New York City: the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, Manhattan, Central Park, the Twin Towers, 9/11, One World Trade Center, Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor? Thanks to him, we got to pay a visit to this vibrant city of New York for the press conference leading up to his fight with Khabib Numagomedov on October 6.
Driving an RV through Brooklyn was probably like stepping into the cage with Conor, unsure of what cars will jump in front of you, and unsure of what moves Conor will throw in the cage.
And what made this city even more exciting from my point of view was watching the crowd while Conor and Khabib threw comments back and forth at the press conference taking place live just a few blocks from Times Square at Radio City Music Hall.
Times Square, a sensory overload, to say the least, with lights flashing on the many electronic billboards advertising everything from J Lo to the latest fashion in boots to the press conference between McGregor and Numagomedov. People were corralled in the viewing area excited to see their favorite fighter on the Mega-Zilla screen (believed to be the largest TV screen in the world) and loudly cheering their support. Across the street, with barricades set up, and on the edge of the sidewalk, more fans lined up waiting for the viewing of the press conference. Press conference, not the actual fight, not the glitter and glamour of the UFC cage, and the Buffer yell, “It’s time!” but just a table on the stage, facing media, with two chairs, one for each fighter, split only by a podium to host the infamous Dana White.
But this was no normal press conference. For anyone that knows UFC, Conor McGregor is more infamous than White, the owner. And then there was Khabib Numagomedov, while not as outspoken and in your face as Conor, a worthy opponent of this fighter that people love to hate, and love to watch fight.
Only six months after attacking an opponent’s bus – for which he basically received a slap on the wrist, and a year after one of the biggest events in the sports industry – Conor fought Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match – he has earned his spot as a spectacle in the media.
So, what does this have to do with living a stout life in an RV? Because we moved into an RV, and created a very stout life, indeed, we happened to be near NYC during the scheduled press conference time. And Kenny, being an MMA journalist (managing editor of MMAWeekly.com) had the credentials to visit Radio City Music Hall to cover the conference. Feeling a bit jealous and left out, I wandered the streets to Times Square, and immediately forgot about feeling left out. This is where the action was, viewing the perspective from outside the walls of the media. I got to witness the crazed fans, the McGregor wanna-be’s dressed up in suits like him, the insanity of thousands of people causing a sidewalk gridlock just to watch a press conference.
Feeling the intensity of the fans at that moment in time and the anticipation of the journalists not knowing what would happen between these two athletes; there was electricity in the air that day, a feeling of being connected regardless of who you were cheering for. There was energy in this city that I have never felt before – here before the press conference, and sure to be here long after. This energy, emanating from the millions of people that call this city home and from the millions that just came as tourists, was contagious and almost palpable, spreading from one person to the next. Each person reacted differently to it, some with frustration and impatience, but to most, it was exhilarating and intoxicating. It spread through the crowd like wildfire. I watched as people came out of their internal dialogue and became a part of humanity, a part of this crazy life that surrounds us all.
Finding Your Stout Life
This is the connection that I see with RV living, you get back into the action of life. While many journalists travel to cover live events, today, more often than not, they are sitting in an office, or
on a couch, with several screens in front of them, constantly watching Twitter or Instagram, or online news channels, merely reporting on the action, not living it.
It is time to get off the couch, to become a part of that spectacle again, even if only for a moment in NYC at a press conference. It is time to get out of the office, out of the shackles of a job you hate or just tolerate. Get out into life.
Whether that be an RV or a change of perspective, find your inner journalist, but don’t just report on the events, live them.