An "Infusion" of Positive Attitude
It is entirely probable that tonight was my last opportunity to play any more laser tag before I leave next week to meet up with my team "Let's Go Buffalo" and head off to Michigan to compete in the U.S. Armageddon laser tag tournament. I feel very fortunate I got to end tonight with an infusion of positive attitude, especially in light of my sour mood at the arena last night. I had occasion to be in the Albany area earlier today, so I stopped by my go-to tag spot out east.
I showed up earlier than I normally would since I was already right there. I hoped on a Saturday there would be a bit of a crowd. However, this was Father's Day weekend, graduation weekend and a nice weather Saturday...the trifecta for a slow night. And when I arrived the only players in the place were really little kids. I'm not a monster and that would be no fun for anyone, so I said I'd return later and in the meantime I killed time by getting my nails done. I'm probably the only player preparing for the Armageddon by getting a manicure :)
When I returned an hour or so later they were wrapping up a party...and otherwise nobody was around yet. But at this center the staff are very cool about going one on one (even though I suspect some of them no longer want to because they know what to expect from me in the arena). So they found a new challenger for me, a worthy opponent named Lexy. We went one on one stealth and she was good...and I was less good. I suspect the beam on my pack might have been askew, but no excuses, she gave me some good competition and came out of the arena 300 points ahead. Lexy is the first person to have beaten me in a one on one in that arena...great job, you rock! I was actually kind of glad she won because that's a cool badge of honor considering the guys I've played against there have not done that yet. So, we both came out with an adrenaline rush from a good game and I said "I'm warmed up now, who's next?"
Well, next was a three way challenge...Lexy and another staff member named Will against me in a free for all. Now, I changed out my pack because of my question over the beam, and depending on how you look at it, there was either an advantage or disadvantage to the one I grabbed. It made no noise at all. In fact, the lack of sound made me genuinely think I grabbed a bad pack at first. But it otherwise shot fine, so I just resigned myself to the lack of feedback/affirmation of shots I would normally expect to hear.
That round was intense. Although I won by a good margin, the score was not what made it a great game. I really enjoyed playing with these two. They played with heart and going up against staff members (even though Will says he doesn't play much) always feels like better than average competition, so I appreciated their willingness to take up the challenge and play hard tonight.
By the time that round was over a couple of groups of adult players had arrived. Yay...people over four feet tall (as opposed to the kids from earlier). A group of five women arrived together and a group of either older high school teens or young college guys (sometimes it's tough to tell) showed up for the next game. Count me in! I was ready for another round. The guys went blue (as did I) and the ladies went red. I went immediately for the red base...and I should have mentioned it while I was there, but something was definitely not working right with the base. I shot at it consistently for about 60 seconds, but only once I started shooting off center did it deactivate. I may have been the only person even thinking about getting the base since the other guys went directly for the bridge.
The women were easier marks because they seemed to play as a cluster, but I enjoyed the round. I also appreciated the little comments they made about my playing skill "this lady is ON", "she's too good" and the like...thank you for the compliments. Definitely a nice way to end the evening and my final game before the tournament. That's the "infusion" of positive attitude I needed while playing a little Infusion. We came out of that game and my top score was more than the next two highest scores combined.
I left feeling great. Even though the competition was not as intense as I face in other places, this final game was the perfect note to end on before putting on my game face and playing with and against some of the best players in the country next week. The Tivia that left the game tonight feels ready to say "bring it on!" Thanks to everyone who turned what could have been a lost night into a great way to wrap up the week. I am once again psyched up with positive energy.
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