story time at my year of sweat

Once upon a time there was a girl named Nancy.

Nancy loved to hike. In fact, she would spend all her time in the mountains if she could.

Sadly, Nancy had something called a day job, and it often kept her far, far away from the mountains.

When Nancy was finally able to get back to her beloved mountains, a stone’s throw from the mystical land of Las Vegas, she rushed to hike up Cathedral Rock.

2015-07-01 13.30.20-1This was a mistake because on that day, Cathedral Rock was too hot!

Learn from Goldilocks, Nancy told herself, let’s skip the “too cold” trail and head straight to the hike that’s “just right”. So she did.

2015-07-03 17.07.10-1

And Bristlecone Trail was just right. Complete with magical horses, shade and quiet.

As much as she loved hiking, Nancy wanted to try new things. But what type of activity, she wondered, can I participate in without melting in the 118F desert heat? 

Why, kayaking of course!

2015-07-05 12.38.27-1

And despite never having been in a kayak before, Nancy threw caution to the wind and took her first paddle on one of the biggest waterways in the United States, the Colorado River.

With steely determination, she willed herself to stay upright and not tip that kayak over.

2015-07-05 14.12.02

I can do this, she told herself. And she did, for over 2 hours!

2015-07-05 14.12.27She wrapped up the trip with a concentration-fueled victory pose.

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Unfortunately, Nancy had to focus on her day job again. This meant driving to Orange County, in California, for some business meetings.

Four long hours later, Nancy had arrived at Newport Beach, where she immediately threw off her shoes and took a nice long beach walk. She was so happy to see the ocean and feel the crunch of the wet sand between her toes that she forgot to snap a single picture.

She did work up an appetite though, so straight to a restaurant she went. The tapas were lovely, and small enough to warrant dessert.

2015-07-07 21.59.46Get in my belly, she commanded those little chocolate donuts with Crème Anglaise, I’ve earned you, with all my hiking, kayaking, beach walking and such.

After her business meetings, Nancy decided to take a day off from her day job and take a detour through Palm Springs.

Palm Springs held many delights that warmed Nancy’s heart: art galleries, kitchy home furnishings, and one extra special must-have thing…

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Yes, a giant, inflatable, rubber ducky.

Nancy knew this rubber ducky needed to move to Toronto to live with her, so she snapped it up right away. At $79.99, it was a steal, she told herself.

After a lovely day in Palm Springs, it was straight back to her Las Vegas home. Unfortunately, the day job was calling, and this meant having to travel all the way back to her Toronto home.

At first Nancy felt sad. The trip had flown by in the flash of an eye. That was when her trusty sidekick, Mr. Enthusiasm, surprised her with a little bit of Vegas right there in her own backyard.

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Nancy was absolutely certain that her neighbours would just LOVE IT, seeing as how they had already commented about how “bright” her outdoor furnishings were.

2015-06-21 14.27.24-1Yeah, I just checked, and I have no fucks left to give, Nancy mused. while admiring her bright yellow and turquoise decor.

Once the neon sign and the rubber ducky had both settled in, it was time for Nancy to show that duck who was boss.

Try as she might though, Nancy could not master the mounting and riding of that duck.

Always up for a challenge, she vowed to make this happen.

Duck, I will make you my bitch, Nancy told herself. And the duck.

Then, finally, with her family cheering her on, Nancy owned that duck.

2015-07-19 17.45.58-1

And she lived happily ever after.

Until she had to fly to New Orleans for 6 days of business, that is. But, as Nancy knows all too well, what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans, so you just have to imagine what may or may not have gone on there.

The end.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

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120 thoughts on “story time at my year of sweat

  1. I think you have the perfect setting there for a blogging bash where we can all take turns riding your duck. I’ve never been to Vegas, but there has been talk recently about going…if and when that happens, I am going to hunt you down (actually no need, I will just look for your neon sign) and we will make memories like they’ve never been made before. Maybe in a kayak. Definitely on your mountains. Seriously, Nance, your writing and humor just keeps getting better and better. Now spill the beans on what happened in New Orleans – you know better than to tease your readers like that…

  2. I had no idea that N’awlins had the same vow of silence rule as Vegas. In fact I thought that everything that happened there ended up on Girls Gone Wild videos…
    On the other hand I do have a t-shirt that says “What happens in Vermont, stays in Vermont…(but nothing ever happens in Vermont)” 😀

    • OMG, Norm! NOLA is the worst for debauchery! Puts Vegas to shame! And, heh, you’re right – what happens in NOLA usually ends up in a Girls Gone Wild video. True dat. Still, def one of my favourite cities! Love the food, the music, the architecture, the people. J’adore!

  3. I love this story! it is interesting and has a heroine I can relate to!

    and also a large yellow duck, who is awesome!!

    I also believe you have a penchant for yellow water going vessels 🙂

  4. My biggest sister-sister fight involved one kayak, two crabby 20 somethings and a *** river in Missouri. I’ve forgotten which river but still remember the yelling. Yikes! Fortunately we’ve had plenty of happier excursions to help soften the rough start. 🙂 Great recap!

    • No complaints (most days), Martha. The WFH flexibility is the absolute best thing. Especially when the H in WFH could be Toronto or Vegas. And so for every 4am wakeup to take a 6am flight somewhere for a business meeting, I’ll take it – given that most days I get to work in my PJs or yoga gear. 🙂

  5. Sensi master! You have conquered the duck. I must say that the expression on the ducks face is one of complete joy. 🙂 BTW, I’ve always wanted to kayak. Is it difficult? It looks as though they would flip over easily.

    • That duck is such a punk-ass. So damned tippy. Unless you are at the exact center of gravity, that bad boy flips backwards and you’ve got a nose full of pool water. It took many, many attempts, but once I landed right on that perfect center point, I was able to withstand a tidal wave (hubby and son creating massive waves with their boogie boards slamming up and down on the water).

      The kayaking was awesome! I’m actually considering buying a pair for hubby and I to use here at home in Toronto, since we live so close to the lake. I’ll definitely do it again when I’m back in Vegas. It was an awesome workout. My arms burned like mo-fos the day after.

      re: tippy-ness — it’s actually not too bad. I think the hardest part is getting in and out of the thing. Once you’re in, I think you have to be really unlucky to tip it. (Although one asian kayaker did tip his while I was out that day. I got so stressed for him. I have no idea how you’d get back in once you’re on open water. I could barely get in on the dock…

      • Pool water up the nose is awful! Almost as bad as a carbonated beverage up ones nose. Yes, I’ve had the dubious privilege of having tanqueray and tonic enter my body via my nose instead of my mouth. At the most inopportune moments, too.

        I envision my kayak spinning continually in the lake while I gurgled and screamed. Quite embarrassing. Back to the duck – yes, a punk ass, but I swear he’s smiling! Those floats are not too stable and are tricky to get on.

      • The challenge is that he is both tall and wide, so it’s nearly impossible to swing your leg up high enough to get it over his “shoulder”, but if you don’t, you tip it over because he’s so finicky on center of gravity. Getting on that bastard is a workout in itself.

      • You just nailed it! That’s the absolute risk. The best position to get on is at the pool steps, but they are concrete (in my case) and if you fall in the wrong direction, your head is banging against unforgiving concrete. The danger is there. The struggle is real. 🙂

  6. QOL ~> quacking out loud!
    Quack, Quack, Quack . . . they call her the Quacker!

    My favorite line: Yeah, I just checked, and I have no fucks left to give, Nancy mused. while admiring her bright yellow and turquoise decor.

    • Bahahaha! I’m glad you got a kick out of that! I take pride in very few things, but my eye for interior (and exterior) design is one of the things I’m pretty sure I’m good at. When my neighbour dropped that passive aggressive line on me, I looked over at his disheveled front and back lawns and smiled. 🙂

    • She’s not feeling particularly badass today. Still sitting in the clothes she slept in last night, ass planted on a chair, eyes glazing over from staring at PowerPoint all day, and nowhere near finished. Also crying uncontrollably because she has an 8:30 am flight tomorrow and ‘deep dive’ business review with her new boss an hour after she lands. Some days it’s not so glamorous to live the life of that character Nancy.

    • There was no way I was leaving that store without that rubber ducky! Now I’m thinking of ordering the giant pink flamingo too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. ok, that was awesome, Nancy! What a great summary/story that covered it all. Well except the New Orleans part. I totally agree, there must be a statute of limitations on revealing what goes on there. I still don’t talk about the year I lived there when I was 23. 😀

    Now, I wonder if I can blog our whole trip of a month and a half in 500 words or less? Maybe if I also included 500 of the 8 million pictures I took! HA!

  8. No fucks left to give… great line. Now that’s a story, dude. I am going to go mount a duck myself, although you really do it with style. Who kind of silly buggers tells people their outdoor furnishings are too bright? I mean, the nerve.

    I love Palm Springs. I lived in New Orleans. I think I love your life.

      • For like one whole summer… I don’t know if that qualifies as living… but I loved it. Still love it. Been before and after Katrina and hate what happened… there are so many parts that have been left to rot. But the vibe’s still there.

      • I was so grateful when I saw that Katrina was not impacting the Quarter, but was heartbroken when I visited some of the poor parishes, post Katrina, and saw that they were indeed rotting, years later. Still the same today. 😦

      • I know… whole areas just fallen down, and forgotten. I took a trip through the bayou, you can see the water marks of where the sea came in… buried boats and sunken shacks everywhere… and people seem to have just let all that carnage soak into the background. Maybe there’s no other way to handle it. But yeah, walking in the quarter and speaking French, and the music and drinking in the street – still wonderful. Spooky hot jazzy city of my dreams.

  9. Yay for a variety of lovely activities! We just talked with my husband about how much fun it would be to give kayaks a go next summer, our children might be big enough to paddle for a bit on a calm river next to… those pics sure are tempting.
    And super Yay for mounting the duck! 😀

      • My parents (and therefore me too) did a lot of kayaking when I was 8-18 or so. First I liked it but as a teenager it was too lame 🙂 We got a bit back to it before kids with my husband but the thought of having a baby on board put that hobby on hold 😉 soon…

  10. I need, need, need that duck. What an excellent purchase, and I always knew you’d own that thing. Loved reading about your hikes and your fearless mastery of the kayak. I’m sure I’ve told you, but please eat at Peche if you go to NOLA again.

    • I didn’t get to a single favourite restaurant this trip. Every hour of every day was booked with military precision. It just made me resolve to get back there again for a personal getaway.

  11. Hey Nancy! Are you crazy? Anyone who can NEVER goes to Palm Springs this time of year….that’s exactly why I am miles away and at the beach. Sorry to miss you though. But I’m also bound and determined to go kayaking myself here on the coast in the next week or two. Not sure I’ll make it for 2 hours but I do plan to make it happen. On the other hand, I will NEVER get me one of those duckies! ~Kathy

    • Nah, P.S. was hopping. Tons of folks out and about, on a Thursday, in July. We’re made of hearty stock. (Plus, it was no warmer than Vegas, so I was acclimated.)

      You’re definitely not on the popular side of the duck vote. Everyone else is coveting my duck. 🙂

  12. Holy shit, what a fun post! You got a couple of cackles out of me sitting here in Starbucks. Congrats on making the rubber ducky your bitch. Ha! But I want to see those pictures of New Orleans. Peace, John

  13. Great story! haha…and New Orleans! Would love to hear about that one. We have an inflatable dolphin that I have yet to conquer…I suggest that be your next one to buy. lol! 🙂

  14. This is one of the most charming–and chokingly funny–adult fairy tales I’ve read. Period. We meet our hero, our hero experiences a situation which could potentially alter her circumstances, our hero is resistant to change, faces challenges, crosses over into the “extraordinary world” (that would be the duck), faces her bleakest moment (again the duck) and draws from her well of courage to conquer all in the end.
    It’s perfect.
    You are my hero.

    • Had there been any photos of the 50+ attempts that resulted in a head-over-tail flip and a nose-full of chlorinated water, I would have shared them. That was a hard-fought win over that duck! 🙂

  15. That was such an entertaining read. Your decor looks fabulous! And kayaking for the first time and you didn’t even flip upside down once?! Wow, that’s an achievement I’d say lol since that’s my fear ! 😛

    I loved reading the post Nancy 🙂
    Hope your week ahead is fantastic
    Zee ❤

  16. Pingback: day 6: the lunatics leave the asylum | my year of sweat

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