Unfortunately there comes a point in everyone’s guard career where they either age out or they just don’t have time for the sport anymore. In my case, I had just run out of time to give. As I progressed with my college education and my classes got more difficult, I realized that guard was something that I could no longer do. This was not for lack of love for the sport, I still miss spinning everyday and everytime I see a guard perform I get nostalgic about my days as a guardie. Every now and again I’ll watch shows that I performed in from high school and it’ll make me sad. Guard was such a huge part of my life in high school and during my freshman year of college and now I’m lucky if I get to hold a flag once a year. Guard gave me so much in the brief time that I was apart of it, and it’s really hard to let go.

However despite all the withdrawals one goes through when retiring from guard, there are some good things that come along with it. For example, going to competitions is a whole new experience. You get to see things from the other side and at the same time you still feel all the emotions from the guard performing because you know what it’s like. Whenever I see my high school guard perform, I still get nervous even though I don’t know anyone in the program anymore (#old). You also get to support your friends in a different way than you do when you share the floor with them. Sometimes just knowing that a former teammate and friend is in the audience cheering you on makes a world of difference and really helps settle the nerves.

And that almost makes it worth it.

Written By Madison Pappano