I don’ t play a lot of sports. Let me rephrase that, I am selective to the sports that I display my athletic ability. Yea that sounds better haha.
Sure I have played little league and soccer when I was longer but everyone in the Main Line area did. I wasn’t good at either of them. For example I was placed in the left field as in little league. Years later I found out from a friend who coaches Little League games that coaches put their worst player out there. And who was the left fielder? Matt Cahill!!!
It was not that I was good athlete or did not have heart, it was that I was bored. My mind wandered all the time. I am sure I lot of my fellow ADHD / LD can relate. When I played soccer I was goalie a few times. I don’t know why I guess it is that they have to allow every kid play or something. Any way, as goalie I stood around while kids where playing soccer on the other half of the field. Without any action, I got bored. Sometimes I would image if there was like a mini fridge by the goalie net that had an endless supply or Gatorade and Orange slices. When I was switched out, I would tell my teammate about the mini fridge idea. He answered with a blank face probably thinking what is with this kid? It wasn’t that I was trying to be the weird kid; I was just trying to think of ways to make the most of a boring situation.
On the other end of the spectrum, I played Ultimate Frisbee in High School to now. Unlike little league, there was so much activity that kept my mind busy. Catch the Frisbee, throw the Frisbee, play offense, play defense, make sure that guy doesn’t get open etc. My mind was so focused on the game that I was unable to wander with my thoughts. I thought I found a sport that kept me focus. However that was not the case. During several points of the game my mind would wander and wasn’t paying attention and the guy I was blocking would get open and score. At this point I realized that I needed to play a sport that allowed my ADHDness to wander. I did not have to look far, it was what I was doing most of the time Running.
I started running because my Dad thought it would be good for me. As the idea of running around circles may see foreign to you I felt the same at first. After a few practices, I started to enjoy it. As a finished my first mile, there was a sense of joy and accomplishment that I have not felt a lot of in other sports. But at the time I could not put my figure on it.
As I ran in my High School’s cross country team this joy continued. We ran the trials of beautiful Valley Forge State Park. I felt I was autopilot while I was able to take in the nature and think about whatever thoughts I had that day.
I would later found out that there is two parts of running, physical running and mental running. And I think that suited me and my LD/ADHDness. I able to stay on auto pilot running while I try to mentally stay focused by thinking about the day or what super powers I would have. This might sound crazy to some of you but lets be real running 5-6 miles regularly is crazy as well. I know it and if any runner says otherwise they are lying. But in order to continue running you need to figure out a way to stay entertained and ADHD helps do so!
So when I run, I don’t think about millage but cool and or beautiful routes. Let me give you an example. When my friends run they say, “6 miles” while I say, “you know I have not run with the Italian market.” My friends look at running or physical activity as a destination, I look at it as an adventure.
And I think LD help me appreciate this because wandering allows you to go and discover new places or ideas that are way better then running 6 miles. I am training for the New Jersey Marathon my first one ever. My friends are starting marathon plans with millage. Me, I don’t have the patients for that. Instead like Forest Gump, I just feel like running because what LD showed me that life is about the journey not the destination.
Until next time,