Monday, November 06, 2006

Painting the Town

I am so bruised today it is ridiculous. When J and I showed up to play paintball yesterday I was psyched. New helmet, new gun (or "marker" whatever) and jersey. New everything as I just acquiring all of my necessities for this sport. It was pretty apparent when we got there that this was team practice time. Gulp! The last time we had shown up at this field I was WAY less intimidated. After all, when you see eight year olds geared up and playing, you know you can take it. But this time was different.
As the lone girl, I already feel like all eyes are on me. And not in the "damn she's hot way." In the "a girl paintball player? I bet she sucks" way. With J messing around with his new gun, I hit the field alone. Everyone was talking strategy, as players on teams tend to do. I stood there ready to run and hole myself up and the most worthless player on the field. The last time I had played I had just started to get brave and begin to play for aggressively. This time, though, I felt myself withdrawing, desperately wishing that J was out there next to me, so I didn't feel quite so much like the loser. As the game began I rushed out, jumping behind a barrel. I felt the familiar rush of adrenaline. I popped my gun out. "Pop pop pop." I heard. I ducked back behind my safety. I knew where the shots came from, and now it was time to fire back. I jumped out again and started shooting as fast as I could.

"click click click." I heard. I looked down. No paintballs were coming out. Back behind the barrel and began messing with my gun. It was the first time I had played with it, and I had no idea why it would not be shooting the hell out of someone. Finally, defeated, hands in the air I yell "Hit." And walk off the field. The ref looks at me funny.

"My gun's messed up." I said. He shrugged and lets me off the field. I take the gun to J. "Its broke." I say, huffing and sitting down. I felt more girlie than ever. Having to take my gun to my husband to get him to fix it. With one quick move he cocks the top of my weapon.

"There you go." he said, handing it back to me.

"Oh." I said. Live and learn, I guess.

After the game ended everyone began to go upstairs. I heard muttering of "speedball." I asked the ref what the real difference was. Speedball was how tournaments are played, but other than that- I didn't know the strategy or any differences.

"It's faster. More paint flying, more shooting and no ten foot rule." Gulp again. No ten foot rule? I like knowing that when I get shot in paintball on the field the ball is coming from a bit away, not 4 feet behind me. I was nervous. J was nervous, too. We'd never played like this. We headed upstairs where everyone was prepping to go on the field. Large inflatable bunkers were all over the field. As we walked onto the field I knew I would either love this game or hate it.

Approximately 2 and a half hours later, J and I were packing up to leave. Our clothes were covered with paint and grime; our bodies covered in welts and just a little bit of blood; faces flushed and sweaty; and an invitation to play again next weekend with a phone number of the guys on the team.

Awesome! :)

I hurt so bad today- but it was SO worth it.
posted by Kellie @ 7:50 AM |


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