There are a lot of folks who would call getting punched in the face, kicked in the head and kneed in the midsection miserable.
Brett Rogers, an unbeaten heavyweight the size of a small pickup, calls it his dream job.
Miserable, to Rogers, 9-0 and finally a full-time mixed martial arts fighter, is changing tires and repairing flats at a St. Paul, Minn., Sam's Club, where he worked full-time until recently in order to support his family.
It was an honest day's work and it paid the bills, but it wasn't stimulating, was frequently frustrating and was a dead-end job that Rogers had long ago grown weary of performing.
He'd always believed in the power in his fists and his ability to make a living with his athletic ability. He took MMA fights where he could get them, but they didn't pay much and there was this little problem of eating, paying for a place to live and raising three children he had to deal with.
And training in his spare time didn't leave him much opportunity for professional development.
"I was lucky because things came pretty naturally to me, but you can't do this sport the right way and work on it in your spare time," Rogers said. "This is a full-time, 12 months a year, 365-day commitment you have to make.
"I just decided the time was right and I had to make the move. This is a sport I have the ability to do and do well, and I wanted to give myself every opportunity."
He'll get the biggest opportunity of his life on Saturday on one of the featured bouts of a Strikeforce card at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis when he meets former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in a three-rounder that will be televised live by Showtime.
A win over Arlovski, who, despite his January loss to Fedor Emelianenko remains one of the five or six finest heavyweights in the world, would be a huge career boost for Rogers, 28.
Most of his nine wins – eight of which have been by knockout – have been against guys who would have been more evenly matched with a St. Louis cab driver rather than a guy who fancied himself as one of the world's elite heavyweights.
Rogers is acutely aware of that, though he fought the fights that were available. When Arlovski was presented as an option, he leaped at the chance, knowing it would catapult him into the public consciousness and into the mix for fights against other top-10 heavyweights.
"You hear people talk about this guy and they say, 'He's fast, he's so strong, he's such a good boxer,' this and that," Rogers said. "This is a guy I used to watch back in the day. You follow MMA and you know who Andrei Arlovski is. His credentials speak for themselves. He's reached that level that I'm trying to get to.
"I definitely feel I belong there, but the truth of the matter is, people aren't going to believe you until you do it. I have everything I need to win this fight. I'm working with a great camp, and I've made being the best in this game my goal in life. He's one stop along the way trying to stop me from getting to the top, and I just have to deal with that."
Rogers has fought once on CBS and three times on Showtime and has begun to develop a solid local following. He's not as instantly recognizable as, say, Kimbo Slice, the street-fighting sensation turned MMA fighter, but he was beginning to be stopped on the street.
Fans who bought a set of tires at his Sam's Club would recognize him. He stuck his head out of his car while he was going through a fast-food drive-through and people in the car behind him began to shout out his name.
See him fight once and he's hard to forget, not when he's 6 feet 5 inches, 265 pounds and with a Chuck Liddell-style Mohawk.
"When the people see you and recognize you, it's a good thing, because it's telling you that they like what you're doing," Rogers said. "But I believe I had a lot still to give them. Everyone loves a winner, but when you're beating the best guys in the world, then they really love you.
"Pretty much everyone knows who Arlovski is. It's almost impossible if you follow this sport even a little not to know him. That's good for me, because when I do my thing and I win this fight, then I'm going to make myself a lot more recognizable."
And, in the fight business, where you have to give fans a reason to want to see you compete, being successful and being recognizable equates to more money.
Rogers retains the work ethic of a guy who punched the clock every day and gave the company a hard eight hours for eight hours' pay, but he's now doing something he loves instead of working simply to survive.
"I just had to do this," he said of becoming a full-time MMA fighter. "This sport is getting more popular, and there's more money and more opportunity everywhere. I can do this. I've proven I can do this. But I had to give myself the best chance and that meant getting out of (the Sam's Club job)."
The way Rogers sees it, putting tires on cars was a job; fighting in mixed martial arts is a career.
"There was nowhere to go in my other job," Rogers said. "With the job I have now, it's all up to me. There are no limits now. This is what I've been looking for all my life."
- Andrei Arlovski