After running through no-man's land, you finally find a spot to take a breather. You count your ammo and find there is barely enough. The sounds of slow footsteps grab your full attention. They get louder and louder. You get ready to pounce. And you spring up to the barrel of your best friend's gun. He smirks and before you can shut your eyes, your hit with a ball of paint right on your chest.
When someone says, "Let's go paintball", most people instantly think of Sydney's famous Heartbreak Ridge. And that is exactly what my family did when my Birthday was coming up. We contacted the Marsden Park facility and bought a deal that was appropriate for our group. So off we went on a cold September morning. On arrival, we were greeted by military vehicles at the entrance, including a gigantic tank. The vehicles and camouflage covers got the "war" mentality drilled into us. We got our overalls, masks and strapped on a GoPro to the mask. We then took a group photo on top of the tank, which looks awesome.
One of the Heartbreak Ridge staff members gave us a safety lecture and informed us of the rules and procedures. Now it was time to select our weapon of choice from the racks and load up.
During the safety lecture.
Our referee guided us to our first battlefield "Demolition Alley". A Mad Max inspired field full of cars, old machinery, tyres and oil drums. We were told the first round would be Team Deathmatch, so once you were shot you had to stand to the side and wait for the game to end.
We were put into two teams and sent off to our separate bases. Being the first time I had ever gone paintball, my heart was pumping and the rush of adrenaline when I got when seeing the enemy run by for a second was amazing. At that moment, I knew this would be a day we would always remember.
The game lasted a reasonable amount of time. It took a while for me to get shot, but when I did, it was right in the ribs. But that was after I shot my cousin in the shoulder, sister in the leg and best friend right in the… well he had trouble going number 2 for a while.
There was a break to laugh and discuss our highlights of the previous round, but that was soon over when we were called for the second and final battle. Once again, our referee led us to the battleground called "Trenches". With over 1.5kms of above ground trenches, this battlefield was modelled after the warzones in France during World War One.
When walking into the middle of the field we stood upon a small hill, which had a poll with a flag. I immediately new this game-mode was going to be Capture The Flag. We split into teams and went our separate ways. Before the whistle was blown my team made a plan, surprisingly we all stuck by it, and one of the 3 rounds went pretty easily. Well, that was after being pelted with paintballs at all angles.
We had a great time shooting each other and having a laugh. Spending time with my family and friends made it so much better. We all agreed we would be going back again very soon. Once we had finished, we handed in our gear and off we went, leaving with memories and so many bruises.