She grasps the five foot pole; listening to her teacher’s explanation. Frustration sweeps throughout her body because she can’t do it. “I can’t” or “it’s impossible” isn’t what her teacher, Mrs. Carlson, wants to hear. It’s not allowed. Her voice quavers while crying out in anger. She moves her right hand down the pole; with her thumb facing down. Then she sweeps it in a clockwise motion; ending with her pole vertical. When she gets to the top, she pushes her arm and the pole backwards behind her back; sweeping it once again in a clockwise motion. She ends it my pushing her arm and pole forward, sweeping it past her feet in a clockwise motion, and then tossing the pole in the air lightly; while catching it with her left hand with her thumb facing down. Her pole lands upwards vertically. She finally catches on to the difficult move. The flow of the pole matched the flow of her arm. Soon she realizes, Mrs. Carlson wasn’t just teaching her the trick; she was also teaching her to not give up because the tricks would get harder. Suddenly, she moves her hand up to the bruise on her eye. Her body shakes slightly as she rubs over the bruise. She thinks back to all the times her flag left marks, all the time she out into it, and all the fun times she had. Her heart goes faster each time she picks up her flag. The excitement of seeing the colors move in different shapes and sizes makes her feel warm inside. Colors shine across the field all because of her hard work. She knows all the hard work pays off once she performs. Her family smiles at her, making her feel even more confident. She isn’t ignorant though, she knows not very many people watch their show. They walk around during halftime getting snacks or talking to friends. Her goal is to get them to watch. Mrs. Carlson pushes her to never give up. She refuses to do so when she performs. Giving up is never the choice she chooses. To be a better group, she realizes you can’t doubt yourself. She always pushes forward; no matter how many bruises she gets. The “Mike Toss” is the next move she is learning. Mrs. Carlson calls it that because she saw it first performed by a guy named Mike and doesn’t know the proper name. She takes her pole and lays it horizontally across her stomach. Her arm glides down to the end of the pole where her flag is. She strips it and wraps her fingers around the top of the pole. Her hand lifts up the bottom of the pole and pulls it up slightly. She pulls the top in a downward motion and tosses the flag lightly in the air. When it comes back down she pulls back; scared it will hurt her. After several more tries, she catches it in the same position where she first started. She continues tossing it to make sure she can do it more than once. Her heart leaps when she gets the hang of it. Tonight she’s performing again, in hopes of having a crowd watching. The marching band steps onto the field with a steady pulse. Her heart swells with pride as she marches, because she knows she will never give up.
May 10, 2012