Category Archives: Guardlings Write

Photo by Michael Baldrey

Guest Post by Former Evergreen Guardling, Linzi Garcia

Evergreen HS class of '14

Linzi Garcie Evergreen HS class of ’14

Color guard is not a activity that simply has some measurable value to me; color guard is Me.

High school… High school is something we all dread in the moment and hold onto as long as we can once we’re out. Without color guard, I do not know if I would like the person I have become nearly as much. I learned that blood, sweat, tears, and a little bit of vomit are the baby steps for lifelong discipline, hard work, and a sense of accomplishment.

What always absolutely delighted me about the activity is that we took it and exposed our community to our passion. It wasn’t solely a school activity. Individually, and as a team, we became active members in our school and our community. Between fundraisers, parades, volunteer work, and performances, there was never a time we weren’t trying to be involved. I wouldn’t have ever even attempted integrating myself into my school or my community without that, and I am so incredibly grateful I did.

Confidence has always been a facet of life that can be built and destroyed in a second. Why do we do that to each other? Why do we do that to ourselves?Color guard is the one thing I knew I could always take pride in.  It built my character, my confidence, and perspective. Spinning, dancing, and performing are incomparable ways to release my emotion without feeling the need to sensor it. It was because of guard I could feel. I could accept my emotions. I could accept myself. As my brother always told the marching band: Everything you do, you must do “With confidence!”

Not being in color guard in college is something I did not realize would affect me so much. In high school, even in the off-season, our commitment never ceased. I even traded summer babysitting for sabre lessons! We do whatever we must to fulfill our greatest potential. Again, this translates from guard experiences and skills to things I encounter every day. It will forever be applicable that we receive precisely what we put forth. I realized I must not only be committed to classes or activities I’m involved in; I must be committed to my life.

Color guard is beautiful in the inevitable expansion of your perspective. I myself rejuvenate

Evergreen HS Winter Guard SA, Photo by Michael Baldrey

by observing and thinking. When you’re too ignorant to accept a different perspective, so much of life is missed. Performing is about opening and connecting each of those perspectives within you. Whether it’s time to be a diva, a heartbroken lover, or a monster, we are able to be anyone and anything during those few minutes. Once you accept that for yourself, you are able to accept that when reading others. It is fascinating!

Whether it be respect, self- and world-actualization, or fun skills learned, everything color guard has provided me is extraordinarily interdisciplinary. Not many activities are able to fulfill that! I’ve finally been able to recognize respect, inspiration, self-discipline, and what it feels like to be rewarded for hard work. I want to be the one to inspire the next Linzi Garcia that comes around, whether or not it is even guard related. Because of what I took from those brutal, worthwhile, amazing years within learning in that environment, I finally got a slap to the face of what I had learned to value. In the moment, throughout a color guard career, we might only be considering our technique and skills within color guard, but now, and forever more, it’s all about considering the character you’ve built and how you emanate it.

If you would like to contribute as a guest guarding blogger send me an email with your post 300-800 words, a headshot and a performance shot to darciebooks@gmail.com. I will publish well written posts about the value of color guard in your life.

Pomona High School
Scholastic Open
Class of 2015

Guest Post by Guardling, Derek Hackett, of Pomona HS

I was asked a simple but exquisite question a few days back; What is the value of guard in my life?

Before I share the value of guard in my life, I feel I should explain what guard is to me

Guard, to me, is a place where a group of talented individuals come together and express themselves in ways they otherwise can’t.

Guard is about much more than the show or performers. It’s about painting a visual masterpiece of the music for the audience.

Pomona competed in Dayton, OH at WGI World Championships in SO

Pomona competed in Dayton, OH at WGI World Championships in SO

Before guard, I played football for a several years until I injured my knee.

I remember the first day I participated in guard. It was in the lunchroom after school where everyone saw me!

I was laughed at—called names…. I broke the “norm.”

We all know football players just don’t spin flags!

It was rough at first, served with a side of overwhelming. But, the care and compassion shown by the members and staff, helped me push through it. Guard became my safe place.

Guard will always be my safe place.

Guard shapes me as a person by teaching me essential life lessons I can use outside of guard.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that each toss… each spin…. each catch… is its own unique moment.

If something doesn’t go as planned—like a drop, or the next toss is a complete loss… I can learn from those moments and connect them to real life.

If I’m having a bad day, today, and things just aren’t going right, tomorrow is a new day. Why waste an opportunity to shine by letting yesterday affect today?

Guard is training me for the future by helping me become a master of multitasking. Because what other activities don’t expect me to have a list of at least ten things to think about every second?

Take my job at a pizza shop. I multitask all the time. I prepare food. Put that food in the oven. Then I have to keep track of what went in the oven when and what needs to come out in a specific order. I can juggle pizzas and breadsticks like I can juggle sabres!

Guard is not easy. That is a fact. I persevere through thick and thin with guard because, to me, there is no greater reward than performing.

There have been days where I wanted to chuck my equipment across the room and quit. Days I didn’t want to be there because I was sick, tired, annoyed by other members, or I didn’t want to get called out by staff.

When I feel overwhelmed and burned out, I recall the feeling I get inside while I’m performing under the lights which illuminate my bright, radiant flag.  I think about the audience applause when I nail my blade six on the hilt. Best yet, I remember the passion I feel in my heart when I’m on the floor.

I tell myself,

“Never stop performing! Head up toward the sky!, You’ve got this!”

So. What’s the value of guard in your life?