape Town Blitz in their 15-run win over the Spartans on Sunday, he says: “It’s nice to be playing. With my shoulder, I never quite knew if I was going to play again.
“So now I’m just having fun and really enjoy my cricket - it’s good that it shows in my performances.”
One of the less serious moments in the game was his duel with long-time friend AB de Villiers. The pair shared a few laughs in the middle and then Steyn ultimately got his man.
He says of De Villiers: “He’s the best in the world, he genuinely is the best in the world and when he’s batting out there any team that he’s playing for has got a chance of winning the game.
“I don’t think I got him out in like 20 years - maybe like garden cricket when we were kids. But it’s been a long time - it’s fun.”
Steyn smiled throughout the interview. When the enjoyment is put back into whatever it is you’re doing to earn a living, the performances start to show. No matter your age.
Brits and Steyn, who is the leading wicket-taker in the Mzansi Super League, are living proof of that.