By Allison Owen Following last weekend's very productive camp I was greatly inspired to practice. Monday after school I spent an hour or so working on flag and rifle exercises, as well as marching basics. After I had practiced I wasn't as sore as I had been all day at school. I decided that this practice would be good for me to do every day to prepare for next camp. Sure enough the weather had other plans: It rained every day the rest of that week. I was slightly disheartened, but I still worked on some rifle exercises and marching inside.

Allison Owen
This week at school, my high school hosted the area's concert band festival. Since I knew I would be working concessions and helping bands find their way around the school, I wore my corps jacket just in case someone knew what drum corps is. Unfortunately no one noticed. One time when I was bored sitting at the concession table I put up a sign saying "Ask me about drum corps," so maybe someone would read it and ask me something; but that didn't happen. Instead our percussion director, Dan, who marched Spirit, walked up and said "Tell me about drum corps, Allison." A little while later I had to take scores up to the judges and when I came back my sign was gone. I decided not to make another one, especially since it had just been in fun. After two long days of working at the concession stand I had the wonderful opportunity to attend SCGC Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn., with an independent winter guard from my area this weekend. I had wanted to go but had no way of getting there, so I asked their director if there was room for me to tag along. It just so happened that Daniel needed someone to work his booth -- The Pageantry Group -- while the guard rehearsed and performed, so I was lucky enough to be able to go. Of course I took my corps jacket with me; I figured that surely there were people there who knew what drum corps is. Despite this thought I was pleasantly surprised at the number of corps member jackets I saw this weekend. There were two corps recruiting booths set up -- both of which tried to recruit me -- and I was able to watch some shows at their booths. When I worked at The Pageantry Group's booth I was able to watch many people who passed by and I was even able to talk to some drum corps members, both alumni and current. I talked to one guy, Chris, who marched with Court of Honor last year and we had a long discussion on favorite shows, corps and such. It's always nice to be able to have a conversation with someone about drum corps without having to explain it or having them think I'm crazy. As I watched guards this weekend I realized how much I love being in guard; I just love spinning -- anything I can. I love performing and sharing the product of my hard work with other people. The announcer this weekend summed it up when he was introducing the guards for retreat by stating, "Countless hours of hard work and preparation have gone into these shows." I think that nothing is just handed to you in life and you have to work for it, so in some weird way I enjoy the pain and hard work that goes into anything I do. Whenever I'm starting to hurt or get tired and want to give up I'm reminded of the quote, "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever." This helps me put the hours of hard work into perspective and makes me want to keep going. Some may think I'm crazy for "enjoying" my pain, but I know that in the end my pain is worth the pride that comes from the product of my hard work. I know this summer is going to be one of the hardest times of my life. I also know that in the end I'll be a better person because of the hard times and that it is going to be an experience of a lifetime. I can't wait.