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Axes Up!

I gave myself the name Ragnar. Joining me for my first experience with the nascent “sport” of axe throwing was Maple, Axe Bomber, and Hoss Funk. Before we were to train with the hefty and sharp projectiles, we had to choose “lumberjack” pseudonyms to get in the mood and spirit. I fantasized more of a Viking [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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I gave myself the name Ragnar. Joining me for my first experience with the nascent “sport” of axe throwing was Maple, Axe Bomber, and Hoss Funk. Before we were to train with the hefty and sharp projectiles, we had to choose “lumberjack” pseudonyms to get in the mood and spirit.

I fantasized more of a Viking motif, as I could never imagine myself Paul Bunyan. Our enthusiastic coach and guide, Marty Parker, the brainchild of Columbus’ Urban Axe Throwing, reminded us this is a vital part of the evening, as it gives us each a new identity and a chance “to step completely out of our comfort zones.”

Deep within an empty indoor sports complex among the ruins of a decaying Continent, Parker leads us into the league’s headquarters. It’s a makeshift lodge with cozy couches and barstools overlooking the cages—bullseyes on plywood targets already egging on our crew. Parker’s hoping the trend will catch on as it has in Canadian households, where it was established and “urbanized” over the past decade.

“People get bored of bowling,” says Parker. “Eventually there was a guy in Toronto who took his love of axe throwing into the bar.”

In conception it’s much like darts—there’s actual strategy involved once you can competently throw—only a pound and a half heavier and with an inherent element of danger. Of course the danger is a main attraction, rules must be heeded (“No passing of the axe to another competitor”) and waivers must be signed just in case Hoss Funk loses his ring finger. The first several throws by each of us bounces off the target and lands inches from our feet. On this night, Parker says drinking is encouraged.

“Should I be worried?” says Maple, looking down at her open-toed sandals.

“I’ve seen women in heels who have never picked up an axe do this,” replies our animated host.

Technically there is a learning curve to axe throwing. It’s more about using your body rather than arms to hurl the axe, and more about where you let go, then where you initially aim. A few beers and a few screaming bullseyes later and we’re hooked; experts cheering each other on in our temporary hardscrabble identities. As Ragnar, it was an instant obsession—playing through games of Timber and Tic Tac Toe while yelling “Truss!” (a word that means nothing more than “two things smashing into each other”) at the top of my lungs, all accumulated in a final battle.

Mentally, there was science behind the buzz in my head.

“What you’re doing tonight is modeled after ‘active entertainment,’ so it’s supposed to release dopamine and endorphins and make you work together to overcome a challenge,” says Parker. “Really, you can adapt that to anything.”

As an entrepreneur of “active entertainment,” Parker has also hosted color runs, mud ninja races, massive tomato fights, and the infamous and now ubiquitous “escape room” night out. While all of those encourage some sort of camaraderie and team building, the intimate and competitive nature of an axe throwing session takes just as much effort from you physically as it does from your brain. Certainly the “sport” will attract those in bohemia who already have the “lumberjack” look, or those who may have been on the Woodsman team at a campus in Vermont—weekly leagues of beards and muscles are already forming. But with a little luck, Parker hopes for it to be something for everyone.

With the ability to develop such a rad, raw skill in such a quick, entertaining lesson, the idea of regular axe throwing (especially in lieu of bowling) is invigorating. Even if you don’t take to it, Parker insists it’s at least “a cool story for the water cooler.” Ragnar approves.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Do lemons help with digestion?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Lemons have been used for years in cooking to add acidity to foods, but is there actually a health benefit to using lemons in your food regularly? According to this social media post below, yes. The post alleges that lemons are a key to improving digestion due to their pH.

But, let’s stop there and explore whether or not there’s any truth to this claim.

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First of all, yes, lemons are acidic and have a low pH, and our gastric fluids or stomach acid is also acidic with a normal pH range being 1.5-3.5. So, lemons and our gastric juices do have similar pHs, and the acidity of stomach acid is vital for correct digestion processes. Thus, one might think lemons would be great to eat every day to keep our stomach acidic and digestion flowing,

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However, it’s not common for stomach acid to get out of normal range. Our bodies have a strong capability to maintain homeostasis, meaning if things get outside “normal” levels, our bodies will try to correct it from within. If your stomach acid is not in the normal range, that could be indicative of other health conditions that lemons may not be able to cure.

Take-Away: Continue to use lemons in your foods for acidity, flavor, and color, or if you really enjoy eating them—they do count as a serving of fruit! But, there is no need to force yourself to add more lemons to your diet for digestive purposes. Our bodies work hard to keep us stable, and if your gastric juices are out of range, visiting your doctor is the only thing that will help.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Pregnancy Fit Tea

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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We don’t have to be a woman to know that pregnancy can be difficult time, so a tea that helps with the nausea and discomfort seems like a great idea, right?

Wrong.

While many herbal teas are safe for the general public and pregnant women, there are some concerns.

First, some of the “beneficial” ingredients in the Flat Tummy tea above are not supported by any real evidence, let alone by information stating that they are safe to consume while pregnant. One of those ingredients is Rooibos (asparlathus linearis), which is touted as a “digestive aid” for pregnant women. However, this claim is not corroborated by a single study on The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database.

Ginger is yet another ingredient present in the tea that has not been proven undeniably healthy for pregnant woman.

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“Although several studies have found no evidence of harm from taking ginger during pregnancy, it’s uncertain whether ginger is always safe for pregnant women,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

Not only is ginger a questionable ingredient for a child-bearing woman to consume, the Flat Tummy tea fails to specify exactly how much ginger was used to make it.

Take Away: Please do not fall for the schemes of these “Fit Teas.” If you are pregnant, please be cautious of all ingredients you put in your body and discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementations.

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Health & Fitness

Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week

Mike Thomas

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Got your card? Terrasana – central Ohio’s first dispensary for medical marijuana – will open to patients in Ohio’s medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.

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The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.

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According to the company’s website, Terrasana’s goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.

Prices for the dispensary’s products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it’s unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.

Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus’ growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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