I realized, looking back at all these flashbacks, that most are rather solemn and serious. I like to do my best to keep things balanced in life, so this one will be hopefully a bit more humorous.
Once you go paint-balling, it is an experience you will never forget. You’ll never forget the first time you hold your gun, pull the trigger, and get the satisfying “Thompthompthomp” sound from the gun, as plastic balls of paint hurl towards your opponent. You’ll never forget who saved your rear when in “Battle”. You’ll never forget that first time you get shot, and realize “Hey! This doesn’t hurt as bad as I thought.”
But it still hurts.
But it is worth it.
The first time I went paint-balling, was part of a guy’s party. Dad and I went together, and decided on the way we were going to be on different teams. So we could shoot each other of course. ;)
So we divided up into teams, and played on a field which had woods, underbrush, and some plywood “Houses”. It was a great field, and many different strategies were employed. In the second or third game, me and a buddy were camping out in a house, behind enemy lines, as we had snuck almost all the way to the flag, and were about to try and capture it.
That’s when, about 25 yards across the field we hear a lot of rustling up the hill we faced. A lot of rustling. A few seconds later, we see a guy racing down the hill, trying to stop and the bottom… and ultimately fails. Doing a faceplant/dive/fall/plop into a pile of leave at the bottom. Then promptly getting shot by the opposing team.
I’ll never forget it, the buddy of mine looked at me and whispers “Dude. You know who that is?” I faithfully, yet somewhat embarrassedly replied.
That’s, my dad.
The guy laughed out loud, which gave away our position, which made up get lit up like firecrackers on a Chinese New Year’s. It hurt. A lot.
But you know, what made that event memorable wasn’t the hilarious way my dad fell/ran down the hill. It wasn’t how we had welts from the breach of cover. It was how dad handled the quite embarrassing fall. He didn’t get mad or upset at folks. He laughed. He laughed at how ridiculous he must have looked, because he knew it was funny.
I think that was the day, though I didn’t realize it then, when I realized a mark or maturity and the mark of a man is the ability to laugh at himself. It is something I constantly check myself for. We have natural tendencies to make ourselves look “Joe Cool” all the time, when we forget, we are funny people. Because mistakes, are often funny.
So if you ever pull a stunt of hilarious failure or embarrassment, laugh at it. It sure beats the alternative.