Axe throwing, yes really!

Group picture of Nina (far right) with her eight friends. Beaming smiles on everyone.

Hi lovelies,

Well, here we are hurtling into 2024. How was January for you? The first month of the year can be a mixed experience for people. It can be a chance to start afresh, to organise things or an opportunity to hibernate and slow down. Whatever your experience one thing January is for all of us is the start to a new year, which I find exciting.

Even though I don’t make new year resolutions, I do like the idea of a new year, a new start, new possibilities. Each year I like to try something I haven’t done before. I don’t put a time frame on it or pressure in what I choose, I leave it to fate. If an opportunity comes along, I grab it with both hands… and one came along quickly this year.

A few of my friend’s birthdays fall in January and February so it is a great chance for us all to get together, especially these days as we don’t see each other as often as we used too because of busy lives, parenthood, and other interests as we grow. I was particularly excited at the prospect of a meet up as my friend Tweedie suggested axe throwing. Yes, you read right, axe throwing.

It has quickly become a favourite past time in Manchester and there are now a couple of axe throwing facilities in the city. The birthday girl chose Whistle Punks, I think because it is adult only and surrounded by bars which we could pop too afterwards.

When she sent the invite, we had a giggle and I think I may have made a few of the girls a little nervous. I jumped at the chance, and I think was the first one to sign up and pay. It was an hour session with pizza and two drink tokens included for £50. This might seem like a lot of money, but I think just to axe throw it is around £30 so considering the price of a pint these days that wasn’t too expensive. As the build up to the day came and messages began to be exchanged there were some nerves floating around. I think a lot more for the fact that alcohol was included with axes. What the health and safety would be like and would Nina be okay?

Well, I was! I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. It was a real belly busting experience. As you might have already thought we were all a bit rubbish but in our defense, for most of us it was the first time we had thrown an axe!

Nina and friend opposite each other, locking axe's locking ready for axe throwing action.

We began with a serious safety brief and then the competition started. We had a few practice throws, then began point scoring. You had a target with three rings. The outer was two points, the inner three points and the bullseye five points. There was a spot on the top right and left that if you hit was worth seven. My practice shots were rubbish but I slowly got better. In the hour I managed to score 3 points hitting the inner ring. It sounds low I know but for a blind girl I think that was pretty good especially since some of the sighted women got no points, I am just saying! Sight is not all that!

The instructor was incredibly helpful and really encouraging. He helped line me up to the target and showed me how to hold the axe, supporting my arms and showing me the movement. He of course asked permission before touching my arms and hands which was great to hear. He kept saying all the way through come on, you can do this, you show them. You know what I did! The thrill of holding an axe in my hand and giving it a powerful throw was not only exhilarating but quite therapeutic. It was great to visualise the things that I had frustration or anger towards and throw that axe at them. I mean I missed a few times and when I went for the seven pointer, because why not you never know! I went too high, and the axe hit the netting above, oops!

My theory is if you don’t try you will never know and may never hit that bullseye, so focus, visualise and put all your strength and might into that throw and keep practicing, you will eventually get that bullseye.

The birthday girl won the tournament which I was happy about. Yes a little disappointed I didn’t win as I wanted to be the first blind woman in our friendship circle at least to win at axe throwing. It has given me a taste for it, and I will be going again. In fact, Dylan has done it before so it will be a great activity to do with him. My try something new each year rule has come to fruition so early I guess that means I have time to try something else for the first time this year.

Why not give something new a go yourself, whether that is axe throwing or something a little less scary (it wasn’t that scary I promise). I’d love to hear about it so do share in the comments.

I hope the start to your year has gone well, keep checking in to follow my crazy adventures throughout 2024.

Sending love,

Nina

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