In the spring of 8th grade, I tried out for the freshman spots on the Flag line. I got it! In my 4 years of high school, I stayed with it. I made friends. I competed. I am proud to say I was part of the #1 flag line in the country!! We were for so long, they changed how things were judged and pretty much eliminated our category. lol We became a part of another category right after I graduated.
Now I have a TON of knee problems. Will need surgery eventually. My knee issues are due to my Flag line years. All my hard work and practices. All the dancing and running and marching on asphalt at practice, then a nice mushy field for the show. If I'd known then that I would be having all these issues (some days it hurts to walk or even just sit still), would I have done it?
We had basic training in early spring. All day every day for 3-4 days during spring break. I'm talking 8 am til 5-6 at night. Then practice twice a week until the summer. One for the basics, one for dance training.
Then routine week in June. A week of the same hell. Seven full days of it!! Practice all day, every day!! We break for lunch. That's it. A couple of water breaks, but hey.... we were #1. After this we still practiced twice a week. Then came band camp.
Yes...band camp!! This where our routine hit the field with the band. 8 am - 5/6 pm days a week. 8 am til 9 pm 2 nights a week. We break once in the morning for water, once for lunch in the afternoon. Once in the late afternoon for water. On the later days we broke for dinner too.
Then practice twice a week until school started. Then we had a 2 hour practice everyday after school. Hard when you became a junior and had to dash off to work after practice. Then we had 2 hour practice before football games, preformed at the game. Saturdays were a 2-4 practice before competitions. Then we went to the competition where we warmed up and practiced until time to preform. It was hard. It was grouling at times. Try practicing and warming up out in the snow, in 2 piece spandex!! Regionals and Nationals.... All day practice every day!!
It wasn't easy. It was hard work. It sucked up any social life you hoped to have. Your social became one with those that you knew in the line, in the band. Life long friendships were formed.
Would I have done it differently? Would I have not done it? Knowing that there are days were all the pain meds in my cabinet still don't do enough for the pain and it hinders my ability as a mom?
Well...Differently...YES!! Not done it...HELL NO!! I would have worn better shoes, not Keds. I would have worn knee braces. But I would NEVER have NOT done it.
I made great friends during that time (some I sitll have). I made memories I will forever cherish. I learned about discipline and hard work. I learned about rewards and consequences. I learned what so many young people today take for granted. Life is not easy. It's just gonna hand things to you. You have to work for what you want. And you have to work hard. But the payoff is worth it.
I pray my kids will be a part of something that will teach them the same things. Yes it was hard. Yes we complained. But we loved it. We did. It was a brotherhood/sisterhood. It was blood, sweat, tears...literally. But when you are named #1, it was all worth it. We cried together. We competed together. We won and lost (as a band) together. I learned what friendship was. I learned what hard work and determination could do. I learned that anything worth having, never comes easy. But the work you put in, is what you get out. I learned to deal with disappointment (something the youth of today needs to do if you ask me).
Done it differntly, hell ya. Never done...hell no!