how hiking curbed my violence

The walls have been closing in on me as of late. So many demands. So much to learn. So much to do.

And I need the Internet for all of it. Every last stinkin’ piece.

Now imagine my horror, frustration, denial and, finally, white-hot rage as I awoke in Vegas at 5:30 a.m. on Friday to start my east coast work day on west coast time, only to learn that I had no phone and no Internet.

Uh-huh. That happened.

The only thing that prevented me from doing much bodily harm to every single person I dealt with at Cox Cable for TWELVE HOURS on Friday was the mountains. My mountains. All around me. Calling to me. Calming me.


Trust that I will deliver a rant. In fact, I will deliver the rant to end all rants, but not today. Today the mountains are calling, as they call to me each afternoon.

This was my view Saturday from the summit of the Sandstone Quarry to Calico Tanks trail at Red Rock Canyon:


Getting here is not easy. After all, there is that whole Death Ledge you are forced to deal with. But it’s so worth it.


No picture-taking during Sunday’s hike, but I corrected my bad form yesterday.

Look at this awesomeness I stumbled upon:


So flippin’ cool that it motivated me to strike a pose as I made my way through some scrambles:


Notice how zen I am. No punches being thrown. No kicks being kicked. No profanities being screamed.

Keep moving friends, especially if that movement brings you to the mountains.

xoxo nancy

72 thoughts on “how hiking curbed my violence

  1. I hope your east coast chums understood your situation. Nice of somebody to put that meditation circle there. Hope all is well with you. John

    • Hiking every day since the shit-show on Friday has helped. Got CenturyLink Internet and phone service yesterday afternoon so at least it’s no longer costing me hundreds of dollars each day in data roaming charges. That helps too.

      Hope MTM has some decent drugs to manage his pain. And that you have lots of gin on hand to manage your stress. xoxo

    • I think it’s a meditation circle; a giant spiral. It’s funny /spooky that when I entered it and walked clockwise to get to the middle, the air was calm and still. After hubby took the picture I stepped over the rocks/lines and somewhat counter clockwise to get out. The wind picked up like a mo-fo. It gave me the heebie jeebies…

      I also heard from some artist friends that they get together to do a drum circle at dusk on weekends. That would be pretty cool.

  2. no internet???

    I applaud your self control!! I may have killed!

    I love that you got out into the mountains and they bring you so much calmness 🙂

    I have total mountain envy!

    • Sam, it was AWFUL!! This was my first trip to Vegas working for this new company, and I wanted it to be seamless. i.e. Zero difference between me working at home in TO and here. I had a full day of meetings lined up, starting at 6am local time (9am back in Toronto). I nearly had an aneurysm. Thankfully I had an aircard (personal wifi hotspot thingy) that I was able to use, but it was roaming (US/Canada) and costing me by the kb. I ran up to 315 MB of data in that first sitting, so I don’t even want to know what the bill will look like. 😦

      • Yes, it certainly saved my skin, even though it cost me a fortune. After I got through my very early morning meetings (and saw I was already up to 315 mb), I washed up and went to Panera (a franchise sandwich shop), ordered lunch and then used their free wifi for the next 2.5 hours. And then, at the end of my workday (2pm local time) I continued my quest to get Cox Cable to fix my issue. This went on until 8pm. No resolution. How I didn’t punch random people by Saturday morning is truly miraculous. HIking made me a better person. That’s all I can say about that. 🙂

      • I eventually told them to go shove their phone, internet and cable services up their asses and close out my account.
        The next morning I went and found a new Internet provider. Only caveat was that the couldn’t do the install until Monday. So another weekend without Internet. I was like a crack addict – looking for any establishment with free wifi to sync up email, etc. Crazy.

      • I think I would have done exactly the same!
        the only reason we are still with ours on our ridiculously slow connection is that we are fairly remote and therefore have few choices!!

        It is amazing how dependent we have become on internet, I can’t cope if I even forget my phone when I go somewhere, or a place I am staying has bad data connectivity!!

        I recently told someone that I did my degree without the aid of the internet, they looked horrified!!

      • Yep, it’s hard to remember sometimes that we lives the majority of our lives without Internet, and yet… HOLY SHIT… if it goes down for 10 minutes, BOOM! end of the world! 🙂

    • I know, right? Maggie, it was exactly as if the universe knew what I needed, when I needed it. (p.s. I wish the universe got the memo on the fact that I needed Internet service…)

      • yeah, the universe is still on dial-up… or maybe it’s tin cans and a string… or maybe that prayer thing is all that it has working for it… but I’d be right there with you, looking for heads to knock if I didn’t have internet!

      • Normally I wouldn’t have been quite so apoplectic, but in this case I felt I had something to prove (that travelling to this home shouldn’t impact my work at all; it did a bit, and that really pissed me off).

  3. I can feel your zen-ness from here and I’m insanely jealous 🙂

    … but I’m really glad we won’t have to visit you in jail, or be character witnesses at your trial 😉

    • Before you sign up for that specific hike (Sandstone Quarry to Calico Tanks) – please click through to the original post I wrote about it last January (link is “Death Ledge” in the body of this post. For reasons unknown to me, the park and the hiking guidebook I use both refer to this as a “Moderate” hike. I think they’re bat-shit crazy. At least 50% of this hike is Advanced/Difficult in my opinion. Not to mention this is the trail with the most injuries and deaths reported of all trails at Red Rock Canyon. Crazy!

  4. I bet 10 minutes in walmart on black monday will kick that zen right in the butt! lol Those photos are spectacular, Nancy. What’s with the rock art? Is that contemporary or ancient? That is so cool!

    • I’ll be back home in Toronto by Saturday night, Rob – so no Black Monday for me.

      The rock spiral is a meditation circle that people installed there. Friends of mine from the local art community (read hippy-types) go here and perform drum circles at dusk sometimes. Totally cool.

  5. Have been dealing with rubbish Internet since June, Nancy. Can hardly pay our bills and manage finances. Have forgotten what blogging is! Now sitting on a very bumpy bus correcting all my typos. Hang in there!

  6. I can’t imagine anyone huffing it up to that height and having that view and STILL not feeling as you did. Nature has this uncanny way of amazing and refocusing us and I am right behind you, Nancy, on the worthiness of using all that negative energy to bring about something beautiful.
    My fingers are crossed the internet company gets their own butt in gear.
    Happy Turkey Day!

  7. Hey Nancy! Isn’t nature the BEST healer there is? And I LOVE that labyrinth you found. Very nice. Glad to see from the other posts that you’ve figured out how to get reliable wifi and phone….damn are we all totally dependent on technology these days. All the more reason to seek solace in nature! If you’re celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving tomorrow….enjoy the day! And while I’m in the mood…thank YOU for all your inspiration during the last year! ~Kathy

    • I’m working until 2 pm tomorrow and then heading straight back to the mountains to get my sweat on! TG dinner to follow, at a restaurant (the way the pilgrims intended, I’m sure). 🙂

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and Thom! And thank you for all the inspiration you throw my way on living a SMARTer life!

    • I was moving out of Warrior II and into Reverse Warrior when he snapped this one. He’s not the greatest photographer 🙂 so it was the best of the blurry bunch. 🙂

  8. Argggh, late to the party, but totally in sync with your feelings of rage over the lack of internet and phone. As a full-time home worker, I am totally dependent on said items, not to mention my blogging habit! We had Charter Cable years ago in our previous town and it was nothing but trouble. And from what I hear, Cox is the WORST. Glad you were able to overcome and find zen. 🙂

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s