There have been a few times in my posts where I’ve mentioned Color Guard and “my girls”. I am 99% confident that the majority of people who have and will read my blog have no clue what I’m talking about.
I am also 99% confident that almost no one just got my statistics pun.
These are the times when I realize I’m a complete nerd… (Insert deep sigh)
First off, ignore the scary/crazy/demented look on my face. I was really excited.
Second, I know there’s been a few times when I linked the words “Color Guard” to the wikipedia page for it (which, by the way, makes me laugh. It’s like reading a wikipedia page about high school. It feels like you’re reading about yourself).
My guess is that you didn’t click on it, and if you did, it didn’t help at all.
So, basically, Color Guard is a performing arts activity that some people consider a sport and some don’t, but technically it isn’t because it’s not part of the Olympics or something, but it should be because we run around just as much as, if not more than, any actual sports.
At its most basic level, Guard is that activity where people dance, spin (not twirl) flags, and play with weapons known as rifles and sabres.
At its most complex level, Guard is a hardcore activity where summer vacation becomes 5-12 hours every day spent in the blazing heat trying to put together a show, where winter vacation becomes a couple of weeks spent in a gym sweating and bleeding, where you worry more about getting blood on your uniform than the fact that you’re bleeding, where your greatest wish becomes making it to WGI finals.
Some people barely spare Guard girls (and guys) a passing glance. Some people think we’re crazy. Some people don’t even know who we are.
Truth is, we just love it.
I don’t know what makes other Guard girls stick around, but I stay because I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.
Before Guard, I was the shyest girl you’d ever met. I rarely talked to anyone, and when I did, it was either because they initiated the conversation or I was too tired to realize what I was doing. I stayed quiet in my corner of every class, never did anything to draw attention to myself…
Basically, I was a turtle in a shell, hiding in plain sight.
Then I joined the Guard, and I had no choice but to forget all about my shy nature. The first day I walked into the Band room, this girl I didn’t even know came up to me and started going on and on about how she was one of my brother’s friends and how much she loved him and how much I’d love Guard.
At the time, I was overwhelmed, but I soon got used to it. I became accustomed to instructors coming over to adjust my arms and legs, to random Guard girls coming over to talk to me, to being watched by anyone and everyone.
I remember, at one competition, an upperclassman whom I’d become close to commented on how I’d come out of my shell. I was stunned, but I realized she was right.
From that moment on, I decided I liked not being shy. I didn’t feel the need to draw attention to myself, but I also didn’t feel the need to redirect any attention I recieved. I grew more confident in myself and my abilities, more attentive to detail, more comfortable in my own skin.
I found myself happy, and I knew that I finally belonged.
There are many more lessons I’ve learned, far too many to express in words. Guard is something you can’t truly understand unless you’re a part of it. Performing a show you’ve worked so many grueling hours on… It’s a wonderful feeling.
It hurts to know this is my last season. Once it ends, I’ll be leaving a piece of me behind.
But that time hasn’t come yet, so I’ll enjoy my last season of Guard while it lasts.
I hope this helps you understand, somehow. With the part about “my girls”, I don’t mean that only girls do Guard. It’s just that, in my Guard, we only have girls. I mean, technically we have one girl who’s gender-fluid, but I’ve gotten into the habit of calling them my girls and it’s a bit hard to break.
I don’t know if she/he minds. I think she/he just appreciates that we accept her and make the effort.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. This post was a bit longer than I meant it to be, so.
Until next time!