If you’re thinking what I was initially thinking, then you would be asking why in the world I would want to jump in the middle of a field to get pelted with tiny balls full of paint. I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t nervous at first. I had only ever gone with two people in a small patch of woods when I was younger and I overdressed for the occasion. I probably wore four layers of shirts and a hoodie and Tripp pants (which is probably its greatest function). We didn’t have many paintballs and I’m pretty sure they were going easy on me.
This experience was entirely different. It was a lot of fun but I really wasn’t expecting it to be as strenuous as it was. This time I only wore a long sleeved shirt and jeans so it was slightly different. As I was under the impression we would be getting chest guards, I was sadly mistaken. I was wearing a long sleeved shirt and C was wearing his old Navy jumpsuit so it was okay. I just don’t think my shirt was thick enough. With it being 90 degrees outside, anything else probably would’ve melted off. I felt great after we played four games. I almost feel as if paintballing is counted as an extreme sport; that’s how tired my husband and I were after we finished.
When we got there, we received our paintballs. I was hoping for a colorful mixture so I could at least see a masterpiece of my pain. C got yellow and I got a cream color. The yellow was somewhat more bearable because at least you could see it. It actually resembles a bag of popcorn in the photos shown below. We then headed over the referees to get a safety briefing which really just sounded like common sense to me.
We headed out to the field shortly after receiving our protective gear and gun. During our first game, there were only two other groups. There weren’t a lot of players on the field. That means the less opponents there were, the more likely it is that you become a target. That is exactly what I became. First to go was C because he was hit in the face and called out. Yes, his first hit was full of dignity and pride – in the face.
As he walked off the field onto the side to watch me, he passed right by the guy hiding behind a bunker, that I only assume was the one that shot him and now shooting at me. As I go to aim, awfully might I add, I realized I hit him right in the mask and neck area. The plot twist here is that ‘him’ was not my assailant. ‘Him’ was indeed my dear sweet husband. He then decided to relocate to a safer area with a fellow victim. I could actually hear them discussing that he was going to watch me and see how I was doing and seconds later he gets a paintball to the neck. I promise you now that when I say this, this wasn’t the last time I heard of this occurrence. Quite a few times, he told the story of his wife pelting him. Of course I felt sad and apologized to him, but hey, accomplishment for all wives across the U.S., am I right? I’m totally kidding though (even though I’ve included the trophy picture for proof); I love him to death, even enough to forgive myself after shooting him with a paintball gun. 😉
My feeling of invisibility disappeared a fast as it came when I got hit in the back. I actually got hit four times but they don’t call you out unless the paint busts. So, the one time it busts it is in a place I can’t even see it.
When we were off of the field, we sat down for a breather while the rest of the new players got prepared. We had to reload and check our air pressure in this time period as well. We found out my gun was leaking CO2 so I had to switch it out with another one. We also had a paintball fiasco when C’s gun tipped too far down and the balls went everywhere. No surprise here but my clumsy self went to help him pick them up and well, there went mine too. We had a small amount of downtime since a birthday party was in the presence and we had to wait for them to play one game. I’m not kidding when I say it was a group of 10 year olds and their parents against each other. That’s a new form of therapy I hadn’t heard of.
We finally went back out for our last small game and my new gun was malfunctioning in the worst way possible. It was auto firing really loudly and obnoxiously. In a game where you’re trying to be quiet and not give away your location, this was a very large inconvenience. There were a lot of eyes on me indefinitely. The ref had to come over and make it stop. I got a few shots in and then five minutes later, it went right back into auto fire and was firing back to back loud noises. There was nothing coming out so it was quite puzzling. This time it wouldn’t come back on for a while. Alas, at the end of this game I had to get it switched out for another gun. My two major points here are a) the bright side that I survived the entire game without getting hit and b) third time’s a charm.
We had another set of downtime in order to prepare for very large games. This time we were squeezing some of the paintballs that we lost in the dirt from our earlier incident. The ones I broke got all over me but the ones C broke experienced a tiny explosion and decided to go all over him and the neighboring boys. Yet, no one noticed.
By this time, we were already hot and tired; we were getting tuckered out. I suppose that is what happens when you shoot paintball for five hours in Florida heat without bringing water beforehand. Next time we will definitely be doing so.
The last two games were fairly large. We stayed on the same team and pretty much stuck together. While doing so, I got shot in the hand and C got shot in the back. In the last game we played, somehow C got shot in the back of the leg. The only people behind us were our team so we still aren’t sure how it happened. I stayed pretty far back and didn’t start moving up until halfway into the game. I was scouting out the pros on the opposing team. I was being trigger crazy because we had decided this was our last game. I don’t think I shot anyone but I definitely ran out of ammo. When I called the ref over, he told me my options. I could either serve as a distraction or “bang bang” the opposing team up close. I was definitely not up for either of those options so I was able to call myself out. This was fine by me because we already had enough fun. As I walked off the field with my arm in the air, someone decided it would be fun to waste a PAINball right on a sensitive patch of skin, right on my belly.
When we got home we counted the welts. I am pretty sure I had five and he had about three. My battle scars probably won’t go away for a week but it was worth it. It was a really fun experience and it resulted in a story of substance.