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.
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?