It was a foggy, cold morning in the Pacific Northwest. I wasn’t prepared for what was about to transpire. We traveled a long distance up a long and winding road, sitting in the back seat wedged between the vehicle door and a fellow soldier, nausea started to set in. After I could not take it any longer it appeared in the distance – there was no turning back now… We all piled out and began the trek into the woods, gravel crunching beneath our boots. The base was covered in protective netting & camouflage. What have we gotten ourselves into? I was scared.
That is how our adventure began, 25 of us fighting for our lives. Well not our real lives but in the rules of paintball when you get shot you are dead (in most cases) until the game is over. I used to work with Jr High students so I was no stranger to capturing a flag in the middle of a dark field or hiding in a tree for a few hours waiting to be found. Only one other time, in my life, had I been so anxious about playing a game and I would rather not get into that story. Paintball terrified me – I put on a good game face, convinced my peers to join me, and tried to tell my self that being hit hurts but not that bad. I just wanted to have people to play with. What if only the IT department showed up? They would kill me off first for sure. I was the weak baby gazelle, I needed my herd to protect me.
Game 1 – We got off to a slow start, everyone (well me) a little apprehensive to pop out from behind the barricades designed to protect, like a prairie dog coming out of its home. I think I only pulled the trigger a few times that round. I think my team won but to be honest it is kind of a blur.
Game 3 – My game plan? Shoot at anything that moves, ANYTHING. Don’t die. Fail- I am shot in the head. Thank goodness for helmets & goggles.
Game 5 – It is on. Someone said something to me that made me mad. I am shooting to kill. Surrender or die. Boom you’re roasted.
Game 6 – Casualty of war. I am shot in the leg. Dang it, that hurts! My vision goes fuzzy. Tell my mom I love her… This bruise will not look good in the wedding pictures.
Game 7-10 – It is on. Ninja spy moves come out. I am hiding in the bushes. My alter ego finds its way out. I unload my clip in seconds. Its a massacre – I would formally like to apologize to Brandy, my… ahem…teammate. I don’t know what came over me.
It had been quite some time since I had so much fun. What started off to be a day of nerves and anxiety ended up being a day filled with uncontrollable laughs and memories made. I have a new found respect for my co workers (the brave ones at least!) and a killer war wound. Nothing says get to know your peers like fighting for your life and almost peeing your pants. All in all Gifttree’s 1st Paintball War as a success. I look forward to next year.