Yet, to Craig Carfray, it could be the difference between going to Glasgow 2014 and watching from the sidelines. He is not even contemplating the latter.
The Kilmarnock weightlifter is just 21 and there are many more international competitions on the horizon but competing in Glasgow is all he can focus on.
For that, he has to achieve the qualifying total of 255kg in his under-69kg weight category.
He came up just 2kg short at the British Universities Championships in Sheffield in March and, having achieved the standard in the gym, he now has to reach it in competition.
There was an opportunity at the British Senior Championships at Bangor University last month but Carfray, suffering from a knee tendon injury, did not do himself justice and only reached 240kg.
He is just completing his rehabilitation and is now looking to meet his target at the Scottish Champion-ships in Pitlochry on November 9 or at the Commonwealth Championships in Penang, Malaysia, from November 24-30.
"Hopefully, I'll get there sooner or later and I intend to do it before the end of the year, to take the pressure off," he said. "I had been doing the qualifying total in the gym and it was looking good for the British Seniors but then I had the injury.
"Because I had the British Seniors, I just trained through it for a few weeks just so that I could see what I could do. But I missed out on the total I was looking to do there. So this is me just back to where I was before I was injured."
There is no shortage of incentive. His coach, Charlie Hamilton, represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, in 1994, finishing seventh in the under-83kg class (ironically, with a combined lift of 255kg).
Carfray also just needs to look across the Kilmarnock gym to see Peter Kirkbride, a silver medallist (under-94kg) at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi and who went on to compete at London 2012.
"Peter was in the same boat as I am now before the Olympics last year and he only achieved the total in his final qualifying competition. He had made the B standard but hadn't made the A, so it was a good thing for the gym when he was selected. There's not a B standard for the Commonwealth Games, it's just a straight case of making the total."
Carfray took up the sport to bulk up for his football and, later, rugby at school and it was only when his rugby and weightlifting training nights clashed that he decided to devote himself wholly to his new passion at the age of 15. He knows there is no turning back but, so far, it has proved a wise choice.
He has managed to keep improving in spite of the fact that he holds down a full-time job as an HGV mechanic and works 7am to 5pm, five days a week. After work, he cycles five miles to his home in Kilmarnock and has a quick bite to eat before heading for the gym, a convenient two-minute walk away. He is aware his routine may need to change as the Games get closer.
"At the beginning of next year, I'll evaluate the situation and look at whether I should be working part-time or even quit my job to concentrate full time on my weightlifting," he says. "If that's what it's going to take to get myself fighting for a medal, then I'm willing to do that. There will be nothing bigger than the Commonwealth Games, especially in my home country.
"You're starting to see more and more about it and the tickets have just gone on sale so you know it's getting closer and closer.
"Having the Olympics in London last year has helped as the buzz has kept going."
Carfray was able to sample the Olympic atmosphere for himself as he travelled south to support Kirkbride and suspects Glasgow will create a similar environment.
He was also in Delhi three years ago as part of the Achieve 2014 programme which gave talented young Scottish athletes who missed out on selection the chance to sample a Commonwealth Games ahead of Glasgow.
"It gave me an insight into everything that went on. I visited the athletes' village and met athletes from other sports who were in a similar situation to myself," he said.
"Hopefully, I'll see a few of them at Glasgow 2014. Experiencing those things can only give us an advantage and it's amazing to consider these next Games are just 20 minutes down the road from me.
"Seeing Peter win a silver medal in Delhi was great and he's obviously training to win a medal again in Glasgow. When you're training with someone like that in the gym it pushes you on even more.
"Charlie Hamilton is also a big help, especially with him being Scottish national coach; I couldn't have asked for anyone better at the gym.
"He told me at the start of the year what I should be aiming for. I'm not far away from what he has set me and I've consolidated as No 2 in Scotland.
"He is looking for me to qualify for the Games before the end of the year and I'm still on target for that. He believes I can get there and that gives me a bit more confidence in myself."