I'm heading to New Jersey tomorrow for a team get-together. Otherwise know as a team training camp. No physical training going on. Just everyone getting together. All the veterans and newbies getting their clothing and goodies. Pictures and media training. Meetings and discussions.
I have to admit something.
We are going to be right near New York City. I've never been to New York City even though I'm from New York State. In many ways New York City has nothing to do with New York State. I don't think I knew anybody that had been to NYC growing up. What I do remember, and what I need to admit, is that I'm scared of NYC. I really don't care if I ever see NYC in my lifetime.
I know this feeling stems from my childhood. One of my earliest memories is hearing of a place called NYC and a big word that coincided with this place. The word was "mugging." I didn't really know what a mugging was, but I pieced things together and it wasn't good. I was pretty it sure it involved someone bigger than you coming up to you on the street and asking for your money. If you didn't give it up you were beat up. Maybe knifed or maybe even shot. Those early media messages pretty much scared me. So even to this day as an adult I really question what does a place like NYC have to interest me.
I know, I know... its supposed to be the greatest place on earth or something. Really? Crowded sidewalks, traffic!
My good friend, the Greek Goddess Athena Fliakos, recently wrote on her blog...
"What do you do when you board a Bronx bound number 4 train to find a man with swollen joints, ashen skin, and a single raggedy rolling suitcase, a man passed out (but twitching), hunched over one crutch, saturated in his own vomit and reeking of cheap whiskey? What do you do the day after the President of the United States spins intoxicating rhetoric about the power of the American spirit, the compassion of the American people during his State of The Union address when you board a subway to find a fellow human being in desperate need? I found out today that most of us just ignore him. Or stare, shake our heads. Many of us step over him, around him, and startle with disgust when we realize that the wet streak running the length of subway car number 1160 is actually this man’s puke-drool, a rotting bile gurgling up from his throat. “Whoa, Caliban.” I whisper to myself, as I hop on the train. “Say, Caliban. Can you see?”
(READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE)
This observation happened to take place in NYC which is a place I know she likes but it didn't help my anxiety concerning the inevitable moment that is approaching. The moment when, at this team camp, someone will make the announcement, " We are headed into the city. Why don't you join us Doug?"