This helmet was mine after a paintball game, not too long ago. Let’s just say I was grateful for the coverage! I grew up in a family of all girls. There were four daughters to be exact. Even the dogs we had were female. Add in my Mom, and my poor Dad was completely surrounded. We had a lot of fun in our family, but he didn’t get to play much catch or practice throwing the football. He taught us how to shoot a gun briefly, but let’s just say that hunting wasn’t part of our family tradition.
Even so, I somehow developed a love for cap guns.
I wish I had the picture now, but I used to run around dressed up like a “cowgirl” firing gap guns left and right. I remember it as one of the joys of my childhood. I guess that explains why the introduction of paintball into my life, as a full grown adult parent, took so well. At first, I didn’t know what I was doing, but getting pelted on every side with painful paintballs, teaches you how to protect yourself pretty quickly. After you learn the defensive moves of how to hide behind the bunkers and when to duck to get low, you can learn how to protect yourself offensively. You learn how to move forward with confidence, instead of hiding in the back the entire round.
That’s when paintball gets really fun.
It’s about knowing what to look for, like noticing every time a black gun barrel peeks around a yellow bunker. It’a about anticipating what your opponent is is going to do next. It’s about visualizing what you’re going to feel while you’re on the move . . . and running out there in confidence anyway. The whole thing is a crazy rush of adrenaline. You either love it or your hate it.
There’s usually not a lot of in-between.
I can’t help but think about how this experience of paintball correlates to so many areas of life. Sometimes you’re just in survival mode. Literally all you can do is hide behind the bunkers, just low enough to stay alive. You get pelted every now and then and it hurts enough to keep you staying safe and low. But if you keep showing up and paying attention, you start to learn some of the patterns. You begin to learn the normal cadence. You understand when it’s safe to run and when to stay put.
You learn what to watch for.
You can use all that experience and knowledge as a valid excuse to stay put, because it’s evidence that there is pain lurking out there, in front of the bunker. Or you use all that learning to empower yourself. You can intentionally make different choices than you did last time. You can use the memory of the pain as a guidepost that will make you a stronger player, which of course, makes everyone on your “team” safer too. It can give you the courage to move forward.
That’s when life gets really fun.
“They” say knowledge is power. I say that power is a conscious choice. It depends entirely on what you decide to do with the knowledge.
Get up and move.
You’ve got this.
to more love,
(This whole idea of empowering yourself with knowledge and understanding is the foundation for our “Staying Alive GNO” coming up on September 6th. I hope you’ll join us for a girls night out that could literally, save your life. Rally your girlfriends and get your tickets here.)