Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some Days

This is gonna have to be short-and maybe bittersweet. It's easy from the outside looking in to romanticize the pro paintball player (and teams.) In the sense that those are the guys who get the majority of the attention and have the highest profile in the sport it's true. But if HK has taught the army of agglets anything it's that the paintball lifestyle is accessible to anyone who embraces it. And some days the pro paintball grind is just that, a grind. The team is in Sacramento for the weekend practicing the Ironmen. For most of us Friday began in the middle of the night Thursday. Our flight out of Tampa scheduled to depart at 6:30 am. Some guys stayed up all night. Some of us got a few hours sleep; 3 or 4 was the norm. Early morning is one of the two busiest times of day at Tampa's airport. I was the last one into and out of security arriving at the gate with 15 or 20 minutes to spare. It was 2 hours on a full flight to Houston followed by a ninety minute layover. Then 4 hours to Sacramento. Collect the rental cars after picking up our bags; hotel to check in, Subway for lunch and to the field. Capiltol Edge to practice the Ironmen for the rest of the day. Only to discover delivery of our paint was delayed by a snowstorm to the north. Arrange to make enough paint for Friday appear anyway. At which point it's been a fifteen hour day already. Except J-Rab missed his connecting flight when his flight out of D.C. was delayed with icy wings. For him the majority of the day was spent in airports waiting. He arrived Friday night around 8:30 pm. Some days. Saturday is the all day grind and Sunday it will be get in one last morning of practice prior to Galveston leaving the field around 1 pm. In order to get everyone home in time for work Monday morning our return flights have 2 or 3 scheduled stops and we'll hit the tarmac in Tampa just before 7 am. Assuming everything goes as planned.

11 comments:

Don Saavedra said...

Yes, but you guys make so much money...

Anonymous said...

i almost cried. your life is hard. people in Africa without drinking water should shut up and pray for pb players

Anonymous said...

That's right, somewhere out there someone else's life is worse. That should make you feel better.

Baca Loco said...

Anon(s)--it's not about better or worse, it's about perspective. And it's about the often completely unrealistic impressions that a lot of young players have when they imagine being a pro player.

Anonymous said...

#firstworldproblems

J. Stein said...

Oh how I miss it...

dan. said...

this sounds like an episode of TopGear (U.K.) and one of their Adventures. Good Luck Mates!

Anonymous said...

at least you know the people willing to do what they do to play pro, do it for no other reason than the fact that they love the game.

Sam Kinison said...

Anon1,

Wouldn't be much of a thing if they didn't LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!!!!!! SEE THIS? THIS IS SAND KNOW WHAT IT'S GONNA BE IN 100 YEAR FUCKING SAND!!!!!!

MikeMfromPrime said...

Sounds like Pro paintball can be like a hot girlfriend that you get tired of sometimes. I imagine it's work, and 'feels' like work often. Much the same as say, a race car driver, a musician, or stuntman feels about their "dream job".

When you want to be the best, I believe much of the time you cash in having fun for the end result, which is winning. And winning is fun. I believe it's also more lastingly rewarding than some random good time you may have had otherwise. "Professional Champion" has that ring like something you're kid would be proud of some day.

I do understand your point though. It ain't roasting down divisional players at your local field with free guns raining from the sky every practice. I've also heard of players going Pro with a sigh of relief of like "finally I've arrived". But their work has only just begun.

That and I don't care if you have a comped flight to the Caymans. Getting delayed in airports/planes is no fun.

Missy Q said...

I agree with the 2nd poster. I come to someones paintball blog to read about starving kids in Africa, not hear about the current top team's training/practice regimen. Where's your compassion?

Oh, and the sand guy, he needs to post more often. We need more pointless shout-posts on here...