A Hard Week at the Office
Sometimes, work sucks. Your boss is a jerk, your co-workers get on your nerves, and the hours seem unbearable. We’ve all had those moments where our “happy place” morphs from a tropical beach with a pretty sunset and a drink adorned with an umbrella to an empty field where we can destroy our office equipment Office Space-style. We’ve all had days where we think to ourselves, “Enough! Today is the day I quit!” And we’ve all had weeks that make us feel like mooching off the system is the way to go. Last week was about as much the opposite of that week as possible.
The best part about working for EMS is that opportunities like this Demo Tour exist. You don’t have to tell me twice how lucky I am to have this job for the summer…I am quite aware of it. I’ve never gotten so tan so fast, I’ve never been able to log so many “fun” days in a row, and I’ve never met so many good people in such a short period of time. This job kicks your job’s ass.
On Wednesday we went to Nantasket with Luke from the Kayak School, Pat from the Newton store, and Katrina from the Manchester, NH store for a little on-water fun. The original plan had been to paddle out to an island with some top-secret rock climbing on it so Tim and I could get our climbing fix. But it was a little too windy so Luke decided to teach us how to surf on our SUP boards instead. It turned out to be an incredibly fun day, despite the fact that I can’t surf to save my life. I only half-caught one wave, with help from Luke who pushed me into it. The rest of the time, I was too busy fighting to stay with the group while the wind gradually picked up and tried to blow me out to sea. I’ll still count the day as a win, though, since I logged about four hours on the water and got to visit the Hingham store and talk about their upcoming demo.
Thursday was even better. We went to the Cape Cod National Sea Shore for a SUP day. Luke came out with us again and Joe (also from the Kayak School) joined us as well. For the first few hours the wind was pretty calm, and Joe was able to invent some new SUP tricks, such as doing the Hokey Pokey on a board. A few more days of practice and I’ll be able to do that one in my sleep! I also got to see more horseshoe crabs in one day than I’ve ever seen in my life. (It’s their mating season, so they were all cozying up together in the shallow water to take care of business.) But on our way back to the parking lot, the wind got crazy again and for a while it felt as though I was paddling on a treadmill. Eventually I did make it back to shore and was able to do a quick photo shoot with the stuffed Panda my students gave me as a going away present.
On Friday we decided to “relax “and go meet a friend for a day of climbing. I would never refer to myself as a great climber, but I am pretty good. I’m usually fairly comfortable on routes in the 5.10 range, and I tend to get grumpy on days where the hardest climb I send is anything less than a 5.9. I begrudgingly agreed to start slow on a 5.7 chimney, which I felt very comfortable on. But then I got cocky and decided I wanted to jump on the 5.10d right next to us. I made it to the fourth clip (after being all badass and skipping the first one) before I realized just how much work I had done the previous two days. There used to be a joke amongst some of my climbing friends that while they all had “pythons,” I had “earthworms.” That day, I couldn’t even consider my arms earthworms; they much more closely resembled the tiny kamikaze inchworms that kept falling out of the trees. It was more than pathetic.
I slept like a baby Friday night and woke up bright and early on Saturday to drive down to Waterford for their demo at Bluff Point. It was the perfect day for it, and the location was great. We consistently put people out in boats and on boards throughout the day. It was great to see so many people psyched to get out on the water. And it was great to have the opportunity to work with the Waterford staff, who are all super fun to be around. (It was also pretty fun to watch Luke tow a few people into shore when the wind got a little crazy.)
We finished the week out in East Hartford at Great River Park. The weather was again perfect, and the demo location was a great place to paddle. Joe came out with us and tried to teach other people his sick SUP tricks, the Avon, W. Hartford, and Buckland Hills store staffs were amazing to work with, and the view of the city from the water was beautiful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as busy as we would have liked. (So if you’re reading this and have a demo coming up near you, come hang out with us! We like being busy!) But we made the best of it and had fun anyway.
If I don’t have the coolest job ever, I don’t know who does.