I went to Catholic school, and I wasn't the greatest student. In addition to being learning disabled (I am dyslexic, Just Like Theo Huxtable!) I don't have the greatest work ethic in the world. As a grade-school aged kid I would get frustrated very easily by how hard everything was for me and I would end up very apathetic. In short, I didn't try as hard as I could.
In the 5th grade we started to play kickball at recess, and then it was on. I sat through the first part of the day gazing out the window at the parking lot that served as our diamond. Once inside from our games I sat at my desk updating the stats for our contest. We had regular teams and kept a running total of wins and losses. This is when my "sports nerd" persona was born, allowing me an outlet for keeping kicking averages, runs scored and RKIs (runs kicked in) for all the competitors. I set about these tasks with the utmost care and attention. I actually credit this endeavor with showing me a practical way to learn long division.
Late in 6th grade i got a knock on the head, however. Not only did my plant foot slip one day while kicking, causing me to fall backward, crashing my head into the parking lot, giving me my first concussion. But, some of the boys also started becoming less interested in kickball and more interested in the girls jumping rope. It's not like I didn't notice when Janine and Amy started to have bumps under their sweaters where there were no bumps before. I just wanted to stay focused on the one thing that made my day enjoyable.
As a 31 year old man, I no longer have an outlet like kickball. My job provides day to day work that I often have just as hard a time focusing on as I did on my school work back at St. Francis. I have fun things to look forward to with my fantastic wife and my Friends, but I don't have that daily thing to look forward to, and that makes me sad. In some ways this blog is like my modern version of tabulating those kickball stats back then. I do it when I'm supposed to be doing my work, and it is on most days it's the most fun I have at my desk. Now all I need is a red rubber ball.