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
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.
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