Aug 7, 2009 9:44am
WOW! With everything our corps has faced over the past week last night was a pleasant surprise. We left Buffalo a day early to avoid rain, only to arrive in Muncie, IN for a very soggy rehearsal block. Also, just like many corps this season, we have had people out early this week with colds and some flu bugs. Thankfully we are on the road to recovery and after last night there is no doubt about our strength as a corps.
Dave Gibbs had brought us all together after arriving in Indiana and told us that “Desire overcomes all doubts.” After last night there is no doubt in our minds…only hunger in our hearts. The end is just around the corner and the excitement is in the air.
Today is Semifinals as well as the age-out ceremony. I can’t believe it is already here! Looking back on the season is seems as though it has gone by in a flash, that just yesterday I was packing up the car to move to Concord for all-days. Now, here we are, one rehearsal block away from our Friday night performance followed closely by the event I have been waiting for for 6 years! Thus today is a day for age-outs and this is for them…
It’s August 8th, 2009 and the journey is finally over. The members have just stepped out of Lucas Oil Stadium and into the cool, humid night air of Indianapolis. They are greeted by family, friends and fans all welcoming them with open arms, proud of their seasons’ accomplishments. Some members’ faces sport beaming smiles, others’ gleam with joy, some glisten with tears, and still others’ show feelings of relief. There are those that look back through the tunnel to the bright green and white of the turf field; their minds and hearts are flooded with bitter-sweet emotion. They will miss the world they have known for so long. As they stepped off the field for the last time they walked into a scary unknown; a beautiful sense freedom. These are the age-outs of Drum Corps International’s 2009 season.
Age-outs leave behind them a life that, at times, feels like a dream; an alternate world they step into just for the summer. It has been compared to stepping into Never Never Land, the world of the lost boys and Peter Pan. They have spent the better part of twelve weeks, practicing countless hours to perform dozens of shows on a tour that will has taken them thousands of miles around the country and allow them to perform in front of hundreds of thousands of fans.
For many age-outs they are not just leaving behind an activity they have known for the past season. Rather, they are saying goodbye to a world they have lived in for the past several years. Since their early days of high school they have finished the spring semester and immediately moved away from their family and friends to begin camps, full day rehearsals, and touring with their drum and bugle corps. They have spent every fall reflecting on the summer before, every winter going to camps for the following season, and every spring training for the life they would begin in just a few short weeks.
Now they are taking off their uniforms for the last time; casing up their equipment for the long trek home. They hug their fellow corps members good-bye as they head home to return to their normal routines. Each age-out now sees a new life ahead of them; a new and exciting world waiting just beyond the horizon. They stepped off the field much like a lost boy leaving Never Never Land; they have journeyed out of the land of make believe and into the life of responsibility. They return home and it is just as none of their summers had ever existed.
The memories created through years of dedication to the activity, memories made both in and out of uniform, will be ones these age-outs carry with them through the rest of their lives. They will never forget the blood, sweat, and tears shed countless times during a season. They will never forget the people who have made them stronger and given them courage to push the limits. They will never forget the experiences they had in practice, while traveling, and with some of the closest friends they will ever have. The age-outs will never forget the feeling they had right before they stepped through the tunnel and out of Lucas Oil Stadium; the feeling they had as they walked off the green turf field…for the very last time.
Phrase of the Day: “I’ve gotta feelin’, that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night!” – Black Eyed Peas