[share title=”Paintballing in Winter (-30)” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”false” email=”true”]PAINTBALLING IN -30 DEGREES

So I need to make a confession. I work as a Market Analyst for Paintball Promos, a company that “lives and breathes” paintball. Yet, I’ve never gone paintballing! Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? To tell you the truth, I’m actually pretty chicken to go. I have a low tolerance to pain. The thought of getting bruised makes me cringe. I guess I’m quite the “girly girl.” My coworkers go paintballing regularly. They brag to me about how much fun they had every time. Then they taunt me by showing me their bruises. Thanks! Now I really wanna go (not)!

For Christmas, my bosses decided to take all of us (the employees) paintballing! They made it clear that everybody had to go, looking at me while saying this. Great! That meant me not only getting bruised but freezing to death in the -30 degree weather. It was a cold Winter! We’ve already a massive ice storm with trees and power lines out and 8 extreme cold weather alerts where temperatures dropped to almost -40 degrees (and it’s only December!). I despise the cold! This is a year, I wish I were living in California. In any case, the date was booked. Everyone was excited. I however, felt like I was on an train wreck waiting to happen.

Despite all my “knowledge” of the industry, I had no idea what I was getting into. It was a cold and windy day! There was about 15cm of snow on the ground. Snow and ice had encapsulated all the tree branches. The snow was so deep that every step I took made loud crunching sounds. I had never paid attention to how difficult it would be to move quietly. I also had never paid attention to how much running was involved in the sport. It was a challenge keeping up with that pace for the whole game. I navigated from prop to prop under the concealment offered by trees, bushes. I crept behind snowdrifts, slopes and in shaded areas. Little did I know that my every movement left tracks in the snow which only helped the other players find where I was hiding. I was so proud that I was wearing white colored clothing. But not even my superior camouflaging skills were going to help me. The tree branches rubbing against my clothing, the crunch of frozen grass beneath my feet and the snow falling off the branches that I accidentally disturbed were my greatest enemies. Nature itself was on the opposing team. Forecasting this inevitable day in my mind, I had imagined myself trembling with fear and turning blue in the face of the cold. The reality was quite contrary to my imagination I was actually sweating buckets.

Being a newbie, my courage would only allow me to go to bunkers and props that were standing upright. You see, I’m not the biggest risk taker. I didn’t know how to dive and slide properly like some of my other veteran colleagues. I could feel my heart pumping inside of my chest. I was petrified that I was going to break a limb or get shot in the neck or something ridiculous along those lines. Yet the adrenaline pumping through my veins only had 1 focus, taking out my coworkers for taunting me. As unplanned as it was, I had this crazy courage and was willing to try anything to make that happen. Somewhere beneath the girly girl, my competitive nature was coming out. Animalistic instincts were surging through me. I felt like a lion hunting for prey. Yet I was acutely aware that they were also my predators. The sound of paintballs whistling through the air, left an imprint on my brain. With every pull of the trigger, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach dissipate. All of this in the first 8 minutes…it was over I had been shot. As short lived as it may have been, lasting 8 minutes is apparently a good thing. The fact that I actually shot 1 person…well, that alone made it all worth while.

I think I finally understand what the hype was all about. The adrenaline, the fear, the bragging rights and all the moments of laughter that came with recapping the day’s events were all unforgettable firsts in my life. It was  also a laid back, no dressy, fun way to end the busy year. So now I have a confession to make, I had so much fun through this experience, that I hope I get invited again. Except next time, I hope it’s in the Summer.