The term “blow off steam” can mean different things for different people, and the methods with which people use to blow off steam can be totally different as well. Unfortunately, some common methods used to blow off steam can be detrimental or harmful to themselves and others.
College of Charleston 2016 alum Cole Wadsten understands that frustration, anxiety and everyday-stresses are a part of life.
So he created and opened The Break Room in Charleston; as a way for people to rid themselves of any negative feelings through complete destruction and pure fun.
Here is how it works: you go in, suit up, and then you’re put into a room with various “weapons of destruction” like baseball bats, crowbars and golf clubs alongside objects to smash in basically whichever way you choose.
Sports teams, co-workers, friends, greek organizations and families are all .. The Break Room is intended for any group that wants to do some team building, let out frustration or just have a great time.
“I was a Comm major so my whole college career was spent around learning about people and how they interact and the lack thereof today; you don’t see the human touch as much as you used to because of social media and technology being what it is. But this [The Break Room] gets people to get some good facetime with us and we like to create an experience that is super personalized and specific to the individual,” Wadsten said.
For Wadsten, creating something like this was right up his alley, but it also held some internal meaning and motivation as well.
“The idea for it came from…a place for people who need to process this kind of shit without alcohol or drugs or hurting themselves or other people or going to jail… It came from my personal need for it… I don’t want to say it’s guaranteed because every interaction and experience is different but we haven’t had a person come out yet that hasn’t felt the same way,” he said
This is a very fun and unique attraction, giving Charleston something different than just food and drinks.
It can also feel uncomfortable at first; but as the frustrations of life are brought to the surface, Wadsten notices a significant change in demeanor and attitude— one that turns into rage and a feeling of animosity.
“Even the sensation is almost ‘other-worldly”. It’s hard to stop. It feels so unnatural when you start and almost immediately you get into this primal groove…it starts off soft and then you just immediately get into it,” he said.
Beyond the fact that smashing things is just a good time,the idea that people can retreat to primitive ways without the social condamnation and legal consequences, Wadsten also found that it’s proven very therapeutic.
“This woman came in after her therapist recommended she find an outlet to physically expel whatever she was dealing with, and she brought in a picture of her when she was a little girl and put it on the window so she could look at it from the outside. She broke two bats in five minutes but she came out and she was like ‘I can’t even tell you how much better I feel this has been like a cleansing.’”
Making people feel better is exactly what The Break Room is about and what Wadsten wants communicated to the area. It might not have a permanent affect or one that solves all of that person’s problems, but it can at least have an effect on someone.
“We don’t want people to come in, do their thing and walk out the door and be like ‘that was fun but I’m still miserable,’ And we don’t know how everybody feels, but we have to imagine that what we’re doing…has a prolonged immediate effect. I mean, the alternatives are breaking your own stuff or…all the other dangerous alternatives.” he said.
Wadsten wants to serve the community.. At their grand opening, he is planning on using the event to raise money for My Sister’s House, a local organization that helps battered women and their children.
“The most rewarding element of this has definitely been able to see positive reactions..it’s not just a money maker either…I just like to see people being serviced and our personal touch on it and our true concern for their experience,” he said. “As people learn more about us and hear about us I hope they are able to metabolize and digest our true intentions for doing this by serving the community,” Wadsten said
To sum it up?
“It’s ridiculous but it’s effective.”
For more information about The Break Room, go to tbrcharleston.com