Where I Am
I spent a lot of time alone as a kid.
Part of it was due to my personality. I’m an introvert through and through.
Part of it was because I was the middle child. My sister is six years older than me and when we were younger she was more into Rick Springfield, denim, and The Outsiders than hanging out with me playing with GI Joe and He-Man action figures. Once she went off to college it was pretty much me and my younger brother to keep each other occupied.
My brother is five years younger than me, and once I was older into my tweens and then teenage years I was more into sports, baseball cards, and Mariah Carey than hanging out with him. “LEAVE ME ALONE RT, I”M LISTENING TO DREAMLOVER. GOD!!!!! MOOOOOOOM.”
But I have to say, the biggest reason for spending so much time alone was because I grew up in a very rural area. Like, no traffic light in my hometown rural. Like, you have to drive ten minutes to get to the nearest grocery store rural. Like, there’s a good 1/2-1 mile gap between houses rural.
It wasn’t like I could just walk across the street and knock on the Smith’s front door and ask them if little Timmy could come out to play some wiffle ball. There was nothing across the street except a massive corn field.
Warning: you can imagine how much of a mindf*** this was when I watched Children of the Corn back in the day. Not smart. Not smart at all.
So yeah, I spent a lot of time alone as a kid playing any and all kinds of sports in my back and side yard. And like most young boys I had dreams of playing professional baseball.
That didn’t happen.
I did, however, make it further than 99.99% of the athletes from my hometown did, and had the honor of earning a scholarship and the luxury of playing baseball for four years in college (with a sprinkling of a few professional tryouts).
I know it’s coming across a certain way, but I don’t say any of this to give off a melancholy vibe or to play the role of Debbie Downer.
I say all of this because as I sit here typing these words, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.
As I type these words, these very words, right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in the heart of London.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture of me pretending to make a call in one of their famous red, street pay phones (that still work!):
Sadly, it wasn’t a secret entry way to the Ministry of Magic.*
And here’s a picture I took of the first double decker bus I saw once I stepped out of Paddington Station:
I know, I’m such a tourist.
Right this instant I’m across the street from Tower Hill (and the Tower of London) waiting for it to open. I was a little early so decided to make a pit-stop in Starbucks to get my caffeine fix, snake some Wi-Fi and to do a little writing.
I didn’t have a game plan to what I wanted to write, so this is what’s coming out.
1. This city is amazing! I wish I had more than 36 hours to be a tourist, but starting tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend Dean and I will be talking to 30 or so coaches and trainers from around Europe on anything and everything to become a better trainer and coach.
2. It’s quite nice to accidentally bump into someone on the Tube and they say, “sorry mate!” instead of being given a look of death or challenged to a knife fight if the same thing happened in Boston.
3. If you would have told me twelve years ago, when I first started in this industry, that I’d be in London for a speaking engagement where people from the UK, Italy, Poland, and Spain would be paying to come listen to me, Tony Gentilcore, the kid who grew up in Central Middle-of-Nowhere New York, collected Mark McGwire baseball cards, wore white high-top shoes, and brought a yo-yo to school with him cause he thought it was cool (yes, true story) , if you would have told me all that, and kept a straight face…….I would have laughed. And probably punched you in the face for being an a-hole.
“Yeah, right dude.” I would have said. “What’s next, telling me Arnold Schwarzenegger is gonna star in a movie where he becomes pregnant or that he becomes Governor of California? Pffffft, whatever.”
But here I am. That’s exactly what’s happening. I’m in London. And I feel so lucky.
I guess all I want to say is thanks, everyone. THANK YOU for reading this blog, thank you for reading my articles, thanks to those who I get to work with and train on a daily basis, and thank you for the endless support.
Or maybe I should say cheers!?!
* = hopefully some Harry Potter fans got that reference.