I’ll admit it, the prospect of a whole day of paintballing was scaring me. I’ve never done it before and my only knowledge of it was the hideous bruises I’ve seen on other people after they’ve been.
After a safety talk and collecting our guns we loaded them with a tub of 100 paintballs and practised our shots on a range. Oh God, I thought when I saw how fast they go – around 180mph as it happens, this is really going to hurt.
In total there were around thirty people on the course and we were all put together and split into two teams. In the first game each team started at opposite ends of a field and the objective was to grab a flag that was resting in the middle and bring it back to base to win. I hid behind a large board, fired far too many paintballs and breathed a sigh of relief when it ended and I hadn’t been hit. There was going to come a time where I’d need to be more proactive.
After a couple more defensive games I made a run for it on the next one. I was punished for my bold move by getting pelted multiple times. I took myself out of the game but was checked by the marshal and miraculously none of the balls burst which meant I was still in the game. The bad thing about the balls not bursting is that they hurt much more. Head shots don’t count either, and in this game I happened to be shot in the head three times. It was eventually a shot to the shin that took me out.
In the next game I became my boldest yet. We had to deliver a key from one end of the field to the other, and in a move of unheralded bravery (in my mind) I left my gun with my fellow comrades and sprinted faster than I’ve ever gone before, picking up the key along the way and delivering it to the end point in mere seconds. The marshal popped his head over the wall. “Did you really just get all the way?!” I was grinning but nobody could see. Oh yes, I was in my element now. He cleared me for any hits and said I could run back through the safe area to get my gun and carry on.
By the end I was zipping here, there and everywhere, picking up target hoops and throwing them over poles, sprinting from post to post before the other team could even get into position. This is actually brilliant, I thought. Yes it hurts but it’s not that bad. It was only when I was shot on the side of my arse at point blank range that I was incapacitated, so much so that I couldn’t even take myself out of the game, but the pain wore off after a while, no damage done. The thrill of scoring points far outweighed the shock of a hit.
I’d definitely go back and do it again, and I never thought I’d want that!
The company we used was Go Ballistic who have locations all over the UK.