Many years ago, I bought my husband a paintball marker for Christmas. It quickly became a family tradition to play with friends of the family each Christmas. Much more paintball paraphenalia has been purchased since that time. Our boys share the love of paintball, too, although they don't get the opportunity to play as often. My husband has also run the paintball fields for Youth Camps for the past three summers.
Through all that, I have never played. I have shot the hubby's marker a few times to see what it is like, but I just had no desire to get shot at and bruised up-especially since the group the family plays with is primarily men and boys. They all would tell me, "It doesn't hurt. It just stings a little." Sure-I've seen the enormous bruises-how can you tell me that doesn't hurt?
We are at Youth Camp this week, and when I arrived at the paintball field, 4 of the girls and 5 of the guys from our church were in full gear ready to head out to the field. But they had a problem-the guys had more people on their team. I think this was the first time I had been asked to play when there was an actual whole team of girls. It was my time! I grabbed a marker and helmet and headed out to the field before I could change my mind!
The game that we played was guys versus girls, two shot elimination. Having watched paintball for years, I determined that I would not be the person that bunkered down in a safe place for the whole game. I was going to keep the game moving. I ran quickly from bunker to bunker, taking a few shots, and moving closer to my opponents. Since I did this, I got shot relatively quickly 3 times. I surrendered and walked off the field. Then I realized that no one cared about 2 shot elimination, so I masked back up, and went back out. I played generally the same way, and as a result I ended up getting shot 3 more times.
It was a rush! Despite having been shot six times, it truly didn't hurt! (In fact I thought I had only been shot 5 times, and didn't discover the sixth wound until a couple hours later.) I can now see what the big deal is, and why everyone says it is so much fun! I can't wait until the next time I can go out!
Here is a picture of me with the girls after our game!
Here is a shot of my leg the morning after-it looks way worse than it feels!