Try Something New!

I’ve written before about the therapeutic effects of frequent, brief breaks from workaday life (regular readers will remember my devotion to the “12-Hour Vacation”) and I am completely convinced that these breaks allow me to return to my everyday life recharged and enthusiastic about the myriad responsibilities I juggle (usually, but not always, pretty well).

Not everyone recharges the same way. While I enjoy the idea of a luxurious spa getaway, with women padding around in plush white robes and low-volume harp music wafting through the air, my recharging breaks tend to be a bit different from that image.

Bolster-Cat approves of this blouse!

I’ve spent the last few days on a seven-eighths break. In other words, I still needed the laptop and internet access to check in on classes, but had the vast majority of time to spend as I saw fit – and LadyWine, a longtime college friend, came with me. (As did “Bolster-Cat” and a Rocky Horror Picture Show rubber duckie costumed as Frank N. Furter.  Look, do LadyWine and I judge your vacation photo albums? No. No, we do not.)

Now, LadyWine is a magnificent friend who’s up for about anything. (She particularly enjoys pirates and 80s music, by the way.) So in addition to a few days of eating pastry (Krispy Kreme Hot & Now Original Glaze is my vacation weakness, as you can tell from the image at the top of this post) and some serious thrifting (remember my French Fairy Godmother?), we also went axe throwing.

In tiaras.

I knew that this had become a bit of a fad (well, at least the axe-throwing; the tiaras are our own thing), but I’d never done it before. LadyWine had – and the staff made us both feel welcome. For the uninitiated (like me), this is how it works. You pay your hourly fee, and get access to a sort-of batting cage with two lanes, each with a wooden bulls-eye target. We got a short lesson in technique and safety (“You follow gun range rules here – you both walk down to the targets to retrieve your axes at the same time without exception, understand?” was a big one!), then we were turned loose with hatchets twelve feet from the targets. For a Southern-raised girl, terrific music played in the background – seriously Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and Queen? What could be better?

Oh, right.

Not bad for my first session!

“Better” includes hitting the target with a satisfying “thunk.” Then starting to hit closer to the center of the target. Then hitting the center of the target. “Better” is using different weights of axes and trying throwing both double-handed and one-handed, under and over-hand. Then switching to throwing stars. And throwing knives. And metal, sharp-edged playing cards. (Yes, I was channeling my inner Gambit – not well; those playing cards are tough, although I got pretty okay with the throwing stars.) And “better” definitely includes answering the question “Do you ladies want to wear the Viking helmets?” (Yes, they had plastic Viking helmets for customers to wear) with a polite, “No, thank you. We have tiaras.”

Was it a little crazy? Yes. Did the other patrons (all guys) probably think we were a little off-center? Yes. But we were made to feel welcome and the powerful feeling that comes with finding a rhythm and hearing that solid “thunk” sound as your chosen weapon finds its mark – well, that’s a spa day in my book.

Part of being a successful Diva is being open to new experiences. As odd as they may first appear, give them a try.

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