I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a world champion. It wouldn’t matter what it was that I was the best at, as long as I was the best. Imagine knowing that you could beat anyone on the planet at one particular thing, whether it be running, boxing or finger painting.
Sadly, at the age of twenty-seven, history tells us that I’ve never come anywhere near to obtaining this goal in any discipline. Instead what I’ve found is that I’m just average at most things. But, what would happen if I had the opportunity to challenge a world champion at their discipline, and then beat them? Technically, this would make me a world champion, right?
I dwelled on this irrational thought for a while and soon convinced myself that I was on to something. All I had to do was find a world champion, any world champion, willing to take me on.
The search had begun.
My name is Sebastian and I’ve got a slightly cheeky question for you……”
That’s how I started my email to Ollie Lang; the worlds best paintball player.
“Now I don't know if this is something that you would be interested in, but I’m wondering if there is any way whatsoever that I could challenge you to a 1-on-1 paintball match? You see I have a list of 100 Things….”
The reply came quicker than a paintball at point-blank,
“Sure, why not?”
And just like that, Ollie Lang, the world’s best paintball player, had agreed to take me on in a one on one match. I was one step closer to realising a dream. His world title would soon be mine.
Now all I needed to do was learn how to play Paintball.
Ollie Lang captains the world’s best paintball team; Team Ironman. A simple internet search using the word paintball will provide you with articles, video’s and fan mail telling you so;
Ollie Lang. The greatest player of all time? Writes one magazine.
As a rookie, Ollie Lang skyrocketed to stardom when he single handily beat five of the highest profile players in the world to win him and his team a gold medal at a major tournament. I on the other hand, have played played paintball a total of twice in my life. On both occasions I found that I wasn’t the best player or the worst player; instead I was just average.
Had I bitten off more than I could chew?
The sun was out and the sky was blue as I entered Ramona Paintball Arena near San Diego. The sound of rapid-fire gunshots ricocheted through the air loudly, only letting up every so often as competitors re-loaded their colourful ammunition.
“Do you guys know an Ollie Lang in here?” I asked a bunch on spectators as we looked out across a fully enclosed paintball arena that currently hosted an exciting game of five-on-five paintball.
“Ollie Lang? Sure!” yelled one guy, as he pointed to a man currently hiding behind a large inflatable cone on the far side of the playing arena “That mans famous, dude!”.
With that, Ollie Lang, dressed head to toe in army attire, exploded emphatically from behind the cone, firing a barrage of green and yellow paintballs forty feet through the air, each one rifling into the head of his unsuspecting opponent. I had found my man. Ollie had found his.
I was nervous.
Eventually Ollie made his way over and introduced himself to me.
“I’m glad you could make it man!” he beamed as he walked me over to his team. “We’ve been talking and we think that the best idea is for you to go one-on-one with me, full court, and then take on Mike Paxton in a Mexican Stand-off. What do you think?”
I didn’t want to sound stupid, so I agreed. Between you and I, I had no idea what the hell a Mexican Stand-off was.
To be continued...