Sometimes I resent the very existence of Marching Band. I don't even march, and yet, the grueling three-hour-long rehearsals four times a week plus eleven hour camp days and away football games and competitions that inhibit us from getting home until the early hours of the morning wear down on me. The lack of social life that band members possess between the months of August and early November kills.
The thing is - and if anybody from band or school read this, they'd probably think I'm a freak (who doesn't?) for admitting it - but I can't deny the pride and satisfaction felt at the end of a grueling season. It's the end of the year, you're at the last competition, and you've played the show for the very last time. You know you've just given the performance of your life, and you're so ecstatic that you can't help but smile even when you know you're supposed to look fierce and intimidating. But you have absolutely no idea how anyone else has done. You stand out on the field, not allowed to move a muscle, and they start calling results. Your anxiety grows as the numbers get smaller and smaller. The band could very well have made tenth, but you didn't. Not ninth, either. Or seventh. Or sixth. Or fifth. Or fourth. They call third place, and you don't have to hear the first full syllable to know it's not you. You can't believe you've done this well. Yout start calming yourself down. 'Second', you think, 'second would be so great.' But what you really want is to hear that you've exceeded your wildest miracles, by some miracle beaten out every other band and gotten first. Then, the announcer calls second place. It's not you. You've won. You want to scream and jump and hug every person in the band, every person who has stood out there with you for twenty hours of rehearsal a week, in the heat, in the rain, in the freezing cold. But still, you have to stand still.
When they call first place, you listen carefully, to make damn sure they call your bands' name, and there's not some fluke. And they do.