Now, I've played paintball before. I'm not a total newcomer to the sport. I know the in's and out's and I get the gist. But when I leave Skirmish Paintball in Jim Thorpe, I'm always surprised, by something.
My latest trip saw me and 4 friends taking to the legendary fields of Skirmish. Our group joined a larger group of about 15. New teams were arranged and the first battlefield was selected. Consisting of two-story buildings and a main street, the tiny town resembled an old west village. The words "3…2…1…go!" echoed throughout the woods and the game was on. I had a great post looking out of a second-story window, perched and ready to fire at the "blue team". Suddenly, movement through a building across the street, my gun started barking paintballs. My complete attention was on the several bodies I saw in an enemy building. Then, all of the sudden, splat, splat, splat! The enemy had snuck up to a position on my lower right, where I hadn't looked even once. He lit me up, landing several hits above the shoulders. Luckily, my mask absorbed the impact. I fell back as if I was pushed over by a schoolyard bully. "Come on out" yelled the referee. My game was over.
I walked off the field with disappointment in my heart and a smile on my face. I felt bad for letting down my teammates. I felt foolish for not noticing the opposition sneaking up on my right side. But most of all, I couldn't wait for the next game to start.