It has taken a couple of days for me to properly process what happened during my first laser tag Armageddon. I will say this was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. It was both physically and emotionally draining during a time in my life that was already physically and emotionally draining in other ways, but this took things to a whole different degree of rigor.
When this experience began I took a great deal on faith. I travelled to Buffalo to meet up with four men who were complete strangers to me in the beginning as we embarked on the journey to go through this competition together. I learned more than I ever expected to over the course of spending five days in three states and playing seven systems. Some of what I learned includes the following:
I may be a big fish in a small pond as I play laser tag locally, but there is a huge ocean out there. I need to come back bigger, better and badder the next time around...and I will.
When you think you don't have anything more left in you, that is not the time to quit. This is when you must keep going without complaint and do not ever let "tired" keep you from giving everything and then some because this is not about "you". It's about the team.
Moving outside your comfort zone is okay and sometimes even necessary to allow you to take on things you didn't think you could. This whole deal was something that moved from intriguing, to exciting, to intimidating, to rewarding. How lucky am I that I got to be a part of it?
A few words for my teammates:
Bill: Thank you for taking me onto your team and making me feel welcomed as a first time Armageddon player. There were so many things I learned and experienced for the first time and you always gave a push to keep me going as hard as I could. I wanted to give all I had out of respect for you and this team.
Carl: You are a powerful force to be reckoned with and I am grateful that you made me feel so welcome from the get go. I hope every Armageddon keeps getting better and better and I am glad to have been on your team for this one.
Ziggy: Even in the face of disappointments you kept things positive, always constructively giving great suggestions for tactics and techniques to help us improve and adjust our game every step of the way. I consider it an honor to have had the chance to play on a team with you and I also wish to congratulate you on your status that is now legally recognized. All my best to you on whatever you decide in the future.
Ben: I am so glad that you have found this sport and are using it to get out and about and make social connections. There are many great people in the laser tag community and you are one of them. Stay on the right track and I hope you knock 'em dead at your Laser Storm nationals.
Georgio: Your laser tag heart and desire to improve your skills at every turn are absolutely inspiring. Playing alongside you was a pleasure. I hope that we can play some tag again next time you are back in the states...I'm not too far from some Quest here in NY!
Andrew: I learned a great deal from you over the weekend...mostly about chips! I appreciate how passionate you are about Tron and everything else that you do. Hope you get the chance to go to Baltimore and have a blast.
Wil: You rock twelve ways to Sunday. Perhaps someday I'll get the chance to tell you a very long story (not quite as long as Andrew might tell, but...) and you will better know why it is that I am so glad that I had the chance to get to know you over the course of these intense five days as we went through this together as Armageddon newbies. What can I say? Build that house!
I want to say big thanks to Ricky Vega for coordinating this whole mad thing. When I told people what it was that I was doing and shared the schedule they told me I was crazy, wondered if this escapade was sponsored by Monster Energy Drinks and didn't quite understand why I would put myself through it. I can't say that I know "why", but I do know I am so glad that I did. Thank you for making this possible.
As I have spent the last couple of days recovering from being part of the Armageddon I have replayed many moments over and over in my head. This was surreal. This was indescribable. And this was...exhausting!
Comments or questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com