I played my very first game of paintball when I was twelve years old and on a church youth group event at Pev’s in Virginia. It was thrilling, it was overwhelming, but mostly I hated wearing the mask! It felt constrictive. Restraining. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of being in the middle of a war zone without great vision or really knowing what was happening.
My neighborhood crew that I grew up with loved the sport and within the next few months we’d all purchased (or persuaded our parents) to purchase us markers, aka paintball guns. We slung paint in the woods behind our houses with tippmans and spyders without a care for the legality of the matter or who’s house we accidentally hit in the process.
I quickly grew out of it and moved on to soccer and basketball and art.
Fast forward thirteen years to age twenty-five.
We were fresh moved to Florida and my man Dezi scored a full time gig reffing at two local paintball parks owned and operated by the same incredible couple. He’d loved paintball his entire life. I distinctly remember on our very first date asking him what he would do if he could do anything with his life. His answer? Own and run a paintball park.
Pipe dream, I thought at the time. Boy was I wrong.
At Hurricane Paintball Park in Palm Bay, FL and Battlefield Orlando in (big surprise) Orlando, FL we found a family and a career for Dezi that didn’t involve kitchens or door to door sales. He was ecstatic and overjoyed at this amazing opportunity that literally gave him everything he dreamed about doing. Full time work reffing, building, and working at a paintball park. Not just one park, but TWO of them!
That’s when he asked me to play again. Gosh it’d been more than a decade. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I still had my old spyder so I (reluctantly) joined him and the scenario team he’d recently joined – The Hurricanes – for a one-day event King of the Hill out at First Strike, a field in Newberry, FL.
I was hooked.
It was so different as an adult.
It was heart pumping. Exciting. Captivating. But mostly it was addictive. I wanted to get better. I wanted to play more.
I joined the team again at a second scenario event Batman vs. Superman a month later, this time at Battlefield Orlando. For those of you who don’t know what a paintball scenario is they are all day play events that span one or two days and follow a specific storyline. There are missions and rocket launchers and tanks and generals and everything that you’d expect from a real-life battle just translated into paint and compressed air. I’d never been a part of a world like this.
By the time summer rolled around I was voted onto The Hurricanes Scenario Team and began practicing and playing with the team. I got my number 3 and name printed on a team jersey and I couldn’t stop smiling.
This was one year ago in the spring of 2016. It’s only a year later and I’ve been to 8 different scenario events altogether, my most recent one taking place this past weekend. I’ve been really thinking about what kind of blog I’d like to launch to draw traffic and attention to something that matters and I finally thought to myself, why don’t I start a paintball blog? A paintball blog written by a female no less. It’s harder to find a female paintballer than a male dancer. They’re very rare in the overall world of paintball. It’s a man’s sport.
I want to help grow the fields that Dezi works for. The paintball parks and the families out there are our lives. Our family. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them and there’s nothing I’d love more than to give back. I want women to see that paintball is our sport too!
Is paintball the next big thing? Maybe not yet (but it’s sure getting there).
Is paintball MY next big thing?
Without a doubt.
I’ve decided to start building a blog specific site geared towards paintball. Whether it’s reviewing fields or creating posts about upcoming events or talking about the newest gear or doing paint tests or posting videos of battles I want to be more involved in this amazing sport. It brings people together, it teaches kids how to have fun and respect each other, and it’s seriously one of the most fun games I’ve ever played in my life.
Here’s to finding that special something you want to blog about. I’ve found mine and I can’t wait to get started.
I’ll still post here on Lady Jenji Writing & Design to upkeep with my daily life and details on my writing and design projects but you can look forward to reading all about the world of paintball from yours truly.
Until next time –
Yours For Happy Writing,