10 F***’S You Stop Giving as an Evolved /Old Guard Instructor

debaseinstallCoaching With Intent, Winter Guard

Last weekend I attended my first full regional in several years. Every year I go to regionals with guards, but not from beginning to end like I did in Atlanta. It’s been a while that I’ve gone Friday through Sunday non-stop. Throughout the weekend I realized a couple of things about myself that I wasn’t fully aware of until I was in the heat of the many moments a regional can bring. I learned that staying up past 11:00 just because you can isn’t fun anymore and as my comrades and I hunched over our glasses of wine after rehearsal, we gave one collective sigh when the bartender asked if we wanted another. “No. We need to go to bed. We’re old. Will there be an early bird special tomorrow?” As I took my last sip of the lovely Cabernet I was drinking, I realized that somewhere between 1996 and 2016, I got old and so did the rest of us. I also realized that I stopped giving a fuck about a few things. There I said it. I said fuck in this blog. Shhhh….don’t tell anyone. I guess I don’t give a fuck, so tell whoever you want.
I realized though, that with age comes the ability to throw out the window the cares of youth, so the ability to care about what really matters makes it to the forefront of your focus. Being in the moment and focusing on the kids and my friends is what matters to me. A good crowd response matters to me. Treating the show host with respect matters to me. Thanking volunteers along the way matters and finding ways to inspire those around me matters. The kids having a positive experience matters. The following list is a collection of fucks I realized I didn’t give anymore and wanted to share them with you.
Placement between 6thand 8th place

I can remember back in the day when I actually had discussions at headquarters in Dayton about the difference between 6thor 8th place. I can remember getting angry when I got 6thover 5th. I mean seriously. No one remembers. No one cares and I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, much less the placement of some guard stuck in 1998.
Critique

I use to hate critique. I was so nervous. Oh my God the judges! Well…thanks for being old, I know almost all of them and have something on them. They in turn most likely have something on me as well. So, it’s three minutes of the classic Mexican standoff. Who is going to shoot first?

“So I listened to your tape. It was great, but your score….and remember that one weekend we judged together back in 2006? I still have the pics.”
“Yeah I remember. Do you remember two years later in 2008 at that band show in St. Louis?”
“Crap. Thanks for the score. Will I see you in Dayton?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there…on your prelims panel.”
“I have the pics…”
“I remember St. Louis,” they say as time is called.
Designer Temper Tantrums

Designers…they are so funny! “Holy mother of God the techs changed count 4 of the sabre toss! It’s going to kill the show. We won’t make finals now!”  IT’S JUST SO DRAMATIC!!
I can remember back as a little whipper snapper of a technician when designer tantrums actually scared me. Now I just secretly laugh. (Not out loud of course…because this girl has learned.)
I also enjoy watching younger staff members get the brunt of a tantrum while they just stand there with that deer in headlights look.
“I don’t know what I did?”
“You breathed today. That’s all you need to know and that’s the only logic I can give you. Now go and pretend to clean something already clean.”
My Outfit at the Local Circuit Show or Any Prelims Show Before Noon

Who has time for that? I can barely remember to even put on pants anymore, much less coordinate an outfit for a show in the middle of Florida’s ass. Even at premiere this year, we got done with practice and I realized I forgot pants for the show. Seriously…pants. I tried to coordinate a nice red sweater and scarf with sweat pants. The rest of the staff…the younger staff…wasn’t having it. I had to make a stop at Target.
The Skinny 20 Something Guard Instructor with Long Blonde Hair Who Has Yet to Age Out

Yeah…she needs to go away. None of us like her as she’s too thin for my fat nacho’s eating butt. Oh and while we’re at it…the skinny twenty something boy who sucks in his cheeks as he walks on to the floor with perfect posture with his Triple A guard and stands on the 50 to pretend to fix the center. I’m always like, “You know your guard is on the Regional A sheet right?” Yeah I don’t care about them anymore. There isn’t a line at the concession stand. Time to exit the gym with grace.

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That One Guard You Can Never Beat…EVER…Because They Write the Same Crap Year After Year After Year

Not last year. Not 5 years ago. Not ever. You are never ever ever ever, going to beat them, because their kids have been doing the same phrase since they were born. So suck it up and accept defeat. Once you stop giving a crap about that one guard, then getting 8th place over 6thplace becomes so much easier.
That World Class Show You’ve Heard So Much About

Yeah I don’t care. I’m sure at some point I’ll see them. Maybe prelims at the next regional or semi-finals in Dayton. I have found that there is usually a nap for me to take sometime around World Class and if there isn’t a nap, then there’s certainly a cocktail with someone fun.
“No. I didn’t see them today.”
“No. Chances are I won’t watch the video posted on Facebook. I have a life.”

“Who? They are in World now? When did that happen?”
“They’ve been in World for 4 years! Wow. Where have I been? Oh that’s right…the bar.”
Oh Hell…Just Being in World Class

Yeah I don’t miss World Class. They work too, hard. Now I do miss walking on the floor at finals on Saturday night, but I realized that if I just help someone pull their floor in a hot outfit, people will think I taught that program. It’s so much easier than actually cleaning that craziness of vignettes that have multiple phrases of behind the back, under the leg, up in the air and catch over the nose moments.
That judge Who is Hell Bent on Making Sure to Send you a “Message” Every Time You See Them Since the Day You Were a Skinny 20 Something

“Oh for the love of God. HE’S STILL JUDGING!”

Yeah, I stopped giving a shit about that person years ago. Can’t make them like my writing style and apparently the incense I lit around their judging area didn’t help, so I’ll just suck it up and accept my obnoxious, “Yeah I still think you suck” score from them. There is one particular judge I’m convinced has my picture on a dart board in his house.
The Score from the Regional a Million Miles Away

This conversation.

“Oh girl. Did you see that Treseme Blue Gold World got a 97.3 at the So Cal Regional!!
“I don’t care.”
“Can you believe that!”
“Yes, because they have been doing the same phrases since they were born. Now go away and leave me to my wine and early bird special.”
What anyone thinks about me including but not limited to…other instructors, judges, WGI, and just about anyone who I’ve tried to change for

Don’t care unless you want to have a cocktail or dinner with me. I just don’t.
The kid who drops on the 50

Yeah…I’m lying about this one. I give a f***. A serious one. Seriously….they need to catch their shit. 

Oh and there’s more than 10. I don’t give a…well you know.