As mentioned in my previous post, I first joined color guard when I was in the 8th grade. I was on the flag squad, and I loved every minute of it.
When I moved into high school, I switched equipment and became a letter carrier. Our guard was so small (only 5 people), so my letter literally had the entire school name on it, and I was a soloist. It was interesting, and I rocked it the best I could.
My sophomore year, I was also a letter, but I talked my best friend into joining and we became a duo. We actually look very similar, and people would mix us up. In uniform with our hair up, we practically looked like twins. That year was so fun, and it’s the year I started dating my husband.
Junior year, I switched back to flag for parade season, and I hated it because the other flag girls were not exactly nice to me. I was glad when parade season was over, and I could distance myself. I was never tempted to quit, though.
My senior year, I finally got to spin a rifle for parades. I worked so hard, and that was one of the best years ever.
But that was only parade season, which ends in December. For the spring semester, I did something called winter guard. During that time, we do routines on basketball courts, instead of in a parade or on a football field. It’s by far my favorite. During all four years of high school, I did jazz dance and spun flag, rifle, and sabre.
During college, I did one year of field show marching. I spun flag, rifle, and sabre, and it was a real change from the parades that I was used to. However, after being a coach, then going back to performing, I realized that being the leader was more preferable.
I coached at three different middle schools, and the ages ranged from 4th grade to 8th grade. I loved these girls like the little sisters I always wanted. I liked to think they looked up to me, so I did my best to set a good example. I always discouraged drinking, smoking, drugs, and promiscuity, and I encouraged a sisterhood among them. We talked about everything from makeup, boys, and popular media to more serious issues like bullying, suicide, and abuse. We actually had a student who committed suicide, and I will forever be affected by that.
I miss coaching the most. I felt like I was making a difference in the world, and I was giving these girls some confidence they wouldn’t have found anywhere else. When my children are grown, my goal is to go into teaching and begin coaching guard again.
I just have to go back. Its like a second home to me…