"When I was 17 paintball was just a sport I enjoyed reading about in magazines, and day dreamed about playing. But I had never played. My life changed a lot towards the end of high school, and honestly I freaked out. My family was always stressing me out, school was almost ruined by a stupid choice I made, and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
After graduation I found myself selling cars at a local dealership, and met a customer who let me know that a paintball field in town was opening that night. The field ended up being 3 miles from my mom's house, and opening night I bought my first marker. And had walked onto the field for the first time ever for a one on one game with the best guy that field had to offer. Fight or flight was kicking in, and I thought I had made a mistake in even buying my Ion. But a second after I heard "Paintball in three... two... one... GO!" I know it wasn't a mistake and I belonged on that field. Needless to say I was not liking the fact that I was a car salesmen right out of high school, and three stolen commissions later, I was out of a job. Mom and I were always fighting, and I really didn't know what to do. I turned to the paintball field.
The guys were always at practice on Thursday nights, and they always made a point to ask me to come to practice. One night I skipped college to go to practice, I never missed a practice after that. It really was the best choice I had ever made. I was playing a sport that I loved, with a real team, surrounded by people that loved the game as much as I did, and accepted me for who I was. That was my home. Even if I didn't have money to play, I would go watch and learn from what the team was doing. It wasn't just about playing for me. I noticed early on that the guys at the team were a special breed of "family". They loved each other as team mates and respected each other as brothers. And they were damn good at paintball.
Shortly after a large fight with my mom, I found myself working at the field, and spending all of my time at the field. It was my life, until I made it on my first team. Then tournament paintball turned into a very large part of my life. I lived for paintball. For a long time I lived a very happy life as an employee of the paintball field. But after letting people talk me into going back to school I gave it up. I went to school for Radio and Television Broadcasting and graduated best out of my class. I was quickly hired by a radio station and given the opportunity to try and help the youth by giving them shows they could listen to learn from and enjoy. It worked as a conservative radio show host, I spiced up talk show for young adult. But I wasn't happy, paintball was what I wanted to do. So I did the next best thing. I got a paintball company to support my show. But after a year a few months I had been laid off, during my show, over the phone.
I walked into a paintball field because I wanted to play. I walked out of the paintball field a better person because I was involved in it. the paintball field saved my life as a teenager. That is why I now have a very personal reason to try my hardest to provide that same opportunity to other youth in our communities." - My story.