High school was an interesting time for us all. I don't know many people who refer to those years as their "golden years"; if a person does, I'm not sure what to make of it. Hormones and first loves and heartbreak? I wouldn't go back if you paid me.
I was on color guard for every year of high school (9th-12th). In my junior year, I was co-captain. Senior year brought me the title of captain. I loved my guard girls, and I felt confident in my abilities. I could spin, and I knew it.
Our guard instructor, however, made me feel pretty bad about myself. If he wasn't demanding weight loss, he was commenting on other physical features, like eyebrows (for me) or underarms (for another). After every performance at a competition--where we nearly always won or at least placed--he told us that we "looked like shit." It was a classic emotionally abusive relationship. He was cruel, but we were certain that he did it because he wanted to make us better. We didn't recognize that he was ridiculous until others pointed it out, yet we would defend him if anyone said a word against him.
We had to buy two-pound wrist and ankle weights to wear at practices. We wore them to run the mandatory two miles around the track every other night and to practice dance and the routine, even though it's not recommended to wear them for running or brisk walking because of the risk of injury.
I felt fat. And ugly. And worthless. To me, the ability to spin was the only thing that made me a worthwhile individual. The chance to lead my girls to victory was my main goal. As I mentioned, I was about 160 pounds back then. If I hadn't already been wrapped up in my weight, I was after that. No one explained that I was at a healthy weight or that I was probably pushing my body too hard. I don't think anyone knew.
If I could send a message to my high school self, it would be this: You are beautiful. You are loved. Please love yourself.