Tuesday, February 8, 2011


            "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.
What's yours???

About the Author....

One day as a volunteer at a hospital, on a smoke break with old man Joe, I asked him what was the one thing in life that made you the happiest? He was a veteran, you could tell he had the healed stubs of a wounded soldier. I was taken aback by his answer when he said my days as a paratrooper... He smiled a smile I've never seen on this old joker. It was peaceful, and his eyes lit up as his memories rushed by. I asked after all you went through why that was his best of times? He had talked to me a couple times about the realities of war, at the time I was thinking about joining. He had also made it clear he disliked war. His answer was a cool one though. He said I just liked jumping out of planes... He was an awesome and wise old dude. He taught me a lot about a lot of things. RIP.
One day on the paintball field. In the first game, of my first tournament, I shot three people, pulled my first flag, and won my first game. Before the tournament I had practiced hard, played when I could, and gave it my all. It played off. I will always remember that tournament. Even the team that shot my team out off break and bunkered the hell out of me in the semi finals. I was myself.
 I walked back to a truck looking back on all I had given to the sport up to that point and having to swallow my pride and know that the next time I stepped on those fields I'd be a stronger player, on a strong fucking team. I loved the feeling of practicing too hard and throwing up. I remember my legs burning behind a Dorito. And it miss it. I let a lot of life get in the way of my dreams and even though didn't realize it at the time, I learned something important from Mr. Joe. Long after his death. You will be happiest no matter what as long as you strive for what you want and love it with every fiber of your being.
As a player who walked away from the game and is itching like hell to step onto the field again... I know paintball to me is the sport that taught me life. I loved it because no matter what I did it was in everything I did. I dreamed paintball, watched, played and lived paintball. And 2 years later I still crave the feelings I had on the field. the brotherhood of a team. down to the electric buzz you can almost feel at any given paintball tournament. The paintball community itself. I miss the sport. I have dreams of opening a field/community-student center. I have business plans and would like to pursue this dream along with many others. I'm nervous but I'm going to do what I can.
I won't quit again.

Readers give your opinion!

There was a radio show in a small town, on a small station, that had three sometimes four hosts that more importantly than getting there point across would listen to others. As the producer, I wanted to be able to give my opinion because I wanted to voice it, but more importantly I wanted to learn and grow. From other points of views.
As a Kirby salesman trying to earn enough money to play, I learned that listening to the customer is key. Something I want to hypothetically do now. As a normal average blog reader, to a weekend warrior. or even the most talented of pros. Do you, as the reader, think that a tie in of local music and paintball production companies would pay off in the long run. Bringing both players and sponsors into the sport.... One could say with American Airlines and Hertz having jumping in the mix. Things can happen. But on the other hand. The travel expenses are one thing that hinders tournament turnouts on all counts. I figure with a tie in of local music of all genres and all levels we boost both local bands turn outs as well as more material for paintball styled music videos. While still making it a good venue for other potential advertisers. I have plans to do this but before I go through I would like to hear what the general public thinks. Any comments are welcome.