working out

Paintball – The Real Life First Person Shooter Game

I’ve been playing some first person shooter games with my son recently such as Black Ops and enjoying the Player vs Player atmosphere once again that I had enjoyed in other games.  It’s also good to find more things to do outside and my son has been playing paintball but I decided to try another round with him.  I’ve played once with him before the second time he actually played so I could get a feel of what he was experiencing and to see if it’s something that I would approve of him to continue doing.

The object of paintball is pretty simple you try to shoot the opposing player while avoiding being shot.  If you get shot you are out for the rest of the match so not being shot is pretty crucial.  A lot of video game first person shooters you are able to respawn after being killed off and get right back into the game which allows players to be somewhat careless in how they play.  I know when I’m playing objective based games I’ll sacrifice my body if it means I secure an objective before dying since I know I’m helping out the team and I’ll be right back after my character respawns.  That isn’t the case in paintball though so if you are knocked out you are actually hurting your team so avoiding being shot is pretty important but you still need to take out the other players.  Normally the field in paintball will have many bunkers and other obstacles to hide behind and get some cover while attempting to get your opponents.  Many times you will need to move forward and try to flank the other team or just catch them off guard while your teammates keep them occupied.  Which ever team has knocks out all of the other teams players wins the match.  Team sizes can vary as well as the size of the fields.


This weekend we ended up at our local paintball field called WinkyDoodles which has been in business for 11 years and the staff there is just excellent.  If you have any questions or concerns they are always happy to answer them and they really gave me a good feeling about my son actually playing there.  They have quite a few rules in place to make sure that the fun is kept safe and it’s a great place to play if you are just starting out or having been playing for some time.

I wanted to get a few shots of my son playing this time and the staff offered to lend me a helmet so I could get on field and get some shots of my son playing.  I was much appreciated and got on the field and was able to get a few camera shots in but I was on the large field where there were a ton of players so paint balls were flying all around me.  One player was knocked out and stood by me and while we were talking he ended up taking another shot from a stray paintball.  I could see my son but he was on the other side of the field in fact he was shooting some of the paint balls my way trying to get some players that were hiding behind a bunker that was near by.  I figured I had snapped enough photos for the time being and exited the field.


I saw some other players renting some equipment and some of the staff asked me if I was planning on playing today and I decided to go ahead and give it a go.  Perhaps if I get in field I’ll get some better shots.  I signed up for my rental gear and sat in on the field orientation which is given out for each player before they are allowed to play that day.  It’s basically the rules of the field and a safety explanation that will keep you and other players safe.  I was sitting in orientation with some other players and they were asking questions which led me to believe that they hadn’t played before.  I told them that I would go with them on a smaller field on a private match to help show them the ropes.   I had my son join us along with a referee to allow us to play a private match.  Private matches are great when you are starting out as a new player you can pick who you are going to play against and you can keep the group small to a comfortable size.  I started to move up in our match and try hit them from one direction as my son came around the other side.  I hadn’t played in so long and I was pretty much out of shape that I started gasping for air after the match was over.  Wow I could tell I was out of shape and had forgotten how much exercise you really do get while playing paintball.  I quickly recovered though and soon saw that the more I played that day the better I actually felt.  After playing for several hours I felt actually good getting some decent exercise, meeting new people and helping them learn the game.

The great thing about paintball is that it can be enjoyed by people of many different ages.  This weekend I saw many young kids playing either private matches and sometimes joining the big groups. Saw many of the young adults enjoying themselves on the field but I also saw parents out of the field enjoying spending time with their kids.  It gives you the opportunity to work with them as a team or even play against them by challenging them to a private match.  If you want to try it out your local paintball field should have rental equipment for you to try out which should have everything you need to get started.




Cardio Trainer application for your android phone

My job has a new well care program which is encouraging folks to work out in order to become more healthy.  The company would like for us to keep track of any work out times and if we meet a proper work out scheduled of 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week we then earn a  discount on our health insurance premium.
Most folks thought of working out around the office and created teams and buddy systems in order to document who worked out when.  Unfortunately the work out times didn’t work out for everyone and some folks wanted to move faster than others which basically made them work out solo.  So how do you get around this?

Well WorkSmart Labs has come up with a  free solution for tracking your workout progress on an android phone.  The program is called Cardio trainer and I originally downloaded it to my phone several months ago so I could track my progress walking around the block near my house.  Since none of my co-workers would be around to document/verify my workout I needed a way to record it and report it back to the office.  I ended up not using the application until just recently when we started taking up bike riding.

This actually turned out to be a fun activity that the entire family could enjoy as we have a wonderful bike trail near by the house where many folks drive their bikes from all over to ride in our area.  We are fortunate enough that we can just pull our bikes out of our garage and cart down the trail.  I decided that this was a great time to start testing out the Cardio Trainer application.  I loaded it up and noticed that you can specify which activities where you move about such as walking, running, biking, hiking, horse back riding, in line skating, kayaking, skating, skiing, snowboarding and swimming.  The program uses GPS to track your movements and determine the distance traveled.  It also stops and starts the workout timer based up if you are actually moving.  Our first time out biking we were out and about for about an hour and a half however the program recorded about 56 minutes of activity which is probably accurate since we did take some breaks.  For people that prefer stationary activity the program will track progress on treadmill activity, stationary biking, Pilate’s, weight lifting, yoga and some others.  I’m sure how it calculates progress on those right now but will check into it.
When you complete your workout it will upload the workout to the Work Smart Labs server.  The program on your phone will then give you a special access code and you can now access your workouts from the Internet using the following site.  Once you type in your access codes it will show which work outs you chose to save.  It will show the date/time that the workout was done, total time worked out and distance traveled.  You can select a work out and actually email the results to someone.  For instance I could email the results of my workouts to my Human Resources department to prove that I met the criteria for the insurance discount.
The program can even attach to your facebook account and show your progress there.  Mine now posts a entry on my wall after I’ve completed my workout specifying the day I worked out along with amount of time and distance.  I then sometimes get comments from friends and family encouraging me to keep going.

I mentioned before product that I’m currently using is free.  They do, however, have some add-on products that you can purchase.  One that I downloaded a trial for was their Weight Loss program.  It sets goals for you on working out based upon how much you weigh and wish to loose.  Unfortunately I didn’t actually do my workouts until after the trial is expired but as of writing this article I am purchasing it right now.  It’s $2.99 and I think the Cardio Tracker is worth more than that so I throw a little money their way. I report on it’s functionality in another post.  There is another interesting add-on application called Race Against Yourself.  This application is useful if you use the same running or biking route each time and you want to see if you can beat the previous day’s speed.  I could really see folks that are training for a run using this application as they normally want to increase their speed and reduce the time spent reaching their destination.  From the information I see on the application it appears that you can save multiple tracks in case you do go different routes or work out at different locations and then can compete against yourself.  This application Add-on is also $2.99 and for those that want to condition themselves I’m sure it’s a small fee.

I think we are going to continue to do our riding as a family it appears we are all enjoying it and it’s increasing the time we are spending together.  It’s also nice to do something outside together instead of just around the television or in front of the computer.  The health benefits aren’t too shabby either and thanks to this neat little program there is a small cash incentive for me to keep it up.  So my hats off to WorkSmart Labs for creating a little application that is so useful and for some reason decided to give it out for free.