A long, long time ago, in what now seems like another life, I was in my high school’s marching band.
Upper right corner to the right of the pumpkin…ME
I was in the cool part of the band…the color guard.
Every since my first Penn State football game when I saw the Blue Sapphire come twirling her way on to the field I figured I was going to do one of two things in high school, twirling or cheerleading. Well, cheerleading was out since I didn’t really fit in with most of those girls. My high school didn’t have twirlers, no scantily glad baton wielding girls, BUT it did have a color guard. Let’s see, tossing a five foot long pole and a fiveish pound saber around the field for ten minutes sounds like fun.
I’m not going to lie, I SUCKED for the better part of the first season. I had a hard time getting my arms and legs to do two very different things. At some point I had an ah ha moment and things felt a little more natural.
I’d also be lying if I said it was always super fun. Our instructor was a raging bitch and she rode us like wild dogs. Of course I say that with the utmost love and respect…Really, I do. I understand why she was so hard on us and I can respect her for it in some sick twisted way. We were the group to beat every weekend.
I spend a little part of four summers at band camp. If you’ve seen the movie American Pie you might have a preconceived notion of what goes on at band camp. There may or may not be a tiny bit of truth to what you saw in the movie. Let’s just say an instructor was almost always outside our section of cabins. I can say that I have never stuck an instrument or flag pole where the sun doesn’t shine, but I can’t speak for the others in the band.
When I look back on the band years now I’m kind of skeeved by how often we swapped partners. During band season it was just easier to date someone who was also in the band since we had a pretty busy schedule with football games and competitions.
Ah, the competitions. Driving all over God’s green earth to put on our best performance for a crowd of people who knew what they were looking at. All the while trying to preform while avoiding judges who were actually on the field. Silent run throughs in parking lots. Huddling in the stands after our performance. Bus rides home making out under a blanket. Good times.
When I look back on those band years I have mixed feelings. I think I learned a lot about hard work and pushing myself to the limits. I stepped out of my comfort zone and found out that I could do things I didn’t know I could do. I wish I could have gone through it all with a little less “verbal abuse” but then I think that’s what got us to work so hard.
If I was cool then what did the nerds look like?
What were you a part of in high school? Would people be surprised to know about it?