Posted by: LucidMystery | September 30, 2008

Ode to Paintballing

So I was just thinking about the today: I have not been paintballing in FOREVER!! My poor shiny metallic pink-red gun is just sitting stagnantly on the shelf in my room back home. *Tear* So I’m thinking I need to go sometime..soon. That will give me another mission here in Pittsburgh, find either an indoor park or an outdoor deal. Woodsball is best; then you can wear camo. I rock the camo.

Now, let me clarify for those of you who have refrained from this activity because you’re afraid it hurts. Ok, well it kinda does, but really, after the first several hits, you won’t even notice them anymore! Seriously, I always check myself over after a good day and I won’t remember getting some of my welts! At this point, you’re thinking “WELTS?!?!?” Yes, welts, but they aren’t bad. I would say a flu shot is worse cuz it takes like 20 seconds for them to ram all of those inactivated viruses into you. Here, you get hit-a quick zing-and you’re all done! You even get a fun little bruise/welt to show off later. Of course, the amount of pain differs when you take into account rate of fire (I’ve never played a game allowing velocities over 270 ft/s, though), where you get hit (ie, stomach hurts worse than hip), or how close the person firing at you is…soooooo, dress in layers! Hard core players even sport neck guards, cuz not gonna lie, getting hit on the neck does hurt.

But really, once you’re into the game, you don’t care about all that. Instead, you get wrapped up in stealth and strategy. At my youth group in high school, one of the leaders had been in the Marines, so when we played out in the woods, we always joked that you could be staring right at him, and then just watch him disappear. Serious stealth right there! And as for strategy? Well, it depends on what you’re playing. I’m a personal fan of the classic capture the flag–two teams, one at each end of the playing arena and the teams have to steal each other’s flags and make it back over to their own sides without getting hit. Pretty standard, but really it can be such a different game every time you play! You have to constantly be mixing up your strategy or the other team will think they have you figured out.

Another key element to paintball, or at least one that I excel in, is hiding. You get hit, you’re out, so you definitely don’t want the other team to see you (unless you’re doing a decoy/fake out/VIP deal.) But you have to be careful where you hide. Again, this bit of strategy differs wherever you play, which is part of why I’d rather play it outside in a wooded lot. I hide behind trees and fallen logs and wait out the over-zealous players who are out like right away. Of course, then I’m stuck with the really good ones and usually end up getting taken out by a sniper hiding in the bushes, but y’know, all in good fun.

Myabe one reason I like playing paintball is that even though I’m not great, I don’t suck either. I normally take out at least one or two people in a game, and considering my horrendous track record at any other sport, that’s a feat! Let’s compare moments of shame, shall we?

  • Elementary school–I broke my arm roller skating. Not exactly a sport, but it was pretty much the thing back in the day, and it was as sporty as I ever got.
  • Middle school–Let’s talk about the Presidential Fitness crap. Whose idea was that?????? Those little participation ribbons are about as encouraging as coming in last on the mile run (which I did.)
  • High school–when I was still kinda new at my youth group, I was picked first for volleyball when we were splitting into teams. People always assume tall people are athletic (let me laugh at that…ha.)  Next game, twenty minutes, later I was picked dead last.
  • College–you know, it just really never got any better, so I’m not going to try to remind myself about every embarrassing moment when people get that look of “Oh wow, she really can’t throw a ball.”

So essentially, you can see that I have little/no luck with any real sporting activity. So when I’m not stand-out bad at something, I get into it! And I’ve even been picked first on teams two games in a row for paintball! Part of that might have something to do with being the only girl playing in the middle of what I’m pretty sure were all of the Dungeons’n’Dragons crowd; but I was still picked first over the guy with the double trigger and mega hopper. And that’s what really matters 😉

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