By Allison Owen It's been said that "Pain is only weakness leaving the body." I guess that would mean that I am a whole lot stronger after this weekend at camp. Wow, 2005 is going to be a year to remember. I am sitting here, still amazed at how well camp went. Compared to last year we are already way ahead. It's so exciting to think about how last year, the guard was working on basics and this year at the same time we're working on our opener work. It's just incredible for me to see how hard we're working as a corps already, and it's only the first camp.

Allison Owen at 2004 World Championships.
So yes, it was quite a great weekend. But I'm not going to lie and say that it doesn't hurt, because it most definitely does. There is probably not one muscle in my body that does not ache right now. When I woke up on Sunday morning with frizzy hair and my eyes swollen, I was the one hobbling around saying, "I hate drum corps." Every time I said it, though, someone around would say "Oh come on, Alli, no you don't. You love it and you know it." They're right.

For me personally, It's especially hard at camps because when 7 a.m. comes -- way too early, might I add -- my body starts screaming, "Why are you doing this to me again?!" I lay there, aching, wondering, "Why I do this crazy thing called drum corps." But when I think about it, I just realize that I love it. There's no simple explanation. It's one of those things you cannot explain.

So many times I'm asked why I do it. Why would anyone voluntarily sleep on a hard gym floor every night, and eat holding their plate? Why would someone want to run around in the hot sun -- or freezing cold, in this weekend's case -- all day? Why would anyone want to stand in spin block and do 5-5-5-68-69? Why would anyone possibly want to run and breathe in step with around 100 other individuals every morning at a set tempo? Why would anyone pay for an 11-minute show to be beaten into his or her being, to the point where it could be done while sleeping? There is no answer. Anyone who marches corps knows that there is something inside of you that keeps pushing you further than you ever thought you could go. Something makes you come back. Call me crazy, but there is just something to love in getting worn out. I don't know what it is exactly, but I love running until I can't breathe, spinning until my arms feel like they're going to fall off, doing both at the same time, and just basically working harder than I ever have in my life. It's something that cannot really be explained unless you have experienced it yourself. There's something in all the pain that you grow to love more and more, and you just can't stop being a part of it. This weekend I "rediscovered" what drum corps really is. I felt the pain and I loved every minute of it -- well, almost every minute of it. My body is beginning to get used to "corps life" again and I'm even beginning to go back in my old habits. Sunday morning, Brittany told me I had been tossing in my sleep; it's just something that my body somehow "remembers" doing. I just love it. There's no reason why. I just get out there and enjoy the pain. I know that in the end, I'm going to be stronger than I was, and we are going to be incredible. I cannot wait to see what awesome things are in store for us. 2005 is going to be an amazing summer, definitely one to remember.
Allison Owen, 16, is a junior at Sullivan Central HS in Blountville, Tenn. She's in my second year in the Memphis Sound guard and enjoys dancing, writing, English, guard, photography, having fun and performing. For college she would love to attend the University of Oklahoma and major in journalism or English; however, she'll probably end up at the University of Memphis for in-state tuition's sake.