The engine roars to life as you turn on the ignition. Underneath your seat, you carry the raw power of a 800cc monster itching to take you over to the wild side.
After a few practice runs with the trainer, you set off on the circuit, zipping past the obstacles smoothly. The energy and thrill you experience is unbelievable, you feel your heart singing along with the growl of the engine.
As you fearlessly power across all sorts of terrains on the 1.5 km long circuit, you finally understand what the word “daredevil” truly means.
The plastic bubble that envelops your torso is your only defence. It is also your only weapon. You push against your opponent, trying your best to make him leave the green mat. As you bounce off each other, neither of you can stifle the laugh that bursts forth.
He takes a run at you from a distance, hoping that the impact will make you stagger enough to push you off the mat. In a moment of pure inspiration, you wait until the last second to move out of his way.
He falls off the mat, and you both begin to laugh hysterically. He exits the bubble, and the crowd chortles in glee, you turn to them and ask - "So who's next?"
The tension in the elastic ropes releases, pulling you straight off the ground. You shoot up into the air, reaching a height of almost 15 metres. You know that the harness will keep you safe, but that doesn’t keep away the feeling of butterflies in your stomach.
And now you fall back down. The wind whistles in your ears, and you let out a scream of exhilaration as you grip the harness tight and your teeth clench in excitement.
As you bob up and down in the air, you feel the stress leave your body. The fear, the tension, all of it vanishes, leaving you with a feeling of pure joy.
You look across the course, gauging the distance between yourself and your target. You notice there’s a bit of a breeze in the air, you make a mental note of the angle at which you’d have to launch the ball.
As you fix the projectile and pull back the catapult, you hope that the countless hours you spent playing Angry Birds comes to your aid today.
The ball flies through the air with a whoosh. The catapult snaps back into position, you see the target fall just before you hear your friends’ applause burst to life around you.
Now it's time for Round 2.
Standing 20 feet off the ground, you swallow the lump in your throat with a hint of apprehension. All you can hear is the pounding of your heart.
Half an hour later, you disconnect from the zipline and look back over the 44 obstacles you overcame. As you break into a wide grin, you realise that what you’re feeling is an amazing sense of accomplishment.
Your mind vaguely registers the sound of distant cheering, but the sound that fills your ears is something else. A jubilant cry that bursts forth from your soul.
The ball rolls over to you as you quickly side-step the other team’s player. With your hands strapped onto the rope, you realise that the only way to keep the ball in your possession is to keep passing it within your team.
It took a little time to coordinate your movements with the rest of your team, but you’ve got the hang of it now. You understand their positions, and rather than working as 6 individuals, you find that you’re working as a single, organic unit.
You look up to see an opportunity waiting right in front of you. You take the shot. As you see the ball fly in, you hear your team erupt in a jubilant cry - “Goal!”
The first pole comes swinging straight at your legs. As you quickly jump over it, you notice your brother falling down onto the inflatable ring out of the corner of your eye. There’s no time to react, the next pole swings right at your face.
In the nick of time, you duck the pole and roll away. Your reflexes seem lightning fast, you feel agile and light. You feel like you’re at the top of your game.
And that’s when the pole swings the wrong way and catches you behind your legs. As you fall onto the soft padding, you can’t help joining in the roar of laughter around you.
You glide over the rough, unpredictable terrain in a cloud of dust. The mountain bike is no stranger to you, though this is the first time you’re using it to navigate your way through obstacles.
Completing the high incline climb, you make a mental note of the fact that you’re not as out-of-breath as you thought you’d be. Despite the sweat and dirt that clings to your skin, you feel oddly rejuvenated.
Soon, it's time to begin the descent. And, as every child will tell you, the ride downhill is a lot more fun than the uphill climb.
You hear the whistle a split second before you bolt ahead. You run past some of your friends, and notice the first obstacle coming up in your path.
You jump, crawl and climb past each obstacle on the course. As you race past the pack, you feel the adrenaline pumping through your body. The energy you experience feels unbelievable, and you notice that your endurance level is significantly higher than you thought.
And within the blink of an eye, you cross the finish line as the crowd bursts into a wild cheer.
You take in a deep breath, close your eyes, exhale slowly, and listen to your heartbeat. In between them, you find it. The moment of complete stillness.
You let the arrow fly. As it whizzes through the air, you notice everyone’s eyes are following its trajectory. With a soft thud, it lands right in the middle of the bulls’ eye even as the crowd yells in delight.
You smile as your friend exclaims – "Now let's try out the rifles!"
Once you put on the suit, you can barely control your laughter. You waddle up to the ring with your opponent, looking forward to the funniest wrestling match of your life.
You push, pull and grapple at your opponent, trying to catch him off-guard. As you fall over each other, you try to catch your breath in between bouts of hysteric laughter.
That’s the only advantage your opponent needs, the next thing you know, he’s managed to get you out of the ring with a deft push. You chuckle in good humour as you congratulate him.
But now, it's time for round 2.
Crawling into the big plastic bubble, you make sure the harness is securely in place with a feeling of nervous excitement. You gain your balance and signal the trainer with a thumbs up- you’re ready for this.
Two metres into the track, you’re no longer able to tell the difference between land and sky. You bounce off the flexible plastic, tumbling inside the zorbing ball like an astronaut in space. Your shouts of excitement are punctuated with bouts of uncontrolled laughter.
As you climb out, you experience the joy of letting go. The sensation of giving up control has never felt so delightful.
From the ground, it looks deceptively simple. As you walk onto the Rope Bridge, however, you realise that it isn’t as easy as it looks. Though there is a massive safety net to catch you, with no harnesses, no individual safety equipment, you begin to feel a queasiness in your stomach.
As you climb, walk and crawl through 42 obstacles of the largest Net Course in the world, you find yourself enjoying the adrenaline rush. The lack of harnesses doesn’t bother you anymore, in turn you find it oddly liberating.
About 15 minutes later, you near the end of the circuit. A bright smile on your face, you step down from the net, turn to your friends and say “Let’s go once more!”
The arena seems quiet. Too quiet. You sneak up to the corner, strain your ears and pick up the sound of muffled footsteps.
The second you turn the corner, you realise it’s a trap. The area is empty, you swivel around to see two enemy soldiers rushing towards you. Your mind processes the threat at light speed, before you consciously make the decision, your finger pulls the trigger.
A yell of surprise follows the burst of green paint that hits them square in the chest. You pull off your mask, joining in the laughter. Over the sound of cheering from the viewing gallery, you hear your team chant your name with a new title- Paintball King.