One of the toughest things about growing up is having to eventually let go of hobbies and activities that once played a big part in defining you as a person. In our teenage years, we all come across that "thing" that becomes our passion and plays a role in shaping us into the adults that we have become. For some of us, it's sports...volleyball, soccer, or softball. For others, it's music or singing, or drama club.
For me, it was colorguard.
Let me give you a little crash course. Colorguard is still not something that is considered "common knowledge" in the world of sports and arts. Most may describe it as "those girls that twirl the flags with the marching band." All I have to say is, you don't realize the complexity of the art until you actually become a part of it. It is so much more than running around with a flag(or rifle or sabre, not real ones of course) in your hands. It requires rhythm, stamina, flexibility, a great memory, and more. It is also split into two "seasons." Colorguard refers to the outdoor season that is performed with the band, and winterguard(or indoor guard), refers to performing a show to recorded music...typically on a gym floor setting. Guard is referred to as the "sport of the arts" for a reason. Just to further prove that guard is not some unknown cult sport, you can check out Drum Corps International or Winter Guard International, which are basically the "big leagues" for marching band, colorguard, and winterguard.
I auditioned for guard in my freshman year of high school, and it ruled my life for the next six years...as a performer, choreographer, and instructor. It was stressful, time consuming, and physically exhausting to practice an average of 15-20 hours a week, but I loved every single second of it. I eventually had to give it up to focus more on college, working, and moving on to the next part of my life. It was really difficult to be away from the atmosphere for the first few months, but it eventually became easier. However, I still get these crazy withdrawals sometimes.
I miss the practices.
I miss learning choreography until I can't process any more information.
I miss jamming and spraining fingers while practicing new tosses for the first time.
I miss running dance features until they're flawless...even if it takes a million tries.
I miss the heat and the sunburn of marching season.
I miss being yelled at by choreographers to fix my posture and show emotion.
I miss the dreaded "one more time" from the instructor, even though they promised us a break.
I miss the feeling of putting on guard gloves and warming up for a show.
I miss being best friends with my teammates.
I miss dance tights and all black practice clothes.
I miss traveling to competitions.
I miss that feeling of exhaustion and accomplishment after a full day of Saturday practice.
I miss the leg cramps, the bruises, the broken fingernails, and the broken toes. (As strange as that is.)
I miss the costumes and the crazy makeup.
I miss performing.
That's where my heart is lately. I'm sure some of you can relate. In honor of the mourning of my lost guard years I pulled the DCI shirt out of the dresser when getting ready for work. Hey, it's casual Friday. I'm not breaking any rules. Just for the record, I'm pretty sure that is the first "mirror pic" I have ever taken.
What are you missing? What have you had to give up in order to move on to a new chapter?
I hope you all have THE BEST weekend ever!