Posted in December 2013 Challenge

A time I felt passionate and alive

For my day 19 post, I am writing about prompt #18: “A time I felt passionate and alive.”

When thinking about this prompt, I imagined the types of answers another person might give. This prompt is perfect for thrillseekers who might fly out of planes — something I don’t imagine myself ever having the courage to do, though I do get a lot of joy out of flying in airplanes.

I thought about several experiences I’ve had that made me feel “passionate and alive.” Of these, one I’m going to briefly highlight for you today is my many years in marching band.

I joined the school band in 6th grade, but my school system didn’t really have a middle school marching band program, so I didn’t do a formal marching band until I was in 9th grade. From 9th grade until the end of my college career, I was a member of a marching band.

mdb exhilarationIn high school, my favorite part of marching band was the band competitions. I’ve never been a big football fan, so I wasn’t in the band for the “free football tickets” or those types of perks, but I loved performing pregame and halftime. High school competitions, particularly Bands of America and the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational, were my greatest pleasure during that time.

I didn’t mind getting up early on a Saturday morning and getting on a cramped school bus, because the mix of nerves and excitement about the competition performance overpowered it all. Even if we didn’t win, I was proud to be in my band program and our progress at that point in the season.

In college, I didn’t get to compete in the same way, but as a member of The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, I got to experience a different kind of energy in performing pregame and halftime shows at football games.

My favorite thing about my college marching band experience was performing the pregame show. Thousands of fans cheering as we performed, even though many of them knew exactly what was going to happen next. I loved the traditions that were and still are deeply embedded in the Alabama fan base. It’s an exhilarating sight and feeling from the field perspective.

The feeling I got before and after all those halftime performances could be compared to a runner’s high. Even if I was sick before the game or competition, my energy always came back at the sound of drum taps or a soundtrack.

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