It happens on a random Monday, coming back from an event. Or late on a Sunday night, right before you get on the plane and you're about to be frisked for the third time. You're driving, you're flying, you're sitting in an airport seat with boys from the team. You're drinking stale coffee, trying to stay awake. You're explaining the fat welt on the side of your neck to a confused stranger or a best friend, or running through the sidewalks of LAX, trying to catch a plane. You're coming back to the other life... the one without paintball, where no one understands why you do it. You're tired, you're working off little sleep, the question creeps up and you try to ignore it. Why do I do this? Why the travel, why the losses, the missed work, the missed school, hours of practice, and the complaining girlfriend? Because the lure of living a paintball life is just too potent. And the products of the road, the travel, are memories forever, and trips, and strange lands with stranger people, At tournaments it feels like, for once, you actually get to live as loud as you want. It's worth the sacrifices, it's worth all the bullshit. Because if you work hard enough, a Sunday will roll around, and you'll be in the huddle, screaming, with your hand in, one among ten, playing for the world title, and suddenly all those clichés you ever heard make sense. And you are defined. You say it to yourself and it means everything. I am a paintball player. And this moment right here, is my life.
Paintball is a way of life.