"Everybody Wants Tommmmmmmy!"
What do you get when you combine family, friends, a paintball park. and 2 retired NYPD cops? A whole lot of fun and laughter! Last weekend after the "burpee incident," I went out to celebrate my homegirl's birthday at Paintball Sports New York.
The drive to the paintball park was beautiful. It was a short, tranquil 15 minute (10 minutes in Carly time) ride from my home to Plattekill, NY, where the park was located. It's peak foliage season now so the trees were vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellows with some lingering ombre green mixed in on the trees resisting the impending cold. I wanted to stop and take a few pictures, but I was already an hour behind schedule due to an impromptu conference call and medicating my aching back, and besides, I already received the "ETA text" aka "HURRY UP!" so stopping was out of the question.
I arrived at the site where a bright paintball sign seemed somewhat inviting as it was the same color of a typical happy face symbol, a canary yellow, and had a paint splat that reminded me of the 90's Nickelodeon golden era (the good ol' days). However, as I walked up the hill, I was surrounded by people in camouflage fatigues, guns, and masks. For a brief moment, I thought maybe I drove south to West Point instead of north.
I wasn't dressed for the part. I wore sweat pants, a hoodie, and sneakers. They are serious about this paintball life huh?
Dom's (birthday girl) mom, Diane, spotted me and immediately had me fitted in my gear, gun loaded, mask on, and paid up to head over to the field. For the cheapskates (eh-hem, me), we remained in our regular clothes and opted out of the camouflage couture. We divided into teams, Camouflage vs. Cheapskates, it just happened to divide evenly that way. Except for our resident shooters, the cops, Diane and Tommy (Dom's parents).
If you let Diane tell the story, "Everybody wants Tommmmmmmy!," but I recall him standing on my side with the cheapskates and deciding to remain with our team. Diane didn't see it that way.
She wasn't pleased by the alleged favoritism.
And she didn't let my team forget either. Her marksmanship was top notch during each game as she picked us off one-by-one with her head shots serving as a constant reminder that we made an error for not choosing her to be on our side. I think she missed her calling as a sniper, that's my humble opinion.
We hiked through the woods to the various fields. We ducked, ran, hid, and climbed over a stretch of 300 acres of land during our paintball bouts. Several fields later, sore and bruised, the day finally ended. (Praise Him! I had done more damage to my back earlier on during a game of 'capture the flag' trying to be a hero. I got a little too excited and my back told me to have a seat right next to Steve in his thinking chair. I did sit during one of the games and shot paintballs from a bench and I was the last man standing for my team. LOL!) I don't think anyone thought or acknowledged how physically demanding the day was because we were having way too much fun beaming each other with paintballs. In fact, we started discussing how we're gonna get in peak condition to be ready for another excursion in November! (I can't wait. Redemption will be sweet!)
"Everybody Wants Tommmmmmmy!" (long, drawn out, and extra whining, nasally emphasis on the Tommy part) became the catchphrase of the weekend. We chanted it when we took our pictures and even had the park employees join in on the fun, mimicking our silliness throughout the day.
It was a great change from the typical birthday dinner or night out on the town.
Fun (and fitness) can be found anywhere as long as you want to have good time and especially when you have great people with you to enjoy it. We had the right combination that weekend.