is a story of how I lost my virginity in paintball.
I lost my paintball virginity. I walked onto the field, my feet a little unsteady and feeling somewhat exposed,
but I had my finger on the trigger, and I was ready to go. The ref yelled
"Three, two, one! Go, go, go!" and I was off running, diving behind
barricades, and making my way toward the other teamТs flag. I knew I had what
it would take to make a devilish and dangerous paintball player. I could feel
it in the adrenaline that was pulsing through my entire body. I dodged across
the field to a barricade in the very center of the firefight and took a stance,
prepared to hold my ground and gain some with a little luck.
My first time in a paintball game--I hadnТt been sure what to expect, but my
body took control and my senses went along for the ride. I ducked low and
started moving forward, holding my marker tightly and squeezing the trigger as
fast as I could convince my finger to go.
"IТm hit!" I heard a voice yell just ahead and to my right. "Yeah,
score one for the girls," I thought to myself and kept shooting. I
wondered, in a brief and careening thought, if my strategy should be more
conservative than the aggressive maniac I was quickly becoming, but the
excitement was too much to consider slowing down for more than a second.
Around to the other side of the barricade, along the narrow corridor with my
marker searching for another victim, and straight into (well, almost--gotta
mind the 20-foot rule and I wasnТt about to call for a surrender) a guy from
the other team.
The paintballs were coming from all directions by now. I had left my teammates
about 30 feet behind where they were bunkering in and trying to keep me from
being truly kamikaze. I tried to shoot, but, to my shock and horror, nothing
happened. I pulled the trigger five or ten times, but the only result was a
loud series of shots with no paintballs behind them. I didnТt know this at
the time since it was my virgin paintball experience, but regulars call it
freeze down on rapid fire, and I was in a panic. I paused for a moment and
hunkered down for the first time since the game started.
Switching into stealth mode and moving like a black cat in a dark alley, I
continued inching forward.
I passed another barricade, still keeping low, and found myself almost
surrounded by three remaining players from the other team. Shots rang out from
behind and my teammates took over, forcing my opponents to dive for cover. I
took the opportunity to pass another set of tall barricades and slink in low
right behind the flag station. I kept my marker pointed and scanning in all
directions. With the noise and confusion buzzing all around, no one realized
that my marker wasnТt actually shooting during this brazen advance.
I yanked the flag and found an even more fierce persona as I turned and
prepared to make my way back across the field. I re-cocked and squeezed the
trigger, hoping for the best, and was relieved in that instant to find that my
marker had returned and was again in my control.
I pulled extra paint from my "emergency" rounds, filled my hopper,
and tore around a series of barricades, prepared to use every last breath of
energy to make it back across that field. My teammates were suddenly by my side
again, cheering and shouting directions while they maintained fire over my head
and around the sides where the few lingering opponents lay, trying to use their
last ditch efforts to stop our progress. But it was too late.
We were clear by now and nothing could catch us, except maybe a stray paintball,
and we werenТt about to let that happen. I didnТt want to get caught being
stupid, so I kept my stay-low stance and ran around the sides of the remaining
barricades, turning to get shots in as soon as I found cover. I called for
cover a final time and slid the flag on its winning peg, ending the
exhilaration of the chase and giving a loud whoop of victory. What an amazing
15 minutes. I had never felt so powerful and defenseless (when my marker failed)
at the same time.
We walked off the field celebrating and slapping each other on the back, but
this was no time to revel over our win. After a quick drink and toweling off,
we were back on the field, ready to feel the stimulation all over again. We
played again and again, more wins and, to be honest, a loss or two. We
The afternoon slipped away and I could hardly believe it when the session was
over and it was time to go. We convinced the ref, with a little outright
begging, to let us get one last match in. Holding nothing back, we played with
everything we could muster from our now exhausted and dripping-with-sweat
bodies, and literally collapsed at the flag station with a shriek of elation
and fatigue simultaneously.
Walking, practically crawling, off the field after that final game of the day,
my mind was set. Forget the aerobic workouts and running in the cold for
hours on end, IТm addicted to the rush that I experienced that afternoon. I
think my girlfriends at the office will definitely want to join when I tell
them about my awesome weekend.
Maybe weТll put together an all-female team and kick those boys right back
where they came from. Then again, maybe IТm all talk. I guess IТll see you
on the paintball field.