Thursday, July 09, 2009

Three Months Is a Long Time

I must admit I have temporarily/semi-permanently/who-knows-for-how-long dumped my blog in favor of Facebook.  Yes, Facebook, that delicious evil pastime that I once swore I'd never join nor enjoy.  But enough of that...on to what's been going on in my world, specifically my new hobby:  drum corps.

We're at the height of the season, now, rehearsing a couple of weekends a month on both Saturday and Sunday from 9am to dark as well as hornline sectionals Monday nights 6-9.  There are also optional Wednesday night "Drill Club" rehearsals from 7-10+pm.  I'm thoroughly enjoying all of it.  

In June I only had one day where I didn't have either work or rehearsal (or both), so it's keeping me busy, which isn't exactly a bad thing.  The current problem we have is the heat.  A couple of weeks ago the heat index was 114 degrees, and that can be dangerous if we're not careful.  The staff is very good about ensuring that we have sectionals (working on music and not marching on the field) during the hottest part of the day, but even in the shade the temps are well over 100 degrees with the heat index.  

I tend to drink 2 gallons of water + gatorade each day that we have a full rehearsal.  With no bathrooms at our rehearsal site, this might first seem like a problem, but it's not.  When you're sweating that much, and even though you're drinking as much as you think you can hold, you still don't have to use the bathroom except at lunch and dinner breaks.  When I cool down at lunch/dinner and the sweat dries, I can literally scrape salt off my arms.

Our corps website is HERE.  Our uniforms look nice (they're brand new), and we have a fun show, it's just not ready to perform yet.  Due to our fluctuating numbers, we've had to re-write the drill a few times, and we still don't know all of it.  If you're not familiar with how the marching/playing piece works, this may sound silly to you.  But for each shape we make on the field, there is a very specific set of coordinates that each person has to hit, and it takes lots of time and hundreds of repetitions to hit the set, play the music correctly, do it in time at tempo, step off at the same time, look good, etc.  

Regardless of not being ready right now, we have two shows next weekend.  One is Friday night the 17th, and the other is Sunday night the 19th.  While we've already done several standstills, these will be our first shows on the field marching.  And this is our hometown crowd, so we've GOT to be good.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

My endurance is improving, which is a very good thing.  I'm trying to think of something comparable, and this is what I came up with:  go run around the block for 10-12 minutes.  Now, do it again, but this time hold up a 3 1/2 pound weight in front of  your face, put on black and red clothes that cover you neck to wrist, top to ankle, add gauntlets, gloves, a hat that has no breathablility, throw in some 100+ plus heat, add that now you can only take a breath every 8-10 seconds, and you've got our performance situation.  Of course during rehearsal we don't wear the uniforms, but we do 'take it back and do it again' for hours.  Frequent water breaks are vital, and we make sure to continually hydrate ourselves.

Well, time is running short, so I'll have to stop this in mid-stream for now.


Blank Field said...

Can't you at least Tweet us from the field to keep all your fans here up to date?

UrbanStarGazer said...

Sheesh, I was getting so tired of seeing that "Dumped for Jesus" headline. 'Bout damn time.

Glad to hear you're doing well and having fun. A friend of mine went to some big drum corps competition thing a couple of weekends ago in the Los Angeles area and was raving about it. She's a flute player but not in a drum corp. She does play with some local symphony though -- not a professional one.

schell said...

Sounds like a lot of hard work...but you're enjoying it, so that's great.