Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Warrior

I woke up to five ripe purplely-black bruises Sunday after a Saturday in New Jersey. Don't worry; I wasn't clocked in the face Snookie-style by a roided out Jersey shore bar dweller. Instead I earned my wounds in battle, literally.

Paintballing has been on my really-wanna-do list for a while, at least in theory. Like sky diving, hiking 14ers, getting a post graduate degree and being the main hoochie in a rap video, paintballing is something I've always said/hoped I'd do.

So, when a guy friend asked me to join a big group for paintballing Saturday morning I quickly agreed. The trip was planned through Urban Escapes, a company that organizes weekend getaways for young city folk like me. They usually mix an outdoorsy activity with alcohol like kayaking and wine tasting or in this case, paintballing and brewery tour. I signed up without hesitation. I could use a little spontaneity and adventure.

When our vans pulled into the paintballing place in Jersey Saturday morning, fear came over me quick. A group of grown men in full camouflage from bandanna to clunky combat boots were using the course before us. It was all a little more intense than I imagined.

They passed around guns and Power Ranger-esque masks and warned us that if we took them off we'd probably get our teeth knocked out.

As I ran out into the first "junkyard" course, hiding behind a rusty old fridge, clenching my gun to keep my hands from shaking, I wondered how in the world I got from Manhattan to here. The first paint bullet hit me smack dab in the center of my mask. I threw up my hands in surrender and zig-zagged back to the safety zone as quickly as I could with yellow paint splattered across my goggles. Another bullet pegged my chest before I made it to safety. The body shot stung, like getting pelted with a marble, but only for a minute...not scary enough keep me out of the next five rounds that followed.

I was surprised by how much I liked it...romping around a random field, ducking behind tires and trees, strategizing with teammates, shooting perfectly nice strangers in their backs. It was all pretty badass. And the big bruises on my back and legs, those are just badges of honor.

1 comment:

  1. The main hoochie in a rap video? Way to shoot for the stars. hahaha