The awesome and hip mother-of-four MadHattin Mom planned a “Gutsy Girlfriends” outing for women at our church to do something outdoorsy, something a little out of the ordinary, something a little, um, … gutsy!
We played paintball!
Now, rumor had it that paintball hurt. I knew this going into it, but how bad could it be if people actually do this as a hobby, over and over again right? The web site of the place we were going said it would sting like being popped by a rubber band. That’s not so bad, right?
Now, before I scare anyone off from ever playing paintball, let me say that it was partly my fault that it hurt as bad as it did, because I wasn’t dressed in layers, which would’ve help pad me from the impacts.
Also, we didn’t play traditional paintball rules where you get hit once and you’re out. We kept firing, so at times we were getting hit multiple times in a row.
My first hit was on my outer thigh, and it sent me to the ground, gripping the impact point and shouting to the other players something like, “Ouch! That hurt! Don’t shoot! I’m out. Don’t shoot!” as I hid behind a bale of hay.
After the first round we went back to home base to reload and compare injuries. It was quickly clear that our group included some pretty die-hard, tough girls, of which I was not one.
Don’t get me wrong, I stayed in the game and held my own, mostly, but a few of the women were all out fierce, I tell ya.
After it was all said in done, I counted my bruises and I had at least a half dozen marble-sized red and blue spots. One in particular, on my shoulder, was particularly painful and colorful and is actually still a tad bit visible even two weeks later.
Some were shocked that I would do such an activity. My mother said she thought I had more sense than to do something like that. Maybe I should’ve (had more sense). But I did it to try something new, something outside my comfort zone, something “gutsy.”
Yes, it hurt. But it also felt good to push the limits, to share it with friends, old and new, and to allow the bruises to be symbols of strength, courage and guts.