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Old 03-12-2006, 06:11 AM
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vikingshadow vikingshadow is offline
Ah-roo! Ah-roo! Ah-roo!
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Where my stuff is. Duh!
Posts: 6,950
Default Farewell to paintball

Ok, this seemed to be a trend a few years ago, but I haven't seen it but once since then. I'm not trying to make a splash, or get sympathy. I have friends here, and thought I ought to tell you guys this. As I said, you're my friends and deserve to know this. If you don't care, then don't read it, and I'll just say good bye to you now. Warning! It is a long post!

For those of you who do care, you may (or may not) have noticed I haven't posted nearly as much as I had been lately. I've been checking in every day, but in all honesty, I decided to quit paintball a couple of weeks ago. My birthday was last weekend, and it was that turning-point birthday (40), so I began doing a lot of thinking. I started running during this time, as I remembered I had a lot of time to think while I was running - cleared my head, so to speak, of a lot of cobwebs junking up the place.

It started about 3 weeks ago when my team and I went to the reball center in OKC and my gun went down - and if you know me, my guns DO NOT EVER quit working so this really bugged me. While I had an angel to play with, which did great, the nagging idea that things were falling apart kept coming in my head the whole day. I was angry and to top it off, we saw some things at the field which a year ago wouldn't have bothered me, but did this day. But I wasn't going to quit, I was going to get even better. I began selling my guns off so I could buy a PM6 from Durrell....which, fortunately for me, my guns never sold.

Anyway, on the 2.5 hour drive home, I talked with my wife about it and I came to the conclussion (in my head again) that I needed to get rid of something in my life...and free up some time for me to gather my thoughts and become "human" again. Unfortunately, the only thing I could come up with was that paintball had to go. But I wasn't sure that's what I wanted to do. I was about 30 percent decided...

Over the past two weeks, I quit sitting in front of the computer so much, started reading more, and started feeling in control of my life once again. Then, last Sunday evening (after my parents and friends had left from my b-day party,) I decided it was over. I HAD to quit, because it wasn't fun anymore, and my life was in chaos. I actually was planning on telling the team today in team practice first, then let you guys know, but the captain isn't going to be there. I figure that financially, mentally, and emotionally, with the family, my job and what with me working on National Boards starting this summer, I just need to drop something in my life. Paintball was occupying too much of my time.

Of course, I feel obligated to play this next tournament with the team, but after that, I'm out for good. I mean, unless something big happens between now and then, which I'm not ruling out. It used to be fun, now it's just an unpaid job for me that I do every weekend for 5 hours at the field and countless hours on the net.

I do have a plan - I'm going to start back into writing, which I had a plan to publish shortly, that is, before I started paintball, so now I'm getting back into that. I plan to go fishing and swimming with my kids this summer, continue running, work hard on National Boards, get back into my job (I sort of made it the "back burner" kind of thing once I discovered paintball) start back to church again (which was another thing I put on the back burner,) spend more time with the family and just start living again.

I'll still be here, working as a moderator and talking to you guys. At least for awhile. I once thought I was going to make it pretty big in paintball. Still think I could have - had I lived in the right area, hadn't burned out, hadn't taken it so seriously - I was just getting angry all the time.

It hit me, after I had been somewhat depressed for about 3 weeks - I mean, I'm getting older (more than twice as old as my two youngest team mates,) I didn't like paintball anymore, I had decided to quit, but hadn't told anyone... that it all came down to this. I decided to stop TRYING to make my mark on the world, and realize that I ALREADY have.

(Now, before you say it, this isn't a gushy remark stolen from a movie or a television show, I realized I actually have made a mark. I have two wonderful kids, have lots of friends, people ALL OVER THE WORLD now know Vikingshadow thanks to the internet, and most of all, I'm a teacher. WARNING: BRAGGING TIME!!!! I've been Teacher of the Year, I've recently been selected to become part of a committee to review our states testing standards, and I've won the Outstanding Educator award in our district, and I've been selected for several other committees, including Ruby Payne's Teacher's Teaching Teachers and Dealing with Poverty in our Schools, Literacy First, Great Expectations, the list goes on. Now I'm up for National Board Certification. This is just within the last 4 years! I've had students from years ago coming up to me this year, giving me a hug and saying, "I remember...." and telling me "You're my favorite teacher!" I believe I have made my mark, somewhat, and the next mark I want to leave is with my children and with my writing. So I have nothing to be ashamed of, that's for sure!)

Ok, so my somewhat successful run in paintball (a first place win, a second place win, 4th place and then a couple bad placings in tournaments, becoming one of the better players at my field and a few other fields, a moderator on a big worldwide forum where people ask for my help daily) is over. Unfortunately, I can't even play rec because no one at my field outside my team will play me. They'll all play WITH me, but not against me - hehehe! Anyway, who knows, maybe I'll try to pick up rec again in a few months after things have settled down. But I doubt it.

So, after April 2nd, I'm vikingshadow, civilian moderator at SOC/KUSA. It's been great, it's been fun, but it hasn't been great fun! LOL!
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