There’s a first time for everything and Monday certainly proved to be one of those times. Urban Girl Squad, led by Amanda Hofman, hosted an extreme night of paintball and lazertag for about twenty New York City women.
Although horribly lost on my way to Queens, realizing too late that I was actually on the express train rather than the local heading out of Manhattan, I finally made my way out of the windy rain and into the large indoor arena of NYC Paintball.
Once inside, participants were given a brief tutorial on gun safety and game rules. Still slightly frazzled from a long day at work, I admit I was only half listening; that was until our instructor stunned me with examples of how dangerous this sport is if not taken seriously.
After putting on my helmet and loading orange paintballs that looked more like candy gumballs than anything else, I bravely took my position on the field. Unfortunately, during the first round my weapon did not work properly and while trying to fix the problem, someone on the opposing team took a cheap shot right at my neck.
Granted, none of us were skilled enough to even know where we were aiming, I was still flustered. With a high-pitched scream, I ran off the field with what would later resemble a hickie from a boyfriend I didn’t have. I guess all is fare in love and war.
As the rounds wore on I toughened up and had a blast. I felt like a secret agent on a mission to save the world. After about an hour of running, shooting, and ducking behind barricades, I was completely out of breath and ready to call it a day. As it turned out, the adventure wasn’t over.
After feeling the impact of paintballs all over my body, a light game of Lazertag was just what I needed to regain my strength. Slipping right back into my childhood memories, I played like a little kid again in the trippy room of black lights and puffy blockades.
When it was finally time to head home, I felt so proud of myself for trying something new and having such a good time. This was the perfect activity to do on a rainy night in the city and I was happy to have met interesting women from different backgrounds and walks of life.
This is just one of many successful Urban Girl Squad events monthly. Just recently, Amanda threw a free Two-Year Anniversary Party for her organization, even giving away complimentary gift bags to many guests. Next on the UGS agenda is a shopping day at Callalilai in Union Square, where personal styling tips will be given out.
– Megan Eileen McDonough