#momlife,  Oh, the Places I'll Go!

Houston Axe Throwing

You guys, I am not one to pay much attention to ads. Especially not Facebook ads. But one day I’m just scrolling through my feed, minding everyone else’s business, when I came across an ad for Houston Axe Throwing.

Read that again.

Axe throwing.

In Houston.

If it wasn’t obvious after Goat Yoga, I am clearly down for (almost) anything. As much as axe throwing sounded like it was absolutely not my thing, I had to get in on this.

First of all, we owe a huge thanks to Sarah Sed, owner of Houston Axe Throwing, for sponsoring this post and honestly, for the date night we so desperately needed. As always, though we were sponsored, the opinions are completely our own and are only influenced by the fact that we hadn’t had a date night in 500 years. Our typical date involves a quick dinner and maybe a movie, but usually not. We can be so boring. But tonight, we were ninja Viking lumberjacks, ready to kick some AXE! I even wore plaid. Flannel plaid. In Houston. I don’t mess around.

When we first got there, they had us sign the waiver (you know, in case we took an axe to the face or something) and pick out one of their punny axe throwing name tags. I was Hurly Girly, Dustin was Darth Deciduous (except I think they spelled it wrong), and we were referred to as such throughout the session. We were a part of the 1.5-hour public class with 5 other people. Thankfully, there were 2 other women so I was not the lone lumberjane, though some of the people in our group had thrown around a few axes before and we clearly had not. They split us up into two groups and had us think of a team name. Luckily, we had one creative thinker in our group, who finally named us “Team 1” after several minutes of staring at each other.

Our Axe-pert Lumber Lord for this session was James. I have no idea how I walked out of there without taking a picture of him, but I have connections and I’m not afraid to use them.

James went over the safety rules before we were ever allowed to touch an axe. One person at a time in the axe throwing box. Do not retrieve your axe until told to do so. Don’t ever hand an axe to another person… Yes, they sell alcohol, but everyone in our group was still very mindful of the rules and I felt pretty confident that James would have shut it down if anyone in our group ever decided to get rowdy. Spoiler alert: We all lived to tell our axe throwing tales.

The first throw James taught us was two-handed. Basically, you pick up an axe and place one hand over the other. You swing it way back behind your head and chuck it out in front of you. You let go at the level of your forehead, making sure to follow through. Usually, the little guys go last, but Hurly Girly had to show them how it was done… or not done. If you know me at all, you know I am the least athletic person that ever lived. This was no exception.

The follow-through was the scariest part for me. What if I forgot to let go?!?!

Each person got several 2-handed practice throws, and then it was time for a game. The first game we played was “TIMBER.” It’s like “HORSE,” but, you know, different. When it was your turn, you got 2 throws against the other team’s 2 throws. Whoever whichever person got the least amount of points that round, got a letter added on their side. No surprise, my team had me, so of course we… lost. Better luck next time.

The second round was a one-handed throw. Having not yet stuck a single axe into the pine and being the type that likes to make things harder than they have to be, I just knew this was going to be my style. Once again, James gave us some instruction, we each got several practice throws, and the games began. For this game, we got 2 throws each turn against the other team member’s 2 throws, and whoever got the most points earned that many points for their team. The goal was to be the first team to 30, but not go over. If your team was at 28 points and you got a bullseye (6 points), too bad so sad. You only needed 2. Very quickly after the game began, the rules changed a little. You could choose to do a one- OR two-handed throw, particularly if your name was Hurly Girly. So maybe one-handed wasn’t my strong suit either.

As I was taking my turn, one of the other guys told Dustin, “You need to get that girl in the gym!” …We were there that morning!

I technically hit the bullseye (or at least somewhere on the target) multiple times, but I still didn’t stick it even once. Clearly, this bothered James more than it bothered me because at one point he stopped everything. He said he’s seen people that never stick it, but I wasn’t one of them. I was seriously trying, guys, but with 35 years of non-athleticism under my belt, I’m used to embarrassing myself. I was perfectly happy with my punny AXE kicking trash talk, but James wasn’t settling. He gave me several extra throws. One-handed, two-handed, big axe, small axe… and I still didn’t stick it. I knew we had to move on, but even without scoring a single point, without a single axe sunk in the pine, I was having a blast.

We still had a little time, so we played another game. Hangman of sorts. Each number on the target, 1 through 6, had several corresponding letters. Whichever team scored the highest number that round got to select which letter from that row they wanted to apply to the phrase. I realize that probably makes no sense, but in the moment it totally does. Don’t even worry about how to play that game though because the only thing that mattered was that I FINALLY STUCK ONE!!!! Sure, I didn’t get the points for that round, but I FINALLY STUCK ONE!!! 

We may not have had the highest scoring team, but we finally won a game thanks to my Sith Lord hubby, Darth Deciduous, who scored a 3, selected a “K,” and knew right away that the phrase was “Viking Battle Axe.” …I only knew the last word was “Axe” when someone else added an “X.” Braun and brains right here.

Sadly, you don’t get to keep this little trophy, but I was still so proud!

In the last few minutes, James showed us a few trick shots. Maybe next time I need to give the under-handed throw a try. Or maybe one axe is too simple. I think I maybe I need to try two at a time. Surely that’s it, huh?

James took a few pictures for us, and then took a few more with their camera to potentially use on the Houston Axe Throwing website. Let me know if you happen to see us when you book your session! I’m pretty sure my AXE kicking axe throwing skills are going to make me famous one day! 

Dustin asked how often they have to change out the boards for the targets. They said sometimes after each session! Ours probably still had a few uses when we were done…

One of the things I noticed was the wood shards covering the floor below the target. Presumably these are the remnants of our lumberjack predecessors, but I also noticed that they helped dampen the landing of my wild axe slinging misses. Also, it poses the question: How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck an axe?

By the time we were done, my AXE had worked up an appetite. Pho is usually our no-kids go-to, but I was feeling awfully manly and wanted something different. Something fun.

The Boot is actually nowhere near Houston Axe Throwing, but it is owned in part by our old neighbor and we’d still never been, so we decided to change that. It’s a mostly outdoor, patio restaurant/bar which is kind of my new thing. Plus, crawfish season. I’m so glad we got there fairly early because by the time we left this place was packed!

Okay, confession time. This was only the second time I’ve ever had crawfish in my whole life. I know! I know! Clearly, I’m no judge, but I asked my much more cultured hubby if this was good crawfish (I mean, I sure thought it was!) and he said no, it was amazing!

So then my thumbs were sore but my belly was full! Later that night I discovered that it doesn’t matter how well my hands had been scrubbed, taking out your contacts after eating crawfish is torture! Is there a secret, guys?!?!

We weren’t quite ready to go home and were on a try-new-things kick, so we sought out some sugar. Smoosh was nearby, and I always have room for dessert! Dustin got a donut rocky road sandwich, and I got a snickerdoodle cookies and cream with Nerds. Both sound weird, but both were delicious! And messy!

Eventually we had to go home but we’d had so much fun we didn’t want the night to end! Let’s get real though, this was a school night and Mama needs sleep.

And so, my friends, I’m making plans for next time. Who’s in?!?!

2 Comments

  • Diana Hughes

    I think I may need to give this a try. Crazy idea. If there’s anyone less athletic it would be me. I may have an inner lunberjane.
    Great job!

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