Tag Archives: cross trainer

Oo la larghhh!

11 Jan

Once a week I pay a man to sit and listen while I murder the beautiful French language. Today is this day.

Ray’s a patient chap but it wouldn’t surprise me if after I and the rest of fourth set French group have filed out of his classroom he shed a quiet tear for his beloved mother tongue, mauled once again. Whether it’s a tear of pain or a tear of laughter I couldn’t guess.

We are not a gifted group. Between us we bring the subtleties of the Welsh accent, the charm of Scouse, the mind-bending prospect of Scouse-Italian intonation (whatever you’re imagining it sounds worse) and Indian to the pursuit of the mastering la langue française.

Just as I warm up for a run I like to warm up for the class – I’d hate to disappoint Ray with a below par performance in our weekly debate (today: The Environment).

Usually I do a bit of reading or listening practice on a Monday night to immerse myself, but Janathon has played havoc with this and at 3pm this afternoon I realised I hadn’t heard a word of French since December 14.

What to do? There was nothing else for it but to multi-task.

I finished work at 4pm and headed straight to the gym to complete my daily Janathon. I’d already fixed on the gym because I wanted to use the cross trainer to give my bones a bit of a break as I had a clunky knee on and off last night.

Once there I plugged myself into Complete French on the ipod and hopped on the machine. Parfait!

It wasn’t actually. In fact it turns out that when you attempt to learn French on the cross trainer all that happens is you get very cross, but not very far – literally in distance covered or metaphorically in the pursuit of knowledge.

Discussing cinema plans becomes very complicated in a foreign language when aboard a piece of moving gym equipment. First there’s the fact that you’re not quite sure whether Marie is saying she already saw Pirates des Caraïbes or has plans to go and see it and then there’s the perilous possibility of falling off as you ponder this.

At one point I decided I needed to stop the passage so that I could replay it – only in my sweaty confusion managed to stop the cross trainer instead – thus resetting it.

Then I realised that a woman had got on the machine next to me, only to move away again because I had subconsciously started to mumble along to the tape in French.

The lesson is the two disciplines are surprising different and are best practised separately.

Tonight they were not, but nevertheless I arrived at French class on time having completed Janathon and with a notion of the future tense.

C’est super, non?

Distance: 1.5 km
Time: 0:25:00
Calories: 205 (quickly offset by eating Wispa chocolate bar – 210 calories – on way to French)

%d bloggers like this: