There a few moments in your childhood that stick with you the rest of your life. I don’t mean first kiss, prom, or that time you punched Kelly Weir in the stomach for stealing your bike (believe me, he had it coming). Those are big moments. I mean the little things – the things that everyone else has forgotten but you.
For me, one such moment was during my first week of seventh grade. It was gym class and Mr. Morris wanted me to do something. I don’t remember what it was, that’s not the crucial bit. I just remember it was on the grass, near the softball field that no one ever used. Morris, who had the sort of chiseled, aged face that you could imagine drove all the girls nuts in 1962, snapped his fingers and said, “Focus!”
Then he said something I’ll never forget. “Focus on what you are doing, Erik. You’ve heard that before, haven’t you?”
Indeed, I had heard it before. I heard it every year, in fact, in elementary school. Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Kraft, Mr. Manegetti, they all probably said it. What – I was kind of a space cadet, okay? I daydreamed. I had my own world that was way more interesting than cloud charts and “To Kill A Mockingbird.” So sue me. My grades were good and I didn’t cause trouble. Continue reading