Saturday, August 15, 2015

Determination, Pride and Passion

Today's post is about determination, pride and passion. I felt this a long time ago, when my friend and I were writing and performing my songs. I was determined to get the song where I wanted it and took great pride in the songs when we were done, all because I was passionate about the words and the way it made me feel to write a song!

This summer, my twenty year old son took a journey down a road I would have run from, and fast! All in the name of determination, pride and passion. He is determined to be a high school marching band or drumline instructor. Part of the road to being a drumline instructor is to march in Drum Corp. If you don't know what a Drum & Bugle Corp is, it's non profit marching band on a competitive level, with only brass, percussion and color guard. There are different classes, the Open Class and the World Class. There are twenty two corps in World Class and about twenty six in Open Class. My son played Bass 5 drum with the World Class Boston Crusaders, who celebrated their 75th Anniversary this year. They finished in tenth place in the 2015 DCI Series.

Now, being in a drum corp means sleeping on school gymnasium floors on blow up mattresses, eating meals that the corp can afford or that are donated, practicing 12 hours a day, sometimes in over 100 degree heat, and when the are competing they travel overnight, sleep a few  hours and then begin practice. Sometimes their overnight trips are 3 hours meaning they have to unload at 3 or 4am, blow up their mattress, sleep a few hours and then get up around 8 or 9am and practice. Sometimes their overnight ride is 8 hours. They don't always sleep on the bus, no these kids practice on their overnight drives. My son is about six foot two and he said when he did sleep on the bus, he slept in the aisle, because he didn't fit well in the seat. They did laundry every two weeks and got 3 count them 1,2,3 all day, day offs in three months.

Yes, it was hard and yes the kids joked about the heat, being stuck in a bathroom when a storm came up suddenly on their practice, loading and unloading equipment daily and showering in groups and in about 5 minutes. But these kids always had smiles on their faces and got up the next day ready to work. When they put on a show, they were dramatic and hungry. You could see it in their faces, their movements and that they improved their score with every show! My son told me that they would make changes to the routine the day of a competition and nail it! Theses kids work harder than most adults at the careers they chose. It's inspiring and uplifting.

I was not just proud of my son for have the determination, pride and passion to complete this awesome journey, but I was proud of every one of those kids. They are not all kids, they range in age from 15-21, and they all worked equally as hard, in the name of their Drum Corp. I took my son a whole bunch of beef jerky and Twizzlers (mainly for if they didn't like what food was served) so he and the bassline (5 kids) would have enough to keep them satisfied. I also got them animal sponge water toys they could get wet and throw at each other to keep cool. These type of things meant the world to these kids. But still, they rarely complained, unless you were messing with their practice time!

These kids have inspired me to work a little harder to achieve my passion in life. I have a new found desire and push to finish writing the stories for my daughter. Losing my dog really affected my ability to write about her, but now I know I have to finish. So, book two here I come!

Congratulations and Happy 75th Anniversary to the Boston Crusaders, y'all were truly awesome this year! I can't wait for next year and hopefully, my son will be marching with you for his last year.

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