The foolish things we do for fun…

by Natalie P.

September 29, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Random Silliness, Work | 1 Comment

Our CEO has this philosophy of encouraging people to stretch their limits – to try things they have never done before.  So when our corporate “fun day” options came up, I chose paintball over the other 4 activities offered.  Though I love laserquest, I’d never gone paintballing before because I bruise really easily, I’m just not into sharp nasty pain, and I’ve heard it really HURTS.  But my whole team was going, so I figured I’d face my fear of paintball head-on (so to speak) – and in the end  that’s where I took most of my killshots – in the facemask.

The night before, I asked the youngest spawn what I should do to prepare since both he and his older brother were avid paintballers in their teens.  He looked at me and said, “Do you have a winter vest?”
I replied “Yeah. Well, it’s kind of a fall vest…”
“And do you have a neckwarmer of some kind?”
I said, “Yep.”
“And gloves?”
“I have some old leather ones I can sacrifice.”
He looked at me gravely, “Good. Wear all that, and then pick out the baggiest set of coveralls there – because you’re gonna need them  – you bruise like a PEACH mom.”

Graphically descriptive, but very true.

I wore the vest, the neck protection, knee-high cross-country ski socks, jeans, the most padded bra I could find, my “batten-down-the-hatches” tank top from kick-boxing, and a long-sleeved jeans shirt. I took cheapo fall leather gloves, and then picked out that baggy set of coveralls.  They provide you with a mask and goggles, but in future, I’ll bring my own goggles – the ones there were scratched and terrible. I could hardly see a thing, fogging up aside.

They said I looked like the Michelin Man, and I suffered innumerable taunts, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to leave with my body relatively bruise-free.

I didn’t feel a single shot except one on my hand that didn’t break (thank god for the gloves – I can’t imagine how much it would have hurt if my hands were bare) and one that somehow came through the mask and left me with a mouthful of paint and a bit of a red mark above my lip that lasted a day.  I thank my lucky stars, considering that one guy left the field with 35 welts on his body.  One had a huge lump on the top of his head.  Except for the real hard-core paintballers, almost everyone else had multiple battle bruises.

The thing IS, it didn’t feel like the same adrenaline rush you get with LaserQuest (which I love) – my heart wasn’t pounding at the end of each game, and I wasn’t breathless.  You don’t do nearly as much running around – it’s mostly crouching, hiding and scurrying from cover to cover. But I felt kinda shaky after the 5th game and was glad it was over and lunch had arrived. 

That being said, it’s now brutally clear that the adrenaline WAS flowing and really masks a world ‘o hurt.  The next morning I was in AGONY.  I had two bruises on my thighs that spontaneously appeared, (I don’t recall being shot in the legs), and every fucking muscle in my body was screaming. I thought my shoulders were going to seize. I had to use my arms to lower myself down onto the toilet because my quads were too weak and shaky.  Going down stairs was torture.  The bf thought it was hilarious. He giggled at my every whimper, the bastard.

All I can say is, thank god I have a hot tub.

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1 comment so far
  1. "gunner" September 30, 2008 3:43 am

    after being shot at for real somehow paintball “games” just don’t turn me on. real guns were tools when i was working, and i owned mine, and still do now that i’m retired, but getting shot at for “fun” ain’t fun for this old hired gun.
    “gunner”


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