The week started on Monday (as school weeks have a tendency to do), and Slater was “sick.” (We all believed him, too. Really, we did.) I went ahead to practice without him. Next day, he didn’t show either. He was back on Wednesday, and I asked if he was going to come with me to practice, but he said he had “missed too much already.” So I had to decide whether to keep trying out without him or just to drop it.
By this time, I had already gotten a taste of what Guard was like; to say the least, it was challenging. I also had a friend on Guard, Kendall, who told me that about half the girls on Guard did not want me there and thought that I would fail miserably. That seemed like a challenge to me. [insert evil grin here] If there is one thing that will make me want to do something more than anything else, it is if others think I will fail. There is little more satisfying to me than proving others wrong.
I practiced over the weekend with some of the other girls trying out, the ones that I knew, and the day of tryouts came. In our extreme fear, nervousness, and anxiousness, we named it “Monday.” I tried out and went home having no clue as to how I did. When I checked the list the next morning, I found that I made it. Well. The hard part seemed over.
That was the beginning of a long and challenging few months. Color Guard consumed almost every free (and not-so-free) moment of my time, and I struggled to learn everything we were taught. It was impossible to come to the level of the girls that had been on Guard for a few years, and it was ungodly to think of matching our instructor. I figured it would get easier as the year went on, as I learned more work and more techniques, but the load never quite seemed to lessen.
At many times, I wanted to drop out. But the challenge was there, and I was not about to let myself fail. So I persevered, suffered, and loved it. Though I was struggling to become better every moment, and rarely felt right in patting myself on the back, the challenge thrilled me, and I refused to give up.
Color Guard came to an end; I had made it. As the Winter Guard season starts, I look forward to confronting the same challenges. And this time, I will be the best one on the floor.