Extreme sport day: Paint balling

‘When it comes to petrol-fuelled adrenaline, everyone’s got their preference. For some, it’s motor racing and go-Kate. For others, it might be the challenge of extreme four-wheel driving. Or fighting their way through the undergrowth on a powerful quadbike. Others still might get a thrill on the backs of a jet ski. Or by taking on the world with a paintball gun.’

On Saturday, I was invited by a friend to go to a Christian outreach day, which was run by Life Discovery: I was excited by the prospect as I knew it was going to involve lots of extreme sports.

I didn’t know what to expect or the outline of the day. When everyone had arrived at the farm in the middle of the countryside, we gathered round tables in a marque. There were many people there from different backgrounds, ages and walks of life. After an initial talk about safety procedures and a bit of background information on the charity, the day started rolling.

Excitement bubbling up inside, we were told that our first activity of the day would be paint balling. I don’t know if you have ever done this before, but basically there are different games with different aims and you have to shoots the other team with paint balls to get them out. Waiting for our turn, we changed into grubby, smelling, overused army overalls and a huge plastic mask to protect our face. Before starting the first game, we selected our guns; were given the mission of the game: one team defending, one team attacking. The attacking team had to get all three flags on the bridge into the castle (an impossible task with all the defenders). My team were defending first (not my favourite thing). I hid behind a tree, looking out for our enemies. I have a theory where I don’t see the point in wasting ammunition if there is no or slim chance in hitting the attackers. Therefore, I must have shot my gun once in that whole game. I did, however, get shot several times as the opposite team had invaded the castle round the edge and killed all my team mates in front of me. Those of you who have not been hit by a paint ball: it can be slightly painful especially if it doesn’t explode.

Next was our turn to attack: the way my type of game, running out and completing a mission. Even though I didn’t know anyone on my team, we planned a strategy to win. When the whistle blow, I ran as fast as a cheetah to a spot as close to the bridge, hiding behind a crate. I noticed that on of my team, had received the flag on the left bridge so I decided to creep backward, scurrying and dashing between trees. Once I figured that an enemy had noticed my action, I stood still as a statue, hoping they would forget about me (this usually work). I could see that several companions had been shot dead and had to migrate to the dead zone. Crawling around, squeezing behind shelter, I managed to get pretty close to the bridge. Quietly and quickly, I dashed to hide just by the bridge, where the enemy started shooting ferociously. Sliding and sinking in pools of mud, I discovered in despair that the flag on the right bridge had disappeared. What to do next? By this time, I had balls flying at every direction towards me. Luckily, I could place my gun, aiming at the enemy without them hitting me. I managing to shoot several of them down but unfortunately many were cheating so didn’t declare themselves out.

After a while, I thought it was best move back towards the middle to get the final flag. As I rapidly moved my feet to crouch down behind a tree, I realised that I was the only on left on my team. Everyone else was out. What do I do next? I couldn’t win this on my own especially as I had just run out of ammunition. Looking back at my team mates with thoughts running through my mind, palms sweating, I decided to put my heavy weighted gun down to stop me from slowly down, and run towards the middle bridge, knowing that I had several gun aiming at me. I died. Bullets flying into me like it was in the middle of war.

I was declared dead.

Unfortunately, we only had time for two games, but I thoroughly enjoyed this experience anticipating what the rest of the day encountered.

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