By Allison Owen In my house (the old one, not the new one yet), the computer is upstairs in this loft sort of room that overlooks the living room. So I'm sitting up here thinking of what I was going to write while my family is watching the movie "Friday Night Lights." I had been hearing bits and pieces of it when I heard something that hit me. One of the guys in the movie said, "I'll miss the heat," and another responded with, "I'll miss the lights." Now I know this is a movie about Texas high school football, I don't have to watch the movie to know that, but that's something you can relate to corps as well.
OK, so I'm only 16. I age out in 2010 -- July birthday -- and that seems like a long time from now. In some ways, it is. There are many more summers to come for me. I was lucky enough to "discover" the world of drum corps early enough that I have plenty of opportunities in my future. Some people aren't that lucky. There are many corps members that only get one year-not by choice-because they find out about corps too late. Even if someone only gets one summer of corps, at the end the members have so many incredible memories. I know that I have enough to last me a lifetime, and I've still got six summers to go -- I hope. That's a long time, so it's my goal to make these seasons the best I possibly can. There's a saying that's passed around in corps -- and probably sports teams as well -- that can be very inspirational if you think about it: "Championships are won while the stands are still empty." It's January and some may think that I'm talking crazy, but most corps members know that this is when it all begins. The season is set by what happens now. The pace of the summer begins in the winter camp months. What we do now indirectly affects what happens in mid-August. The time in between camps is up to the individual corps members. The staff isn't going to come to our houses to make us practice or get in shape; it's up to us. It's a matter of how badly we as members want it. The staff can want it, but we're the ones who have to get out on the field night after night and perform. I know I probably haven't been as dedicated as I want to be, and that's going to change. I want the corps to be the best that we can be. So I'm going to push myself to work hard between camps to make the corps better. When August rolls around I want to be able to look back and know that I have absolutely no regrets. I want to know without a doubt that I pushed myself as hard as I could all season and I couldn't have done anything better. So I can keep hyping camp this coming weekend, but that isn't going to make me better. I know what I have to do, so I just have to do it. That's something corps has taught me: Self-discipline. I have to make myself work as hard as I can -- even if I don't want to. I may be a little weird, but I know that when 2011 comes I want to be able to look back at my time in corps and know that I did the best I possibly could. Sure I'll miss the heat of the summer and I'll miss the lights of the stadiums when it's all said and done, but I don't want to wonder what would have happened if. Let's get out there and make 2005 the best season yet! 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.
Allison Owen at 2004 World Championships.