A Day at the Park (ok, ok, Paintball field)

Went out and played paintball today, and I had a really, really good time. I went incognito; just pulled out some old cammies and a Tippmann 98 Custom and played.

While there were a few times I wished I was using my Phantom (snap shooting with a 3-foot long gun while laying down isn't all I remember it to be), it really was a much simpler, more relaxed day. No batteries, no pods, just pure paintball zen. I suppose with all the expectationsI usually bring to the field, I burden myself. Today, if I made a bad move, I made a bad move. It wasn't particularly important. I wasn't pressuring myself to play well, or even to really practice or learn anything. Just playing paintball.

The second thing that made it such a good day was that there happened to be a very large birthday party in attendance. There were just short of two dozen kids present, probably around 10 years old. To my surprise, they were most unlike the kids that age I've seen play before. They were aggressive and moved, they worked well with each other, and some of them were dang good shots. Beyond that, they insisted on playing together as a team against the regulars. (I can't say they ever won a game, but they came close!). They were all smiles, all day, even when they'd catch three or four balls on the way out. That's the kind of attitude I love to see from new players. Playing hard, and smiling harder.

Now, I've got a soft spot for kids. And that's part of it. But these two things combined really restored a lot of my hope in the future of the sport. During the entire day, I never saw any cheating, any swearing, anyone getting heated at all really.

Let's just say that today made me proud to play paintball.

1 comment:

Dawn "Editor" Allcot said...

Wow! These last two posts from you and Bruce have been extremely moving!! :) Great blog.

To get philosophical for a moment, my niece recently said to me, "Expectations lead to disappointment." I vehemently disagreed. I am one of these people where half the fun is the anticipation of a big event (paintball or otherwise.)

Shortly after my niece made this profound statement, we went into NYC for the day. We didn't have many expectations and we had no plans whatsoever, other than to see a Broadway show. The rest of the day was wide open. We had the best day ever...walking around Toys r Us giggling at the toys, eating in MARS 2112 and laughing at the weird characters, haggling with street vendors, stalking cute waiters. (long story).

Similarly, some of the best rec games I've attended have been spur of the moment, when our nephews call us up and say, "Wanna play paintball this Monday?" No stress, no pressure, just fun.

Anyway, Bruce and Lo, your blogs have sparked an idea...

Readers, stay tuned to this blog for a big announcement. :)