Wes Lysack was using his best penmanship to stay inside the lines yesterday, covering his previously blue and white football cleats with black ink.
Masking the emotions of being traded isn't so simple.
After refurbishing his footwear, the former Blue Bombers safety rushed off to Calgary International to hop a flight back to Winnipeg, a full day ahead of his Stampeders teammates.
Lysack and the Stamps face the Bombers tomorrow in the 'Peg, his first game against his former team after being traded here a few weeks ago.
Lysack's wife and young son still live in Winnipeg, a separation forced when the 27-year-old player was traded to Cowtown.
Drafted by the Stamps in the spring of 2003, the Winnipeg native was dealt to the Bombers in the fall of '04.
Being moved twice in three seasons has put into perspective the world of professional sports.
"You kind of know that's the idea but you don't truly understand until you go through it," Lysack said.
"When I got drafted here and the way I started out my career here (by winning the starting safety job), I thought I'd be here my entire career, to tell you the truth. Then I got traded (to Winnipeg) and traded back again, so now it's changed my perspective a little.
"That's the way pro sports are and you just have to deal with it. I've had to deal with it a fair amount now."
His McMahon Stadium locker now looks like a flea market of assorted team clothing, some red and white scattered among blue and gold remnants.
It symbolizes his whirlwind existence through three seasons of professional football.
"I've still got all my red stuff, I never got rid of it from the first time in Calgary," said Lysack, who will also stay behind in Winnipeg an extra couple of days to spend time with his family.
"This is really the first time we've ever been apart because when I played here the first time, we lived here, and when I played in Winnipeg, I played there as well so it's the first time we've been forced to be apart. It's definitely going to be good to be back there."
Lysack has talked with Stampeders GM Jim Barker about a contract for next year but said he wants to focus on this season and the playoffs before considering his future.
"We've got a serious shot at taking a long run at this so that's where I want my focus to be, helping this team any way I can," said Lysack. "After the season we can start talking about next year."