A helping hand

I know most of my blogs have been paintball related and I’m trying to be a little more diverse in my posts. This year I’ve had the privilege of working with some worthwhile charities and as we get into the holiday season I’d love to do more. I know financially that just isn’t always possible, but your time can be just as valuable if not more when it comes to charity. My mission this season is to try and make time to work with a charity for a little bit. The only question is which one? There are so many worthwhile charities deserving of donated time from individuals that it’s hard to choose. Last November while out in California on vacation, we went with some family and actually donated time. Sitting here writing this post has made me reflect on those who are less fortunate. While there are those who will sit back and complain that they only got a 16gb iPod but wanted a 32gb. There are those who will be perfectly happy getting some crayons, coloring books and stuffed animal because their parents simply don’t have the means to provide them with all the presents they’d want to and more. So this holiday season, think about taking some time out of your busy schedule and donate to a worthy cause. I know I will be

Do you know of any worthwhile charities and if so what are they? Then take this challenge and make some time to donate this season to any charity. You’d be surprised what even one donated day can do to make someone’s holiday that much more special.

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Back to the basics

Back to the basics can apply to many things as well but the one I plan to focus on is my personal fitness. This time last year I was about 215 and a few sizes smaller in the waste. Funny what a year of poor eating, not working out and being stressed will do to you. While I still have the stress in my life but at a much smaller level it’s time to introduce exercise and diet back into the mix. Exercise should help me reduce that stress even more and diet will hopefully help take the weight off. My goal is to hit 220 by the end of the year. Although it’s a pretty aggressive goal I’ve never been one to dive into anything slowly. I’ve also found that it’s easier if you have someone else working with you. In this case it’ll be my wife (she just doesn’t know it yet). My plan is simple……we’re going back to the basics – the basics of eating healthy, working out, and cardio. The basics of taking time out to concentrate on things we want and need to do. Also planning for the future and whatever it may hold for us. While it’s not going to be an easy road the basics is all it takes to make those little things in life you want to happen. With that being said chose one thing in your life that you wish was different and take it back to the basics. Rebuild from there and conquer what it is you’ve chosen.

If you could take one thing you’d want to take back to the basics what would it be and why? Now take this and use it to challenge yourself. There isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished by going back to the basics and putting forth an effort.

 

 

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Are you ready for some paintball?

For those of you who are into paintball the countdown to PSP World Cup of Paintball 2012 has begun. The time when teams from all around the world come to compete for that first place win. The dates this year are October 25th – 28th at Fantasy of Flight in Auberndale, Florida.  PSP World Cup of Paintball 2011 was my first time experiencing this and I must say I’ve been waiting all year to get the chance to go back. The things I most look forward to are checking out the vendors and what deals they have to offer, seeing what used gear is floating around (there’s always a good deal to be found at Cup), as well as watching my favorite amateur and pro teams play. I’m most looking forward to watching Tampa Bay Damage play. I always get to watch them on the webcast, but this particular event I get to go see them live and in full effect. While everyone you talk to have their own memories of World Cup, the most memorable part of last years for me was being in the stands for that final game when Damage won it all. The excitement that ran through the stands compares to nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life. So once again I’m hopeful my fondest memory of PSP World Cup of Paintball 2012 will be watching Tampa Bay Damage take yet another win at World Cup.

What are some of your fondest memories from World Cup?

What part of World Cup do you look forward to this year?

The Chance of a lifetime

Well for anyone who knows me it’s pretty obvious one of the items on my bucket list is to play tournament paintball. At the age of 40, I fear the chances of that happening are slim to none, however a unique opportunity came my way. I was asked if I would like to join a team playing the “Masters” Division at World Cup this year. For anyone who’s not familiar with paintball I equate World Cup to the “Super Bowl” of paintball. Teams come from all around the world and compete for that chance to say they are “#1”. I’ll have to admit I’m excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. Excited because I finally have the chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Nervous because I feel as if I’m getting in way over my head. And I’m scared because I feel like I’m going to go out and make an ass out of myself. I haven’t quite committed to playing yet but I have to admit I’m about 90% there and growing closer every day. One of my biggest fears is “regret”…. Regretting the fact that if I pass this opportunity up, another one may not come my way. So I may just throw caution to the wind and take those words of advice that Jason Edwards once said “Do it Bro… No matter what it is! “and go for it. It’s funny how words of encouragement from others (even those who you’ve only met once) can give you just the right amount of push to take you on what could be the adventure of a lifetime. So as I sit here and ponder, I wonder what others would do in my position.

What would you do?

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Speedball vs Woodsball

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in paintball is figure out what style of play you’ll want to do. One thing you’ll need to ask yourself is “What type of paintball do you like to play”? There’s speedball (or air ball) which is common to those who like a fast paced game of 5 to 7 people per team. The games generally last a few minutes and are generally very intense. Fields are generally made up of specially made bunkers and usually emulate some of the more current PSP or other tournament configurations.

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Speedball Field

 

For those who like a slower game where you can use special tactics and more methodical moves, there is woodsball. The woodsball fields are generally larger in size and usually boast many more bunkers and man-made obstacles. Games are generally longer and there are many variations of play that can be done on those fields (Attack and defend, Capture the flag, last man standing and many more depending on the fields and their props). After playing many years I’m still torn between both styles. I love playing woodsball, but find myself addicted to the fast paced speedball games as well. What style of play do you find yourself playing and why?

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Woodsball Field

My Rookie Mistakes

Well this weekend for me seemed to be challenging as I’ve found myself making those pesky “Rookie” mistakes once again. My first mistake of the day was sticking my head out way too far. I thought I was past this one but apparently not as I took one in the head. This was a lesson taught to me as I played for the first time; however it seems to pop up from time to time.

My second mistake is having a tendency to always want to drop my gun barrel down. This very important because in the seconds it takes to raise your barrel back up, you could have been shot 3 times by someone who kept theirs up. Once again, I found this out the hard way.

My last mistake, and this one I’m still struggling with, is my inability to shoot left handed. This is one I’ve been struggling with for awhile as I’m dominantly right handed so the brain is fighting me over this. I’ve been told over time I’ll learn to adjust but for now my brain is winning. This was a costly mistake and one that I knew better. It did cost me a few games as when I went to shoot from the left side, my brain refused to let me shoot left handed, so I found most of my body exposed and immediately took a shot to the mask…… Thanks Chris (LOL).

We all make “Rookie” mistakes from time to time but the key is remembering and correcting them. In the heat of battle sometimes the brain fights us, but you can overcome this with repetition. This is why the Pro’s spend some much time doing drills!

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Summertime and Hydration

If you took a poll of those who play paintball, you’d be surprised on their responses if you asked the question “Is there any time in the year you wouldn’t play paintball”! You’ll find most players tend to take the summer months off due to the extreme heat in some areas. Although you’ll find those who I consider the hardcore players and tend to play whenever, whether it’s freezing cold or insanely hot. This is where conditioning and hydration can play a major factor in merely being able to tolerate and/or survive. Conditioning can be accomplished in many different fashions but for the pros that’s where the multiple practices come in. This conditioning accomplishes not only the physical but also serves the purpose of allowing players to perfect their skills. Another item that can play a factor in your overall game is physical conditioning. Most players you’ll find in the gym working on cardio as well as weight training. Cardio can be a key factor in survival of the summer months. Lastly but most importantly HYDRATION is key in the most extreme months. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a player go down from being dehydrated. When asked if they are drinking water the most common response was “no”. For those who said “yes” I found that they drank water but not nearly enough. Personally when I play thru the summer months (and I do) I’ll start to hydrate 24 hours before I play. These are a few things to consider – especially playing thru those unbearable months. Work on your conditioning, which will always help no matter what time of the year it is. And most importantly HYDRATE !!!

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My First time

It was a warm summer night…….. Oh wait wrong story. Well, it was actually a warm summer day in August of 2009. The setting was PSI Extreme in Largo Florida and the occasion was my brother-in-law Nile’s bachelor party. See, we needed an activity for his Bachelor party that was all age appropriate as his brother was not 18. After speaking to Nile and suggesting paintball, everyone seemed to be into it so I proceeded to plan. When I got there I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but after a few minutes I knew we were in for some fun. After we all got checked in and went thru our safety briefing we all walked out the door to the field and then that’s when it all sank in. What were we thinking? Are we actually going to do this? This and many other things were running thru my mind as I loaded my hopper and proceeded thru the net and onto the field. The bachelor party consisted of 10 of us plus we met up with some others that were there playing and we all had a blast.

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Round 1 consisted of a great game of 5 on 5. We were split into our teams and sent to our sides to wait for the game to begin. I remember sitting there waiting, thinking that it was taking forever to hear those words “Ready…Go”. From the moment I fired my first shot I knew I was hooked. The more I played the more addictive it became. The one thing I noticed throughout the day was the age of players varied greatly, I believe on that day it ranged from 13 to 40 years old. Friends were made and a hobby (or an obsession as my wife likes to say) was born. Players you meet on the field may come from all walks of life, but their friendship is always there. My first time playing brought the group closer together and for me personally I made 4 new friends who I talk to (some daily) about anything and everything (not just paintball). In my opinion that is what the sport of paintball is about. A little friendly competition but at the end of the day and the end of the game it’s all left on the field.

 

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Rainy Days and Sundays ………

For those who automatically thought of the Carpenters this is my little twist. What was supposed to be an epic 40th Birthday weekend for myself (and 28th for Rachel) our plans were changed by Mother Nature. The plan was for a group of 20 of our friends to go play paintball, which for some was long overdue. Mother Nature threw a slight curve ball at us with a small little storm named “Debby”. The constant rain has flooded the fields and left us stranded at home with no hope of paintball for the day. Well the jokes on her……..as we’ll now be able to watch our favorite professional teams at the PSP Event in Chicago. I know it’s not quite the same as being out there playing but it feeds our need for paintball and we get to spend some time with our families. So what do I do? I’m glued to my computer catching every glimpse of the pro games and watching “Tampa Bay Damage” continue on in hopes of bringing home the PSP win from Chicago, which would be the perfect birthday weekend topper. So now the truth is out, that I’m a Tampa bay Damage fan! I’ll elaborate on their team in future blogs.

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In the beginning

Well this is my first attempt at blogging so be gentle with me. My blog is dedicated to the sport in which I fell in love with a few short years ago and I am thoroughly addicted to (at least that’s what my wife tells me repeatedly). This blog will encompass anything and everything paintball related and take you thru a journey of how it all started for me and then up to where I currently am today. As the blog takes off, I’ll be adding additional fun items. I’m hoping by sharing this, I’ll be able to network with fellow players who share my love of the game as well as introduce those who have never played the game and grow the sport by adding new players.

I’m a 39 year old male from Clearwater Florida who was introduced to the sport in August of 2009. While my introduction into the sport was purely accidental (as I’ll explain in a future blog), I must say it has been many great years of playing and meeting new people who share the common interest. You’d think that paintball only appeals to a certain age bracket but I can assure you it appeals to the 50 year old individual just the same as it does the 12 or 13 year old picking up that paintball gun for the first time.

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