It amazes me how quickly paintball has become my life. It all started with my boyfriend at the time wanting me to go out and play with him. I went, not really wanting to but trying to be a good girlfriend and do something that he wanted to do. We went to our local woods ball field which was located conveniently just a few minutes drive from our house. I am by no means a large girl, being just over 5 feet tall so I was really intimidated seeing all the big guys with their huge guns and vests, the sound of guns being chrono'd and a safety speech being yelled out. I felt ridiculous and out of place in my camo pants and shirt that were way too big for me. The guy at the front desk handed me my gun and paint and I headed to the staging area.
Since the first time I went to play woods ball I have played almost every single weekend for the past 2 years. A few months after first playing I started hanging out with some guys that were into playing pump. One of them had actually designed and made his own marker, the Falcon. He'd been playing for quite a few years and took me under his wing and helped me learn and develop my own playing style. I was drawn to playing pump for woods ball because of the accuracy of the markers, how quiet they were, as well as it was a super light set up, having only a 50 round hopper and a 50 round pod in my pocket. After playing with them for awhile, we were called 'Pump Zeppelin', we started to play in a woods ball league called the Pointman Woodsball League. It was fun, but not as fast paced as I would have liked.
Because of our team captain and us starting to play a bit more competitively one of the investors of the Falcon decided to help fund a documentary about paintball, focusing on our team. We had the camera crew follow us around for about 6 months. Within that 6 months we got to fly from Vancouver to go and play Pump Pandemonium at EMR Paintball Park in Pennsylvania as well as visit New York. I was amazed at the opportunities that were coming my way because of paintball.
In May 2011 I was a business student in need of a job. My friend Ryan’s mom, who is also my friend, sent me a link to www.paintballgear.caletting me know that they were hiring. I wasn't sure if they would want a girl with only woods ball knowledge, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to apply. The next morning I got a call asking me to come in for a 'group interview' which I had never heard of and so I was really nervous about it. Of course I was the only girl there along with 5 other guys. It was interesting seeing the other people that wanted the same job and I wasn't sure if I would get it or not. After a nail biting week of waiting and hoping I got it, I received the phone call letting me know that I had got the job. I was so happy! How many people get to work in an environment with like minded people, talking about and dealing with a hobby they love on a daily basis? Through working at paintball gear my product knowledge has grown immensely. Once in awhile I'll get phone calls from people that don't think I'll be able to help them because I’m a girl, but on the larger scale people seem to like dealing with me and enjoy hearing about the sport of paintball from a girls perspective.
Shortly after filming for the documentary wrapped up I decided to give speed ball a try. About a month previous I had purchased a Bob Long Intimidator G6R which I was really liking but had to get used to cause it was much different from using a pump! I'd gone out a few times and played with friends but didn't really know what I was doing. Lucky for me, in the fall Cole Scott from Edmonton Impact starting working for Paintball Gear. I've been fortunate enough to have him take the time to coach me and teach me every Sunday for the past few months. So far he's made me bleed and swear a lot but I have learned a ton and have seen my game improve immensely! I'm hoping in the coming months to start playing more competitively and feel confident that I will be able to hold my own.
Again, it amazes me that within two years of starting to play paintball I have got to meet so many fantastic people, traveled, made a movie and started a new career. I do not think it's a bad thing to be a girl in the paintball community as I have felt so much support from this great group of people. A paintballer really is the kind of person that would give you the shirt off their back without a second thought.