Papers and pigskin

My mother, such a sweet sweet lady, has always so kindly told me a phrase since I was young. Any time my grades would fall, any time I seemed lost, confused, and overwhelmed, she would encouragingly utter a simple seven word sentence. To this day, she verbalizes that phrase at a seemingly daily rate.

“We need to check you for ADD.”

Heart warming. In retrospect, I guess she doesn’t say this encouragingly, but exhaustively. Honestly, though, who can blame her? She’s attended endless parent-teacher conferences where my teachers have had this to say about me: “Evan is a very bright kid, but he’s a bit absent minded.” If I weren’t in elementary school, I probably would have taken offense to that, but I was likely too busy thinking about professional wrestling to acknowledge the comment anyway.

But see, there’s the key: I was thinking, not distracted by the nearest squirrel in a tree. That’s why I don’t buy it. From my understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder, you are too easily distracted by outside stimulation to care about the task at hand. Well, I could care less about the piece of gum under my desk– I’m too busy pondering the most important thing weighing on my mind at the time. Whether I need to get my priorities straight, well that’s debatable.

That’s the pickle I’m in right now, buddies. For the first few weeks we’ve been in school, my body has sat vacant, hollow in the classroom. The lights are on, but nobody’s home. My mind lays much further away, down the halls of FHC and through the doors of the team locker room, out on the ripped up, patchy grass of the football practice field. As my pencil forms words on paper, my mind envisions my hands stretched out in front of me, making a diamond shape, and softly accepting a football. As my body jogs through a Spanish worksheet, my mind is sprinting through a slant route. Four steps, cut in. Four steps, cut in.

This year being my first time playing a sport in high school, I’m beginning to observe many qualities about myself that would have gone unnoticed had I remained a couch potato. One of those being this: I’m never satisfied. I could have the most complete, productive practice of my life, and later I would still lay in bed that night contemplating and criticizing something. I shouldn’t have caught that with my body. Should I have said that to Coach? I know I hustled, but did I look like I hustled? These thoughts carry over from my bedroom to the classroom. It’s a vicious cycle.

Last December, when I officially made up my mind that I’d be snapping on the helmet and lacing up the cleats, I assumed I’d be able to juggle the papers and the pigskin. So far, that’s gone all right, but I know where my mind is clearly falls, and it’s not in a desk. Maybe I should try to buckle down a bit, take a bit of my psyche off of the gridiron and onto the grid paper.

But you know what? Nah. Football’s on the mind baby, and I love it! Don’t like it, bookworms? Don’t blame it on me, blame it on my APD. Attention Priority Disorder. Catch me when fall’s over — wave to my body in the hallways.