IN an alternate universe - one without coronavirus - Greenwell Point's Tim Atherton would currently be helping his Australian men's baseball team qualify for the Olympics.
But unfortunately for Atherton and every other Olympic Games hopeful, this is the current world we live in - where the 2020 Tokyo Games have been postponed to start on July 23 next year.
Before we look ahead, we must look back at how far Atherton and his side have come in the past four years, on their 'road to 2020'.
Over the past four years, the former Greenwell Point Public School teacher helped guide the Brisbane Bandits to an Australian Baseball League four-peat, while also captaining the Aussies at the Premier12 tournament in South Korea, among other tournaments.
"Everything we've done over the past four years had been in preparation for Tokyo," Atherton said.
"Even the most recent KBO Challenge series against the Doosan Bears in Geelong was part of that.
"Although it was disappointing to only get one game together in Geelong (the other was washed out) and spend five days together, there were positives to take from it, such as setting the foundations for future international matches between us and Doosan.
"At the end of the day, anytime you get to come together and play for Australia is beneficial for our team and the sport of baseball as a whole."
Following this tournament, Atherton and his squad, which also features former Shoalhaven Mariner Cam Warner, were scheduled to be in Taiwan right now, competing in the all-important intercontinental tournament.
There was supposed to be a winner-takes-all qualification series between Australia, the Netherlands, China, Taiwan and second and third out of the Americas Cup - with the victor securing the final spot in Tokyo.
But when this tournament got pushed back to June, due to COVID-19 concerns, Atherton started to fear for the Games themselves.
"In Geelong, we were told by our staff to not listen to all the speculation about if Tokyo would be going ahead," Atherton said.
"But when they pushed back the intercontinental tournament to June, I started to have concerns, because realistically, this virus was going to be worse by then, not better.
"That's when I first thought they might move the Games, as the team that qualified in June wouldn't have much turnaround before having to be in Tokyo one month later - it would have been a nightmare logistically."
It was at this time, Atherton started to think about the severity of what might happen if the Games were shifted.
"An elite athlete's window is so short and for a lot of athletes like myself, I've trained my whole life for this opportunity," he said.
"Because I wanted it so much, I actually thought I'd be willing to take the chance and go and compete in Tokyo if all the correct protocols were in place to keep people safe - I was even prepared to be in lockdown for one month before and after the tournament just to compete.
"Athletes get to a certain level because of the sacrifices they are willing to make - to get to the top, people must be willing to do whatever it takes.
"This can affect and shorten the peek of player's career - it might even end some's, as there won't be matches for so long
"In all honesty, I think a lot of people would feel the same way as me, because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity - even if it was a logistical nightmare to get all those potential carriers of the disease in and out of Japan.
Then last week, Atherton and all other Tokyo hopefuls fears were realised when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pushed the Games back to June 2021.
"I'm happy the Games were postponed and not cancelled because Tokyo is my best shot at attending the Olympics," Atherton, who appreciates the Australian Olympic Committee's transparency at this time, said.
"The IOC has already said baseball won't be at the 2024 Games in Paris, meaning my next chance would be in 2028 in Los Angeles.
"Our team will definitely be different by then and I don't know where I'll be in my career, highlighting why Tokyo is so important to our group.
"I had a feeling the IOC wouldn't cancel it as Japan has put so much work into preparing for these Games.
"But we are in unprecedented times, with the Games schedule only being altered by the World Wars in the past.
"While it's great to have a new date set, I'm still sceptical on how world travel will look like until a vaccine is developed."
Although the Games are now more than 500 days away, it won't change Atherton's training regimen, with the ABL and World Baseball Classic scheduled to start between then and now too.
"My motivation hasn't changed - I'm in the prime of my career and I'm not going to let it go by the wayside," he said.
"I'm still training myself, which is what I usually do anyway - plenty of sessions throwing a ball against a wall, as well as strength and conditioning at my home gym.
"If anything, this will give me a chance to rest of the shoulder a little, while also getting more fit.
"I even had a Facetime squat session with one of my mates from Kempsey - we've all got to be creative in this adversity.
"I'm also this week skyping with my physiotherapist to develop a program.
"Structure is so important right now - without it, you won't get that incremental progression.
"It's also important to be forward-thinking, as you don't want to under-train and be caught out when team sessions resume."
As he's an optimist, Atherton said this world epidemic has put things in perspective for him
"Obviously I'm frustrated the Games aren't going ahead this year but there are people much worse off than I," Atherton, who last season guided Berkeley to an Illawarra Baseball League three-peat, said.
"Anytime you're stopped from doing something you love, it's disappointing, but it's made me hungrier to get back out there and succeed.
"It will make me appreciate the honour I have of pulling on the green and gold of Australia even more."
As such, Atherton knows there is a silver lining to this.
"Looking at the larger picture, a lot of people, not just sportspeople, are not currently able to work," he said.
"A true measure of someone's character will be how they bounce back from this - I could whinge something I've worked so hard for has been taken away from me or I could use the extra time to my advantage.
"While I might now be as game fit as I would like to be when I return to playing, I'm going to make sure I'm as physically and mentally ready as I can be - which will make be harder to beat.
"I learnt a while ago to only concentrate on what I can control and not worry about the other variables - for example, I can pitch the ball in a certain way but once it leaves my hand, it's all out of my control.
"While I can't change when the Games are being held, I can affect the health of myself and the ones around me.
"Sport is an important portion of a lot of people's lives and its time frame creates urgency but in the grand scheme of things, people's lives are at risk here.
"So the silver lining is we should all be thankful for our health right now, as there are thousands who are not so lucky."
In the meantime, along with personal training, Baseball Australia is screening a number of Atherton's teams top moments on the world stage.
"This Friday, Baseball Australia is screening the Premier12 match between us and the United States, which we won," he said.
"It's easily one of the best games of my career, with me pitching a no-hitter until the fifth innings.
"I'm excited to watch it again and get my baseball fix - as this will have to do until we are allowed to return to the diamond."