Kim (Waller) Nash wrote this post as part of our Glassmen alumni blog series. She was a member of the color guard from 1997-1999. Below, Kim describes five effects being a member of the Glassmen had on her everyday life.
1. “Never be late.”
I am habitually early. Literally, everywhere I go, everything I do — I’m early.
My husband and I both work, and likewise we share the duties of the household. Each week we take turns running the kids around to different activities. My kids hate it when it’s my turn to take them. They grow tired of getting there first, and having to sit in the car to wait until even the leader arrives. I wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. I arrive to work 15 minutes early. If there is snow or ice on the ground, I leave even earlier to allow extra time. I once sat outside the location of a job interview for 45 minutes because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t late. (I even drove to the location the day before to be sure I knew exactly where I was going.)
This may have actually been caused by high school marching band, as my teacher was former drum corps — but it was definitely ingrained during my time at drum corps.
“Strive for excellence.”
I have to be the best in everything I do. I never get bored learning new things.
Most of the people I work with are happy with the amount of information they have stored inside their brains. They know what they need to know in order to do their job, and they’re happy with that. If they never learn another thing, that’ll be fine with them. I can’t stop. I have to know more. I have to understand more. I can’t put a puzzle together half way and let it sit; I have to finish it. I have to know how all of the pieces fit together and I NEED the big picture.
I feel as if I always have to be armed with the knowledge and information to get through any situation that may come up. I have found myself in situations where I was not prepared, and it was the worst feeling in the world. Likewise, when I get to the point where there is simply nothing more to learn because I know everything there is to know about something, I get bored.
I rarely get sick. I have perfect attendance at work. Sometimes I think this is a mom thing, but then I realize it all goes back to my time with the Glassmen.
While I can’t always avoid sickness, I make it a point to be prepared for it before it hits, and can usually fight it off beforehand. On the first sign of a snotty kid, I start doping up with OJ like it’s going out of style. When I DO get sick, I usually just suck it up. If I don’t go to work, I won’t get paid. If I don’t get out of bed, the laundry or dishes won’t get done, the bills won’t get paid, and it’s going to suck even worse when I do decide to get up. So I don’t hesitate. I just get up and do my job.
“Suck it up.”
I rarely complain. Unless you are one of a handful of really close friends, you will rarely hear me complain. I listen to enough complaints every day that I simply do not enjoy being a whiner.
Not everyone who complains is whining, I realize — but it was instilled in me early on to take complaints to someone who can do something about it. If nothing can be done about it, then you’re really just whining. The sun was almost always too hot. Neither the bus ride nor the gym floors were ever really comfortable enough to get a full-night’s rest. You deal with it.
Most of what life throws at me is just crap you have to deal with. Glassmen prepared me for that.
“Friendships mean more.
Most people can count the number of true friends on one hand … real friends. People you can call on for literally anything. Everyone else falls into the category of acquaintance. I’d help an acquaintance to the extent of my ability. I’d go out of my way to help a stranger if I see someone in need. But true friends — people who I would do anything for — well, I can’t count them on one hand. Not even two. Even people I haven’t seen in years, many of the brothers and sisters I have made through drum corps, I would literally drop anything for if they needed me.
I am very fortunate in life thus far and have not needed much help (other than a shoulder to cry on periodically), but I am confident that if and when I DO need help, if anything ever happened to me, said brothers and sisters would be there — most without even giving it a second thought.
This post is part of our alumni blog series. If you’re interested in contributing, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.