That thing everyone talks about… but not all of us do

I have to admit that I didn’t really believe that it was good when I heard about it. And I heard about it very often and for a very long time. I always thought to myself, ‘what if…’, but I quickly found an excuse not to do it. It’s not that I had never done it before, it’s just that every time I had tried doing it, it didn’t feel good at all, on the contrary: it made me feel tired, sticky, grumpy and humiliated. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve done it at least once or twice… Ok, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about exercising!!

How hypocritical can one be? I should know, because I made it a habit of telling my students how much learning English resembled exercising. “Do you expect to go to the gym once and become Mister Universe? So, the same happens with English, you have to stick to it and practice to build your knowledge, just like you build your muscles by practicing weight training. They must have thought “Oh, yeah, what do you know about exercising? I’ve barely even seen you standing! You’re always behind that desk!” And they were right.

Recently I realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously by my students when I told them to do their homework, study, read, or whatever, I had to practice what I preached: I had to start exercising regularly. Oh, yes, because I had obviously exercised before. I even own a treadmill, for crying out loud! The difficult part for me had always been the ‘regularly’. You see, being a Gemini, I’ve always been interested in a gazillion things, all at the same time. Things have always come and gone quickly, and I’ve loved doing them for the whole 10 minutes they lasted, but it dawned on me that one thing has always been present through all my changing interests: ME. I’m always here, wherever I am. I’m always myself, whoever I am. So I should be taking better care of myself, because the only person I’m sure will be with me till the day I die is ME. And if I don’t want to be dealing with a stiff, limp, non-responsive body sooner rather than later, I’d better get off the couch and get a-movin’!

That did it for me: I decided to make time and room in my life, once and for all, for exercising. I picked running, because I had done it before and had kind of enjoyed it. Kind of. I’ve been practicing it now for a few months, and regularly too, at least every other day. And the truth is: it feels just great. What I’d been hearing all that time was true! I just hadn’t given it enough time! Now that I do it on a regular basis, I actually miss it when I’m not able to run! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t.

But don’t think it was easy. I had to give up a lot in order to fit running into my hectic schedule, like my beloved TV shows, my knitting, baking cookies, sometimes even being with my husband. But it’s all worth it. I’m running longer and farther than ever. And in February I’ll be participating in a race in São Paulo. True! Watch out! That thing that’s passed zooming by you in the street might just have been me! And I dare you to keep up!

Here are some links about the benefits of exercising regularly:

7 benefits of regular physical activity
Health benefits of physical fitness
Benefits of exercise

And here are some vocabulary exercises on Sports and Fitness.


Sticky – How you feel when you sweat
Grumpy – bad-tempered
Get your mind out of the gutter – Don’t imagine dirty things
Hypocritical – Someone who says something and does something different
Resemble – Be similar to
Practice what you preach – Do what you tell other to do
Treadmill – An exercise device consisting of a continuous moving belt on which a person can walk or jog while remaining in one place
For crying out loud – Used to express annoyance or astonishment
Gazillion – Very large number of something
It dawned on me – I suddenly realized
Stiff – Hard, not flexible
Limp – without strength or firmness
Hectic – Chaotic
Beloved – Dearly loved
Zooming – To move rapidly
Keep up – To match your competition


Need more help with this text? Why not book a class?



Filed under about the blog, learn, tips

7 responses to “That thing everyone talks about… but not all of us do

  1. Iara

    Hi dear..
    three years aog I heard this sentence “Work out must be like your job. If you want to have a salary, you must go to your work. So, if you want a nice body, you must work out. It is the same obligation. NO pain, no gain.”..And then I used this idea for 2 years..And it really helps! You have to think that your muscles are your get it?

  2. João B. L. Ghizoni

    Hi, Carol!

    What a nice text! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

    I’ve taken up working out recently and am happy about it. It demands initiative, but it is said it pays off! I hope so! I’d been walking for a while, but now I’m doing a little more; near my place there’s some equipment for working out in the open air. I’m using it, and I’m happy.

    All the best to you!

  3. Mario d'Avila

    Dear beloved wife,

    That’s what I’m talking about!

    I’m very proud of you. The issue about any kind of exercise is the learning curve. And I don’t mean it just for the body, but also for your mind. The most common issue about it is that people who want an immediate result are the same who don’t like to improve in their personal lives. They most often stick to hundreds of excuses and jokes about all the things in life to stay the same (just as you’ve commented a couple days ago around here in this blog). Nothing wrong about it but they might be the same forever and not evolve ever.

    All those years together with you and I’ve seen many students’ come and go. The persistent ones who come and stay to learn no matter what are the ones that score higher and better than the others. But it is not from dusk to dawn. Most often those who quit very easy can’t stick to more than one activity and are not willing to improve ever. It doesn’t mean that they can’t change since we are things that evolve, at least said Darwin.

    Drawing a parallel road, I’ve seen many like that whilst practicing Karate. After some years of practice you start to realize that some students will never be a black belt if they don’t change their motto of life. Some others came ready to walk the path and I still don’t know exactly why. Like any other exercise as learning a new language or working out, sometimes you’ll feel bad not to improve or not to be as good as the other guy in front of you who claims to be practicing less frequent and It’s been there less than you. If that happens don’t use it as an excuse to quit or to stay behind the other but use it as a new goal. Stick to a better training, practice more and aim to one day be as good as your sensei or teacher. I don’t know but you might be teaching that past brilliant guy one day, because he just got stuck in the middle of his practice because he tough that was enough.

    You could do that, to put a goal to be as good as your teacher.

    In this case right here right now not just because she is my wife but beat her in English will be a tough call! I’ve put it as a goal, but this is one that I’m almost sure that I won’t beat! But something that I’ve learn is to put some impossible goals to help me keep going. Someone said that life is the eternal path searching for unreachable perfection. I use it as a motto.

    That is for my wife, maybe one day you’ll start practicing Karate with me. About your running its getting better and better every day.
    All the best

    • My dear husband, what can I say? Your dedication to a healthy lifestyle has been a motivation for me. I wish it came as easy to me as it does to you, but anyway, what matters is that I’m doing my best to keep it up, right? By the way, your English is very good!! Have you been having extra classes on the side?? I’m jealous! 😉 Luv ya, honey bunny. Ca

  4. Barros

    Carol is right: your english is rich and I think you have been practice in pri vate classes, don’t you?? I’m kidding, you have a very good teacher !!

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