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Paintballing – like mild clothed BDSM. probably.

Paintballing – like mild clothed BDSM. probably.

I never thought I’d find myself covered in bruises, limping all over the shop, crawling around in the mud, sweating buckets in a hot field — and thinking “Hrm… I could do it all again!”

As part of a friend’s fantastic stag weekend celebrations, 15 of us men (mostly lawyers etc.) went paintballing. Kitted out in helmets, military overalls (which I never thought I’d see myself in!) and a ridiculous helmet which is fundamentally incompatible with people who wear glasses or sweat lots. But it comes in very very handy when people fire paintballs at your head.

At the first game, someone shot at my gun trigger hand, and to my eternal shame, I shouted out “Someone broke my nails!”. At least that’s what I wanted to say for cod-camp effect but I’d had enough accusations of being a gay bloke for one day, thankyouverymuch.

For the next 4 hours, we preceeded to run around, crawl, duck, hide, and get shot at — which isn’t as painful as it would seem – as long as it doesn’t hit skin. Even when it does hit, it’s a short sharp sting, and that’s it. As someone who’s squeamish about pain (I’m male, it comes with the genes) I was quite surprised.

I’ve done Laser Questing before, but paintballing is really another territory. The wide open spaces and dark cover give you an idea of what warfare’s like – the quiet lulls, the hunting around, the paranoia that someone’s got their gun aimed at you, the odd scream, the lack of awareness, the knowledge that there’s a battle going on somewhere but you have no idea how your team’s doing … and although I enjoyed it immensely as a consumer activity, I also realised how terrible I am at it, and how I wouldn’t want to do it for real.

But as we laid there afterwards, utterly zonked out and knackered, I know I want to do it again. As long as I get fit, lose tons of weight and don’t shuffle around like the proverbial overweight zombie.

And I shot two people. Hurrah!

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