Mathias Boe is smiling, like a lot of people do when he explains that badminton is his full-time job.
Perhaps that mirth would evaporate if those people regularly had to face down a shuttlecock hurtling towards them at a speed of 185 miles per hour.
Or if they came face-to-face with his most treasured possession -- an Olympic silver medal, won with doubles partner Carsten Mogensen at the 2012 Games in London.
"Badminton is very popular in Denmark but it's seen as a hobby sport," Boe told CNN's Human to Hero series.
"After the Olympics we are quite famous here and (people) still often ask us, 'Do you do this for a living?'
"Even though it's popular, and everyone has played it once in their lifetime, they still see it as a hobby."
A closer inspection of the sport at the highest level should wipe away any lingering smirks.
It can occasionally be hard to keep track of the relentless back and forth such is the breakneck speed at which the world's best operate.
Boe has been attuned to this intense wave of frequency since the age of eight, when badminton drew him in.
"Badminton is definitely faster than tennis," Boe explained.
"You have strokes over 300 kph (185 mph) so it's an extremely fast sport -- only tennis table is faster. You need to have your reflexes ready when you play because it goes very, very fast.
"The skills that are most important are speed -- even though the court looks small on television it is quite big -- and you need to be quick around the court, and you have to have a very good technique.
"As you can see we don't have the biggest arms but we really have a big smash, a lot of us. I'd say power and stamina are two very important things."
As is, of course, his relationship with his badminton buddy.
Boe and Mogensen were first paired together in 2004 by a coach at the national training center and started a steady climb towards the world number one ranking, which they clinched in 2011.
The duo have won a tranche of titles, including the prestigious All England Championships crown in 2011 -- one Mogensen describes as the equivalent of winning Wimbledon -- but none bigger than their Olympic silver.
Their success is a testament to their on-court chemistry, and their battle to maintain that level of hunger as they head towards the twilight of their careers.
"One of our things is that we're strong mentally," Boe explains. "There are a lot of things going on between you and your opponent.
"It's important to look your opponent in the eyes when it gets close in the games and also to believe in yourself that you can be good enough to win tournaments.
"There are a lot of very challenging parts of the game; for me and Carsten it's when we don't have our best day, we need to struggle with ourselves.
"That's extremely difficult because we can be our own biggest opponent ourselves if one of us doesn't feel comfortable, or motivated. So for us now in our senior years we struggle with that, particularly after some of our bigger achievements.
"It created a bit of emptiness afterward and made some of the tournaments a little bit unimportant. That's what we're fighting with."
That motivation still burns bright enough to win titles though, as demonstrated by their recent victory at the London Grand Prix held at the Olympic Park.
They are still formidable opponents for anyone on the 13-event global Super Series run by the sport's governing body, the Badminton World Federation.
But given they dovetail so neatly on court, it is perhaps a surprise to hear their off-court characters are almost complete opposites.