I've come to a warehouse in Fyshwick on my lunch break to throw some axes around. They're solid steel and they mean business.
I don't. Really, I have no idea what I'm doing.
"Everyone's a bit scared at first," explains Jesse Mount, twirling his own axe and grinning.
This is Canberra's very first urban axe-throwing venue and Jesse is talking me through what is fast becoming a sporting craze across North America (and the trendier parts of Australia).
In the huge warehouse, which also houses Canberra's first "break room", throwing lanes end in wooden bullseyes and woodchips blanket the floor beneath. The aim is simple: hit the target and don't kill anyone.
This is a friendly game of darts on steroids - with chest hair and a flannel shirt.
We unsheathe our axes and step into the throwing zone. Jesse waits patiently for me to stop growling and swinging the axe like Gimli the dwarf from The Lord of the Rings.
He's one half of the team behind the Riddle Room, Canberra's now infamous escape room. When he and business partner Chris Krajacic heard about axe-throwing, they knew they had to bring it to the capital.
"We're sick of Canberra missing out on cool stuff," Chris explains.
Of course, just getting insurance to cover the venue was a battle. Having warded off demands by insurers for breath-testing at the door, the duo is now designing a new fit-out for the place with a 70s ski lodge meets shooting range kind of aesthetic and (fingers crossed) a bar.
"We'll have drink limits of course, but they've got them in heaps of the venues overseas and it works well," Jesse says. "Axe-throwing is a really social sport."
Long a proud European tradition, the art of hurling steel at a wooden target is indeed enjoying something of a renaissance in pubs across Canada and the US right now - there's even a world league battling it out for the title of lumberjack champion. Having opened this month, Axxe in Fyshwick will be the first Australian establishment to join the league, with special training sessions kicking off in February.
But the world of competitive axe-throwing seems a long way away for me as I raise the blade over my head. It's blunt but heavy enough to bite into the wood and it feels dangerous.
Sensibly, I've already sent our public service reporter Sally along to test the place a few nights ago, so I'm fairly sure this is safe. An expert mans each lane at all times.
"If you've got the axe up over your head there's pretty much no chance you'll throw it behind you," Chris says.
What about just down - into my skull?
Jesse raises his own axe and times us in - on three our inner vikings are allowed out, and not just for a quick cheer at a Raiders game, loud and proud. We raise the axes up, step forward - and throw!
My axe clatters depressingly to the ground, just short of the target.
"No one does it the first time," Jesse says, wrenching his own axe from the bullseye.
By my second go, I've forgotten I'm holding an axe. It feels natural, like I've been training for the zombie apocalypse my whole life. The axe bounces off the wood this time but, if that were a real zombie, I'm confident I would have at least sent it to the physiotherapist.
On my third go, the blade sinks into the red heart of the target with the most satisfying thunk Ive ever heard.
"You have to get over that feeling of not throwing something sharp, it's like smashing a plate," Chris says.
"It feels wrong, but it's so much fun."
The stress relief part seems to be working too. After a while, Chris suggests I step back further before making the throw.
"You've definitely got enough power."
Jesse jokes they've already had requests to put up pictures of people over the targets - be they horrible bosses or enemy clansmen.
See? Its not just for big bearded guys, you did it, so anyone can do it!"
Choosing to take that as a compliment, I hang up my axe.
Those zombies won't stand a chance in Canberra.
The verdict: Move aside, mini golf. See you in hell, bowling. There's a new past-time in town. Perfect for Christmas parties, Bucks and Hens' nights or just letting off some steam after work.
The details: Axxe -Urban axe throwing is now open at 1 Lydell Street, Fyshwick. $50 per person for two hours of training and competition. You can book for just two people or up to eight per lane. All players must wear closed toe shoes. Beards are optional.
Hot tip: Keep your arms straight and release both hands at once - it tends to stop the axe arcing off in an awkward tailspin.