In this concrete jungle that is New York City, it takes hustle and heart to get what you want. Everything about this place is challenging, whether it’s fighting the crowds at lunch in Midtown or pushing your way through the crowded turnstiles at Union Square so that you don’t miss your subway. New Yorkers understand the phrase “The struggle is real” more than anyone else in the world. In fact, we’ll go as far as to say we coined the term. Today, team VPM shares their thoughts on what they find to be the most challenging aspects of the city. Check them out below, and then share your own stories about how you think New Yorkers compete every day on Twitter.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, hands down, the most competitive obstacle in Manhattan is walking from Penn Station to Fifth Avenue. This stretch of Midtown is approximately an 18 minute walk full of madness. It begins when the train pulls into Penn Station. The doors open and a clusterfuck of bodies begin running off the train and up the stairs to 7th Avenue, like a heard of angry cattle. As you make your way to Fifth Avenue, you find yourself cutting corners on the side walk so you don’t fall over mounds of garbage bags. Then it becomes a game of how swiftly you can dodge the men dancing in spandex and selfie sticks flying around at the speed of light. But my favorite part of the obstacle is running across the street to make the light—that one never gets old.” – Joseph Ryder, Vice President

“Lunch time is when you need to give it your all, full speed ahead. It takes serious strategic thinking to figure out where you should go to get food and the best time to show up, depending on the day, hour, or season. Preparation is key. Honestly, if you want to get exactly what you want within a short time span, you’ve got to be prepared and determined, with your eye on the prize. Your stomach will thank you. ” – Veprim Gashi, Account Executive

“The most challenging task in New York City is hailing a cab between the hours of 4-5pm. It truly is impossible. You have to stand your ground and be aggressive. If you’re hailing a cab and someone steps right in front of you to do the same, look for a cab with it’s lights on and sprint in front of that person last minute to get it. Might seem crazy, but it works.” – Ophelia Afflick, Account Executive