Opinion: Color Guard inspires respect


It’s happened again, friends. One of my long-held beliefs has fallen wayside. Much like Tae Kwon Do, I have a new-found respect for Color Guard.

Guard, for you amateurs, is the performance counterpart to marching band, aka “the girls with the flags.” Before my oldest daughter joined the high school team, I had them pegged as being not quite athletic enough to play sports or musical enough to be in the band. Basically, I assumed they’d all been cut from cheerleading. Granted, I had absolutely no basis for these claims, and in fact, never knew a single person involved in Guard. But I was certain I didn’t want my kids participating.

My apologies to all Guard families! I couldn’t have been more wrong in my judge-y analysis! My rising ninth grader has been hard at work for a month (yes, they started in May), and I have already seen a huge difference in her confidence and work ethic. Not that she was lacking in the self-esteem department, but since her younger sister got heavy into competitive dance, I’ve sensed some jealousy and a tad bit of “I wish I could wear make-up and costumes and be center-stage, too.”

Enter Guard. After two intense weeks of learning basic flag holding, spinning and tossing, and then a choreography mini-camp, the team put on a preview show. My husband and I were absolutely blown away. Our often goofy, in-the-middle-of-teenage-awkward-phase, sometimes-personal-hygiene-challenged daughter suddenly transformed into a gorgeous, graceful and strong young woman who had beautiful lines and facial expression. How did this happen? What kind of voodoo magic were her coaches wielding?

Turns out, Guard’s secret is building team spirit and togetherness through hard work and accountability. They focus on the whole person, with equal parts physical, emotional and mental exercises to get these girls to believe in themselves and to push for perfection. Our daughter is exhausted almost every night, but I’ve never seen her so passionate about anything.

So thank you, Color Guard, for opening my eyes to your worth. I’m looking forward to adding “Guard Mom” to my minivan! Peace out.

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