I went to see my high school band perform at the State Championships today. (I graduated two years ago). During my four years in high school, our marching band never medaled at state. (We medaled at regular marching and winter guard competitions but never at State). My high school band this year had an amazing show and has finished first at most of their regular competitions and even went to a BOA regional (which is the first time ever for my high school). Okay now getting to the point. The last time that my high school medaled at state was about 10 years ago. This year, they medaled in 3rd place!!!!!!!!And everyone was beyond proud.
After awards, I ran to meet my high school band near their buses. I got to see one of my high school band directors, who is one of the greatest people on Earth. Not to be cocky or anything, but I was definitely one of his favorite students and he was one of my favorite teachers. (Again, when I was in band, we came close to medaling, 4th or 5th place, but never actually did.) At this point, everyone is still overwhelmed and crying tears of joy at this point.
So my high school band director hugs me and says, “I wish that could have been you. I so wish that could have been you today.” And I broke down in tears. That may have been the single most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me. Of course, I wish it were me too, but I’m beyond proud of where they have come. And knowing that I got to be a part of what helped get this amazing team where they are today, fills my heart with so much joy.
When you start scrolling through guard videos because the air has finally become crisp and it makes you think back to those Friday night lights, dancing to standtunes, making fun of bluebelles when they do their dumb rollercoaster thing, huddling up in your letterman, looking up at the night sky, spotting bats over the field, singing the fight song til you lose your voice, performing your heart out, feeling the crack of the rifle and hearing the snap of the silk, the feeling of utter exhaustion and pride as you walk off the field, doing hey band… God, I miss it so much 😭😭
In regards to this nice post that’s been floating around:
Ha. I hope you’re just messing around, because if you’re seriously making these statements, you’re really missing something. I will be the first to admit that colorguard is an activity that doesn’t get half of the attention that it deserves, but it means more to a lot of people that have never set foot on a practice field than you think. By your logic, anyone can play soccer that can kick a ball, anyone can play piano that can touch the keys, but the ability to simply do something at all is not what makes someone great. Colorguard has levels, like anything else. You start out as a beginner, and typically beginning stuff is pretty easy since colorguard aims to be, as you said, very inclusive.
However as a colorguard improves, it quickly becomes obvious that some people are not meant for the activity. Colorguard doesn’t just require an insane sense of timing and the ability to throw your shit around without dropping it everywhere, it requires a unique drive and determination that many people are not willing to put forth.
Colorguard is fucking intense. The practices are absurdly long, the instructors scream more than they breathe and no matter how good you think you are, you’re only ever as good as the hottest mess on your team.
As you move out of the realm of pep bands and clubs and get in to seriously competitive colorguard you enter a world so vast and interconnected that you wonder why you haven’t known it was there all along. I don’t know where you are from, but there are parts of this world where color guard is fucking HUGE. People live their entire lives around a love for this activity, whether they’re watching it, photographing it, teaching it or doing it themselves. Colorguard gives a family to kids who may otherwise not have much of a family. Colorguard gives order to people who’s lives have been a mess since day one. Colorguard let’s people who have always been controlled realize the immense control that they have over themselves. I’ve seen this stupid flag flipping mess of an activity SAVE LIVES more times than I can count.
So if you want to tell me how meaningless colorguard is, tell it to my friends who have been doing it since they were five. Tell that to my friends who found it as an escape from a broken home. Tell it to my friends who have finally found a way to combat depression because a tiny dot on a field showed them that they were worth something. Tell it to the hundreds of people that cannot do it or cannot do it anymore who come to shows because they love to see it. Tell it to the people that love to photograph it and capture it’s beauty, although they’ve never experienced it themselves. Tell it to my mother, who though marching band was stupid when I started doing it, and who’s mind changed rapidly with every year, who now drives hundreds of miles to see my shows. Tell it to my dad who doesn’t understand it at all but knows all that it has done for me. Tell it to my friends from school who came to my show and were blown away by all of the wonderful guards they saw, not just the best of the best. Most of all, tell it to me, the three year old girl who pounded on the car window, begging her mom to stop and let her watch the colorguard practice, the thirteen year old girl that just wanted to make friends and the fifteen year old girl that finally realized that she had them, the 17 year old girl that realized she was a better person than she could ever have dreamed of being and the 19 year old girl that only keeps getting better in every aspect of her life, because getting better is what the colorguard life is all about. tell it to all of the people around me that saw that change too.
Colorguard isn’t just about the shows you see but the splash it makes, the undeniable impact that it has on the lives of everyone who decided not to quit when it got tough.
This is the last thing I have to say about this. Not trying to argue, just wanna get how I’m feeling about that out there.
Have a nice day.
*boy tosses a rifle 6 and catches it with a sharp snap, the taut muscles of his arms bulging and visibly hardening under his smooth sweaty skin as he freezes for a split second and grins wildly at his audience*