On Saturday, Cole and I met up with two of his brothers and their wives to go paintballing. You see, we've recently decided that we want to get together and do something out of the ordinary for us--which leaves a lot open, because we're the champions of playing games, watching movies, and generally hanging out. This our way of "expanding our horizons," I guess.
I wasn't all that sure about paintballing. I'm not much for shooting games, especially when the possibility of getting hit multiple times is a distinct one, but I decided I didn't want to be a total chicken and back out. So, against my better judgment, I sucked it up and went.
It was quite the experience! When we went to pick up our "gear", I was dismayed to see that all "gear" entailed was a face mask and a paintball gun. I was hoping for a full Kevlar suit...or at least football pads! One of the referees gave us the rundown on the safety rules, and basically said, "Ok, go for it!" We said: "So, how exactly does the game go?" He replied, "Oh, you'll pick it up after the first round." Great. Just great.
We entered the arena for the first round and the referees split us up into two teams as we walked in. I was falling apart because I had no idea what was going to happen. Then, I ended up on a team with only one of my sisters-in-law and a bunch of strangers. The refs counted down "three, two, one!" and all hell broke loose, it seemed. I was hit almost immediately on my bare, exposed hand. I'm pretty sure it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. I didn't even get one shot off, and I was positive that I didn't EVER want to do it again. But, I paid for all the stupid paintballs, so I was going to use them.
The next round went a little better for me. I cowered behind an inflatable bunker and maybe shot 5 or 6 times. Pretty soon everyone on my team was out except for me and my brother-in-law. We obviously aren't very good at the game, because we stayed exactly where we were, leaving us vulnerable...someone from the other team snuck around, popped me about 5 times in the back, and, when I turned around gasping in pain, shrugged and said, "sorry".
Seriously. I was pissed at this point. What kind of a-hole shoots somebody at point-blank range with 5 paintballs? (In his defense, I later realized just shooting once doesn't guarantee a hit. Paintballs bounce off players all the time.) When we all got off the field, I vented about the jerk who took me out, and, because I'm such a friggin' crybaby, proceeded to bawl my eyes out. (Thanks to my brothers-in-law for not COMPLETELY laughing their heads off at how ridiculous I was.) The worst part was, all of the referees just laughed and made fun of me when I got hit.
After that, I was fighting mad. Don't mistake me; I was still absolutely petrified. I found out I shake terribly when my body is pumping with adrenaline. One round, I ended up being the only one left on my side after, in a panic, I took out a guy trying to "Rambo" me. The referees ended up calling that round because the only person left on the other side was another girl who was probably peeing her pants like I was, and we didn't really make very many moves. (Stupid refs were really derogatory and sexist then. Jerks.) I used up the rest of my paintballs and left my last round without getting hit.
Overall, I'd say the experience was interesting, at best. I don't think I'll EVER do it again, but now, at least I can say I've been paintballing. I got some pretty hideous bruises and welts, too (I'll post some pictures when I get a chance), which I'm oddly proud of.
What have I learned about myself? If I had to go to war, I'd be that kid cowering in the corner, crying hysterically and puking her guts out. Oh, and I'm a horrible shot.