It is a very bittersweet time for me. At around this time of year, for the last three years, I have been looking forward to a care-free summer of drum corps. While on tour, I didn’t have to worry about work, problems, or anything else.
During that time, it was just me, my drum, and doing the best job I could. Relaxing wasn’t an option. All day, you were striving to do the best you can, and put on that perfect show.No matter the temperature, humidity, or precipitation, we were out there on that field.
Last summer, while it was the best summer, was the worst summer.
This past summer, I “aged-out.”
In Drum Corps International, you can only march until your 21 years-old. In the winter of 2010, I turned the big 2-1, meaning that it was going to be my last summer. I was in a state of denial. through the season, During the Age-Out Ceremony, the night before finals, the fact, ‘Hey, I won’t be marching again…’, finally hit me like a sack of bricks.
After the season, I regressed back into that state of denial. As the season grew closer, I itched more and more for the opportunity to run around a field all summer.
But that is not the case.
Instead, I am left with the memories of sunscreen, sweat, and the horrible ‘6-to-5 stop-sign drill’ that was introduced to the drum line during the lovely Pennsylvania summer (Note the sarcasm). As much as we were pushed, as much as we had to push the ground, and all the ‘Captain Crunch’ I had to do, I miss it.
Over the last couple of week, I have been feeling very nostalgic. I have been really missing the drum corps activity. I read all the statuses of my friends, and wish I could be with them. Instead, I just have the mp3’s on my iPod, and the YouTube clips to occupy my time, and feed my drum corps appetite.
Even though I am done, I still apply the life skills I learned in drum corps to my every day life. Pushing yourself, doing everything to the ‘max,’ and perfection, are all stuff that I apply to everything I do. In my writing, videos, and everything else, I do it “the drum corps way.” That is the only way I know how now. That is all I have known the past three summers. Why change it?
To all of my instructors: I thank you, for everything you have taught me. All of those values that you have instilled in me, how hard you pushed me, and the laughs on the way.
To all of my friends: Thank you. For all the ups and down, you were always there. A special thanks to all of you in the drum line. We always had that special bond, which I will never forget. Over the last three seasons, I have met a lot of people. Those are people I am going to remember for the rest of my life.
To everyone reading this: Just do it. Try everything. It doesn’t hurt to try, Do everything to the max. And finally, don’t take anything for granted. Because as the old-addage goes, “every good thing has to end.”