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11. Sunil’s Story: Grow with the Flow

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 11 - Sunil's story

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 11 - Sunil's story

Episode 11: Sunil's story: Grow with the flow

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés británico

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes, aprenderás expresiones interesantes como el significado de ‘in the middle of nowhere’ en español. 

En el episodio de hoy, Sunil nos cuenta su viaje a las Islas de Escocia, y cómo acabó siendo su lugar de residencia durante 5 años. Escucharemos sus aventuras en la isla y todas las cosas que aprendió que jamás hubiera imaginado. En este viaje, Sunil logró conectar consigo mismo y finalmente se olvidó de sus ideales y empezó a apreciar los momentos inesperados en la vida.

Actualmente, Sunil trabaja como ‘transformational coach’, enseñando a personas a crear la vida que desean y a conectar con su intuición. Su misión es ayudarles a conseguir un trabajo apasionante y construir un futuro brillante.

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: What’s it like to leave on a one-week holiday and then return five years later? In today’s episode, our storyteller Sunil explains how he ended up in this exact situation!

In today’s story, Sunil describes his dream of wanting to build a meditation retreat centre and how an opportunity to do exactly that arose in the most unexpected place… on a Scottish isle!  You’ll hear how Sunil learnt to snorkel and bake bread at the same time and how living on an island smaller than his London suburb taught him to embrace life’s unpredictable moments.  We’re calling this episode, ‘Grow with the Flow’. 

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Sunil say:

The first expression for today is ‘in the middle of nowhere’ – en el medio de la nada. We use this expression in English as we do in Spanish to mean a very isolated or far away place. You’ll hear Sunil talk about building a retreat centre in the middle of nowhere. 
Secondly, Isle. Spelt I-S-L-E. The word isle usually refers to a very small island – una isleta. Be careful with the pronunciation of this word. Like the word island, which students often pronounce mistakenly as ‘is-land’,  the letter s in the word isle is silent. 
to chop – the verb to chop means to cut something into small pieces with a knife or an axe – una hacha. We usually use this word when we refer to chopping wood or chopping vegetables.
Next: to go like that. If someone says to you ‘the day went like that’, they mean that the day passed very quickly because they were either distracted, busy or having fun. People might even say the phrase in the blink of an eye – en un abrir y cerrar de ojos – to emphasise their point. It’s a slang expression that we use more in conversation than writing. 
Finally, to tune into – this phrasal verb has 2 key meanings. It can mean to become sensitive to something. For example we can ‘tune into someone’s emotions’. Tune into can also mean to start listening to a radio program. For example ‘we tuned into the live broadcast of the football match’. Tune into. 

And, as always, you have a full transcript, vocabulary list, and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto con. OK let’s get into the story…

Sunil: It was a time when like, I was in London I was doing a job in I.T. just to kinda live, really. I knew from the very beginning that I was not into it but I had to pay the bills. After a number of years I was really getting the feeling that I really needed to get out of London. So I had this idea that I could go and live in Spain in the middle of nowhere and create some sort of retreat centre. I imagined creating a quiet space surrounded by nature and I imagined like lots of different people coming there from different backgrounds, spending a little bit of time just connecting with themselves and coming away feeling more clarity and peace with themselves. 

I had this idea in my head but the reality was kind of different and there were a lot of different steps to take and a lot of things to do and learn. I wasn’t really prepared for it because I had no experience of living in the countryside and I didn’t have a lot of skills. I felt like what I wanted to create was so far away and a kind of a big mountain to climb. 

A friend of mine invited me to, to go visit her in Scotland. So she lived on this island called the Isle of Arran and she invited me to go there for a week. She just suggested to me well you know maybe you just need some space and maybe you’ll get some inspiration as to what to do next. I had been to the Isle of Arran previously. It’s like a 2km island and I had said, ‘you’d never catch me living on an island like this!’

I remember that I arrived on the Friday. I arrived on the ferry from the mainland and it seemed like another world. It is quite a, it’s quite an ancient-looking Island. They call it like Scotland in miniature and it’s got like these mountains on the north end, you kind of even get that… they are quite ‘jaggy’ and you kinda get a sense that maybe a pterodactyl will come flying over the mountain because they look quite old. Yeh I remember the water was like maybe… it seemed like it could be in the Mediterranean you know it was like turquoise. 

I arrived on Friday and then on the Monday, we went to volunteer with this business organisation that my friend was involved with and they were building, in fact, a retreat centre on the Isle of Arran. We went back on the Tuesday and on the Tuesday somebody there suggested to us, ‘oh do you fancy staying here and helping us build this retreat centre?’ 

I think there was a struggle, there was a little bit of a battle going on between this part of me that was saying yes to what was being offered and the part of me that wanted to sort of, keep control and wanted to kind of, like fulfill my, my dream in my way. I would try to work out like rationally what the best thing to do was. 

So my way of doing that was, to kind of create these endless lists of pros and cons and I would go around thinking about it over and over and over again until like I was in more of a mess than when I started. And at one point maybe I just had to kind of let go of that and so well you know, I’m not doing anything else and I always wanted to build a retreat center so I thought, ‘yeh why not?’. 

I started off just chopping vegetables in the kitchen and so we catered for retreats up to 60 people. It was, it was really cool actually because it wasn’t like working in a normal restaurant, you know. It was relaxed and  it was quite, it was quite a lot of fun. There was quite a few characters, there was a Jordi. He was also a shiatsu practitioner so I remember sometimes, I would be cooking, chopping vegetables and he’d be giving me a kind of shiatsu massage while I was chopping and… or we would often break out into spontaneous pot and pan playing in the kitchen.

Yeah living on this island was a little bit like kind of being back at University with a close group of friends. You are kind of living, living and working 24/7 with them and it was quite a lot of fun. I mean, yeah you got to know people really well and I remember at breakfast with the… there were jokes coming out and we were already laughing and the day generally went like that.

I would make lunch and then there was generally a little bit of a gap between like dinner time and in between, in that gap we would often make bread. So I learnt how to make bread. I was making like 12 loaves at a time, putting them in the oven and then I would nip off around the corner and go snorkelling in this beautiful like, red rock and there were like seals there and amazing fish. The water was like freezing cold but I just would like run back to the kitchen and warm myself up standing by the oven, which was like baking the loaves of bread. I think it combined quite well – baking and snorkelling.

I ended up staying, in fact, for like five seasons so like 5 years. I ended up doing things that I never imagined in a million years. I learnt to cook, I, I did some building, I learnt carpentry, I ran workshops to do with like, creativity and meditation. I used to also lead like dance workshops and I never imagined this like when I was like an IT geek living in London.

Being on the island was great for me. You know, I ended up doing things that were a little bit more physical and creative which is what I always wanted. I spent a lot of time practicing meditation. Really that helped me really to kind of heal a lot of things. I felt kind of more connected to myself. 

I’d come to the point where I felt like I had done all I could do . I left after 5 years. So now I’m actually coaching people in creating what they love. I’m really exploring this idea of how one can tune into this instinct and inner knowing to kind of navigate in life because I think that that experience taught me that. To let go of fixed ideas and all I had to do was kind of like jump in the river. Things don’t necessarily have to be the way that you imagined them and actually sometimes when you let go of that, they work out even more amazingly than you had originally planned.

Bree: That’s all for today! We hope you enjoyed Sunil’s story. Si te ha gustado este podcast y quieres apoyarnos, déjanos 5 estrellas en iTunes. Para conseguir la transcripción, vocabulario clave, y ejercicios del episodio visita acingles.com. Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

‘Things don’t necessarily have to be the way that you imagined them and actually sometimes when you let go of that, they work out even more amazingly than you had originally planned.’

Sunil

In the middle of nowhere en español

Y  la expresión de esta semana es… In the middle of nowhere. Utilizamos esta frase para describir un lugar solitario o aislado. Podríamos decir que uno se encuentra ‘in the middle of nowhere’ si está solo en medio del desierto del Sahara o ‘you live in the middle of nowhere’ si uno vive en una pequeña localidad lejos de la ciudad. En español diríamos ‘en el medio de la nada’.

Sunil hace referencia ‘in the middle of nowhere’ para describir el lugar perfecto para construir su centro de retiros. Veamos cómo lo describe: 

‘I had this idea that I could go and live in Spain in the middle of nowhere and create some sort of retreat centre. I imagined creating a quiet space surrounded by nature and I imagined like lots of different people coming there from different backgrounds, spending a little bit of time just connecting with themselves and coming away feeling more clarity and peace with themselves.’ 

Learning materials

Vocabulario

Quiz de comprensión

Transcripción

More about our guest

Si quieres saber más información sobre Sunil y su trabajo clica en el siguiente enlace.

Si te ha gustado este episodio de nuestro podcast para aprender inglés, sigue el botón para escuchar más historias y aprender nuevas expresiones y vocabulario en inglés.

Curso intensivo de inglés en AC inglés

Apúntate a nuestras clases de inglés GRATIS para conseguir un nivel upper-intermediate o aprobar el B2 First de Cambridge

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10. Rose’s story: from Offstage to Onstage

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 10 - Rose's story-s

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 10 - Rose's story-s

Episode 10: Rose's story: From Offstage to Onstage

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés sudafricano

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes, Rose nos cuenta su historia sobre amor propio. Rose trabajaba como ayudante de marketing y publicidad para la televisión de Sud Africa, hasta que decidió hacer las maletas y mudarse a Canada, con un objetivo: encontrarse a sí misma y superar sus inseguridades. Fue entonces, cuando se le presentó la oportunidad de trabajar como modelo de tallas grandes. 

Escuchemos su historia y ¡como terminó aceptándose y posando delante de las cámaras! En este podcast aprenderás el significado de palabras como bittersweet en español, así como otros términos y expresiones que podrás introducir en tu vocabulario.

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: Hola! Soy Bree de AC Inglés. Hoy queremos celebrar contigo nuestro décimo episodio de Into the Story! Esperamos que te hayan gustado las historias publicadas hasta hoy y hayas conectado con alguna. Y que vas aprendiendo palabras y expresiones en inglés! Si te gusta este podcast y quieres apoyarnos , déjanos 5 estrellas en itunes.
Thank you for your support! Ok let’s get to today’s episode.
‘Camera-shy’. It’s an expression we use in English to describe someone who feels nervous or uncomfortable about being in a photo or being filmed. As a publicist in television, who worked regularly with celebrities, our storyteller, Rose, used to feel camera-shy, like she didn’t belong in the spotlight with her famous clients.

In today’s episode, Rose shares a story of moving to Canada and how the encouragement and kind words of her host mother helped her to find self-confidence and acceptance. We hear how Rose launched her modelling career and faced her fears in front of the camera. From there, it wasn’t long before she found herself on the catwalk in South Africa’s fashion week and launching her own mentoring program to help other girls find self-love! We’re calling this episode, ‘From Offstage to Onstage’.

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Rose say:
Firstly, hype up. This phrasal verb has a couple of key meanings. To hype something up means to describe something in an exaggerated way so that it sounds very impressive. Rose however uses the expression ‘to hype someone up’. This means to get someone very excited and motivated.
Bittersweet. You’ll hear Rose say ‘a bittersweet moment’. What this means is that the moment was exciting and happy but there was also some sadness or pain. Bittersweet.
A host mother. A host mother or a host family – es una familia de acogida. When you decide to go overseas to do a school exchange or to work as an au pair, you’ll usually live with a local family, who will be your host family during your stay.
Nerve-racking. We use this adjective, nerve-racking in English to describe a stressful or difficult situation. For example, you could describe job interviews as a come nerve-racking situation.
And finally, a runway. A runway is the stage that models walk along in a fashion show – en español, la pasarela. You’ll hear Rose talk about stepping out on the runway which refers to the first steps she takes on stage. Runway

And, as always, if you want to get the most out of, si quieres sacar el máximo partido de, Rose’s story you have a full transcript, vocabulary list, and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto com. OK let’s get into the story…

Rose: My name is Rose and I am from South Africa. So I was working as a publicity and marketing assistant at a television station in South Africa. I would be part of it that was arranging the press events, arranging the marketing events and also the road shows which were truly a highlight of this whole job because we got to travel around the country we would take the celebrities that were on the channel and take them directly to the people. When we are at these roadshows I am backstage basically hyping up the celebrities before they go on stage and before they drive the whole crowd completely crazy and I’m there in the back and it’s just, the music is pumping. The energy is extremely high. A bittersweet moment at times though because you know I was facing my own challenges in terms of my body confidence and I… when you were on these road shows in you with these people who are, you know, celebrities that look like they just stepped off the TV screen it was always an internal conversation or fight that I had to have with myself to do… to tell myself that I do belong in that place and I do belong and I am enough for my look good just the way I am.

I still had a part of me that always wanted to explore more than just South Africa. I decided to go to Canada. My objective with going to Canada was really a self-love journey if… if I can call it that because I felt that I had put myself to the side quite a bit and that was hoping that when I was in Canada that I would sort of pull myself towards myself again and kind of find myself again and… and learn to love myself.

As an au pair was looking after 3 boys aged 13, 11 and 7. It didn’t stop from the morning till the nights it was just always go go go. I was fortunate enough to be part of the family set up that was probably a dream come true because my host family was set up in a way that seven days the parents go to work. Seven days they were off so I would be on seven days and off for seven days and in those seven days I was really given the opportunity to travel and discover more than just Canada but myself mostly. But to just discover and just see the place and just get to know and really experience and, and really fulfil what my plans and my goals were.

The turning point in all of this is constantly my host mother has been or had been the best that could have ever happened to me and we would always have these conversations and not a day went by without her telling me that I was beautiful and I, I do believe that I was starting to believe it a lot more. One day, she said to me, ‘I think you should be a model!’. Soon after her and I had the conversation I, you know, started doing some research and I was looking for agencies and I, because I didn’t necessarily know how it would go, because I think also… because of… remembering that the perception of modelling with, you know, you need to be a certain body type and a certain height and a certain this, I wasn’t sure where to even begin to look for people who would say that they were looking for plus size models. So I started looking around for agencies and I was sending out a few applications and this was just really as a feeler and I had no expectations of it because I was really still not believing in it that much and when I go to call from one of the agencies that said look they would like to work with me it was, it was I thinking that moment when then I truly believed that it is actually possible.

My first photoshoot was the most nerve-racking experience and I mean, I.. I did not even know what to expect. I walked into this huge studio that was just open and I could hear some music playing in the background and I could hear the flashing of the camera and as I was walking into this room, I was realising more and more how real that this is. But I was still so nervous even in that moment because in as much as I knew that I was there for my first photoshoot, for my portfolio, I was so still a little bit self-conscious about how I looked. I was wondering if the outfits that I picked were ok. But experiencing the other models that were there, who were so, so friendly, who just made me feel so comfortable and of course, the photographer who was completely amazing. After that, I really just focused on positively embracing myself, in my body.

Fast forward, I come home because I want to bring all the skills that I learned in Canada and bring them home. I also get fortunate enough to get scouted by the best, one of the best modelling agencies in the country as a plus-size model. Within the first three months, I land my first job for an online lookbook for designer in South Africa and a month later she called me and she asked me if I would love to walk for her in South Africa Fashion Week and I, I had to pause for a little bit because it just was such an unreal thing for me because south… S.A. Fashion Week was a long-term goal. I was just starting out as a model in South Africa, anywhere actually, and it was probably the most exhilarating experience. Going for the different dress size fitting and my dress was probably the biggest dress in that, in its design, it was just, it was designed for just grand and it was long and it was, it was a black and gold dress and… Moments before we walk out, you know, I mean, we get there very early in the morning to go through rehearsals and they take you through the different things which you need to do and then eventually it becomes time to get your makeup done and then it comes time to get dressed. Only when you are putting on your dress do you realize that this is actually happening right now and we’re all backstage hyping each other ‘you’re so beautiful’, ‘you can do this’, ‘this is going to be amazing’, ‘you’re not going to fall’, ‘you’re not going to fall’. As you step out on the runway, you just focus on one spot and you just walk and after I turned at the end of the ramp I was, I remember just feeling, just relief but also just I could not believe that this is where I finally was able to showcase my body just the way it is. I didn’t have to lose any weight. I didn’t have to change myself in any way and in that moment decided I needed to tell young girls about this feeling because I want them to love themselves the way they are.

Coming out of fashion making and coming out of that complete high, you know, when my modelling career was just starting off way too high, which showed that you know, I can only go higher but you just ask yourself how high could I possibly have gone to. So I feel like higher would be to pass down that confidence and that self love and so I decided to start a mentorship program where I help young girls and I am dealing with helping them with overcoming body image issues and helping them and teaching them to have body confidence.

The journey of body confidence, you know, it’s not, it’s not 10 minutes long, it’s not a taxi ride from here to up the road. It really is a long journey. Now when we went backstage and I say we because we were a few plus size models that were there, you know, you still experience that there is a little bit of tension from you know the models, by model definition, and you know you, you can’t help but have a moment of doubt where you think maybe I don’t belong here. I just would like to be that person that can show them that I know what it’s like not being able to express yourself but not only that, I can tell you that you are good enough just the way you are.

Bree: That’s all for today! We hope you enjoyed Rose’s story. Para conseguir la transcripción, vocabulario clave, y ejercicios del episodio visita acingles.com. Allí también encontrarás más recursos para ayudar a mejorar tu inglés.! Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

 

Quote of the episode

‘The journey of body confidence, you know, it's not 10 minutes long, it's not a taxi ride from here to up the road. It really is a long journey’

Rose

Bittersweet en español

Y la palabra que hemos escogido para esta semana… Utilizamos la palabra bittersweet para describir una sensación agradable y desagradable a la vez. Es decir, por una parte nos genera alegría y emoción y por otra, sentimos cierta tristeza y dolor. Podríamos traducirlo como una sensación agridulce.

Rose utiliza el término bittersweet para expresar que estaba contenta con el reto que se había propuesto sobre la aceptación de su cuerpo e imagen personal pero a la vez, se sentía insegura al ver todas las personas famosas que la rodeaban. Veamos cómo lo describe: 

A bittersweet moment at times though because you know I was facing my own challenges in terms of my body confidence and I… when you were on these road shows in you with these people who are, you know, celebrities that look like they just stepped off the TV screen it was always an internal conversation or fight that I had to have with myself to do… to tell myself that I do belong 

Learning materials

Si te ha gustado este episodio de nuestro podcast para aprender inglés, sigue el botón para escuchar más historias y aprender nuevas expresiones y vocabulario en inglés.

Curso intensivo de inglés en AC inglés

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09. Marco’s story: Fantastic Mr. Fit

Podcast para aprender inglés -Episode 9 - Marco's story

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Podcast para aprender inglés -Episode 9 - Marco's story

Episode 9: Marco's story: Fantastic Mr. Fit

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés hispano-británico 

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes, Marco comparte con nosotros su historia sobre cómo su objetivo de ponerse en forma para impresionar a las chicas se convirtió en su pasión, su estilo de vida y su trabajo.

La historia de Marco es algo más que verse bien en bañador, su historia va de trabajar duro para conseguir un objetivo personal y todo lo que se aprende en el proceso. 

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: If you saw our storyteller, Marco, walking down the street today, it would be hard to believe that once upon a time, his nickname was ‘Fatty’.  In this episode, Marco shares a story from his years growing up as a young guy in Caracas, Venezuela, and the moment he decided to hit the gym as a way to get the attention of girls. 

From there, Marco’s passion for health and fitness grew into something so much more than a superficial desire to impress women. Marco explains how he began focusing less on what others thought of him and how he found real motivation working out and living healthily for himself. Nowadays, you’ll find Marco in his own gym in Madrid, Balance Triangle, latin music pumping in the background, inspiring his clients to work hard in the same way he did all those years ago. We’re calling this story Fantastic Mr. Fit. 

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Marco say:

Firstly, a nickname, o un sobrenombre o mote, is a funny or familiar name usually given to a close friend instead of their real name. Marco talks about being called Fatty.

The next word is chubby. Chubby is an adjective that we usually use to describe someone who is a bit fat but in a cute way. For example, you could talk about a baby having chubby cheeks. Chubby.

Booty. Booty is a slang word with a lot of different meanings in English. In some contexts it can mean a prize but in Marco’s story, he uses this word to refer to a person’s bottom. We often hear booty used in the phrase ‘shake your booty’ which is a fun American English expression used to mean ‘dance energetically’!

Vain. Vain is an adjective that describes someone who looks at themselves in a superficial way and usually thinks themselves to be superior over others. In Spanish we could say vanidoso. Vain.

Finally, PT. PT is an abbreviation in English for Personal Trainer – un entrenador – You’ll hear Marco talk about how he enrolled in fitness training courses and began studying to become a PT.

Just a quick note on pronunciation and accent, Into the Story showcases stories from English speakers of all language backgrounds from all around the world. Marco is originally a native Spanish speaker who, thanks to almost a decade living in England, has a very charming British accent. Accents, whether they are native or non-native give color to language – they make it interesting and dynamic. And having lived around the world and learned English from different sources, listen out for how Marco also mixes his British English with American expressions like the word ‘booty’. 

And, as always, if you want to get the most out of, si quieres sacar el máximo partido de, Marco’s story you have a full transcript, vocabulary list, and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto com. OK let’s get into the story…

Marco: I’m Marco, I’m from Venezuela, Caracas, the capital city, and when I was young I always was a skinny guy which always looked okay. The young Marco, he was, like, very funny. My personality is quite… like, friendly. So every single person that was close to me, I would say, ‘hey hello how you doing? I’m Marco, nice to meet you!’ So I was not afraid to introduce myself to anybody. So at the end of the month or the end of the semester I was like, ‘oh Marco you’re Marco, you’re Marco, you’re Marco. 

And in some point of my life, when I get into a relationship with a very nice girl, Alexandra and everything starts to change because we normally went to every single restaurant of the city and we were always eating. But not eating healthy, eating crap food which I love. But I didn’t control myself. Try this new place which has new food, very good food so always related to food. Arepas, tequeños, pabellón. Always drinking alcohol… a lot of alcohol and I start to gain weight… like a lot, like a lot! So after all those months, I realized that I was a completely different man physically. My body was different changed to skinny to fat. Alexandra because she was in love, she was always telling me that, ‘no, that’s alright baby you are not chubby. You are okay. You look gorgeous. You’re handsome.’ But I was gaining weight but because it was not important to her she was like it doesn’t matter, you look gorgeous. I love you. You are like this and I love you like this and I didn’t realize but I didn’t realise that I was gaining and gaining and gaining more and more weight.  

We were in one of my mate’s house. We were playing guitar, drums and drinking and having fun and one of my friends called me like, ‘Oy, Fatty! Could you please pass me my drink?’ and when she said ‘Oy,Fatty’ every single person started to laugh. So all my mates started to laugh like ‘Yo, Fatty! Hahahaha’ and that day, I stopped being Marco and started to being fatty for all my friends. Yo fatty come here. Fatty do this. Fatty that. 

After a week like being fatty fatty fatty I started to realize that I didn’t like that nickname and then one of those days, I came out from the shower and I get to my room and I stop in front of the mirror and I realized that I was fat. At that time I said, ‘oh so it’s true I’m fatty’. So I need to change this because I don’t really like it. That night I said, ‘I’m going to change this tomorrow’. 

I had my girlfriend then we finished this relationship and I started to be single again so when I started trying to get on the girls and I mean they say you’re a very nice man you’re so funny you’re so cute but could you please introduce me to your friends and when I realized that those friends that they were talking about they were they were all hot and they were in a good physical condition and I don’t really look good physically. I’m nice and I’m cool but I’m a but I’m chubby. So I said if this is what they like then I’m going to change my figure and maybe I mean they are going to like me more. They’re going to be interested in me in the way that I really wanted to be interested in me and everything, all this starts because of physical condition. It sounds very vain but that was the first message at the beginning. 

I went to the nutritionist. I went to the gym. I subscribed myself for 6 months. I paid a lot of money and I said okay what do I have to do to change my body, change my lifestyle and start with nutrition and the gym. The gym!

I joined the gym one night, I think it was a Monday, and by Tuesday evening I was there for my first class and with my personal trainer. He was a very muscly, big, strong, massive guy. I saw that his physique was amazing and when he tried to explain me exercises he did it so easy and he put on so much weight but for him, it was nothing. That motivated me to be as strong as he was. Miguel, he is my inspiration and for me I say, ‘all right I need to reach this new goal’. For me, everything was completely new! It was my first time in the gym, I didn’t know nothing at all about exercise, diets, routines, zero nothing. 

It was hard for me. It was tough but thee worst part was the feeling after that because I forced myself so much to get into my goals so quickly that the pain that I’ve got after the gym it was so horrible that I couldn’t even wash my hair in the shower ‘cos I was not able to reach my head with my hands because of the pain on my shoulders and my biceps. 

I remember one time I was doing legs at the gym, with the leg press and my PT put so much weight that I say, ‘Brother, I can’t move this.’ 

And he said, ‘you have to move this ‘cos girls like boys with big booty and big legs!’

And I said, ‘Oh my God! I’m going to move this straightaway! Put more weight on and I literally did it. I did it well, But as soon as I finished the exercise, I vomited just next to the machine on the floor. So it was crazy I was having a nightmare. But at the same time, I was enjoying the feeling in my body, that I started to see results and my body started to change. 

In 8 months, I was a completely different guy. But it take… it took me, three years to be the body to get to the goal, to reach the goal with the body that I really wanted. So all the girls started to approach me straight away and they were not asking me about my friends so I said oh it works. But then suddenly I say okay this is going to help me with the girls. I reached my goal but l now I have another goal I want to help the other people who have the same problem that I’ve got. 

So I started getting involved and searching about food and about exercising and about a routine and I said I want to do this course about fitness instructor then another course personal trainer and then another course about nutrition and then I’ve got the knowledge to teach the people how to get involved with this fitness life. I’m going to help them to reach the goal to make them feel that this is not because of someone else. They have to do this because of them. This is the most important thing. You have to do it because of you, because you want to change, because you like something not for the rest of the people and then if they really want to do it, I will guide them through this. After watching all my clients reach their goals and just getting better and better, I say, ‘oh I’m good for this’ and I open my own academy, a fitness academy, Balance Triangle.  

I fell in love with this. This changed my life, for well, for good. Year after year, it is like you are changing your life, going for something bigger and bigger and now I’ve got more knowledge and I read more and I apply this knowledge to myself and it works and then I apply it to my clients and now I’m a completely different person and I think I’m going to do it ‘til the end of my days. I feel proud about that kid, that he was chubby, insecure but he was starving for something. It doesn’t matter what was my goal but I reached it and I put my hundred percent effort on that and I would say to that kid, ‘well done, well done, boy’.

Bree: That’s all for today! We hope you enjoyed Marco’s story. Para conseguir la transcripción, vocabulario clave, y ejercicios del episodio visita acingles.com. Allí también encontrarás más recursos para ayudar a mejorar tu inglés. Y si aún no te has suscrito a Into the Story suscribete en cualquiera de las plataformas desde donde nos escuchas! Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

‘You have to do it because of you, because you want to change, because you like something, not for the rest of the people...’

Marco

More about our guest

Marco es un entrenador personal en Madrid, España. También el co-fundador de Balance Triangle, una academia de fitness online y un gimnasio dedicado a ayudar a clientes a conseguir sus objetivos de fitness y a vivir de una manera más saludable y feliz. 

Learning materials

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08. Conor’s story: Backpacks, Bars and Being who you want to be

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 8 - Conor's story

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 8 - Conor's story

Episode 8: Conor's story: backpacks, bars and being who you want to be

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés canadiense

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes, presentamos una historia sobre dejar ir las expectativas que el mundo ha puesto en ti y abrazar tu propia identidad. Connor nos cuenta cómo el año que vivió en Australia le permitió encontrar amistades para toda la vida, vivir más libremente y enamorarse por primera vez!

Conor Mahoney es un consultor en el sector público de Calgary, Canada. Se dedica a ayudar a sus clientes a comunicarse con el gobierno, legisladores, grupos de interés y los medios de comunicación. En su tiempo libre, a Conor le gusta leer, correr con su perro Louis y escuchar podcasts.

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: The year some people take to travel after high school before starting university or work is often a very transformative experience. And for our storyteller today, Conor, who had been  trying to live a life that he felt society expected of him, a year traveling allowed him find his true self and come out as a gay person.

 

This week, we hear Conor’s story about how a year living in Australia allowed him to truly open up, embrace his identity and fall in love for the first time. We’ll hear about that moment he arrived in downtown Sydney without a real plan and the moment he met his boyfriend’s mum for the first time only minutes after she’d attacked a snake in the back garden. We’re calling this story ‘Backpacks, Bars and Being who you want to be’.

 

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Conor say:

  1. To fit into a mould – to fit into a mould is an expression we use to describe being the same as or matching something or someone. You’ll hear Conor talk about not fitting into the mould in his community in Canada.

  2. To cram into – this phrasal verb describes trying to put a lot of things into a very small space or a container with force. For example you can cram people into a bar or you can cram new vocabulary into your head. Cram into.

  3. Debauchery – Debauchery – el desenfreno – is a word to describe a lifestyle with lots of parties. Conor describes his life living with other travellers as being filled with debauchery. Debauchery.

  4. To fizzle out – another very graphic phrasal verb that you’ll hear Conor say. To fizzle out means to gradually fail in a bit of a disappointing way or to finish weakly. For example you can say that a relationship fizzled out.  

  5. And lastly, to teach the ropes – this expression means to show someone how to do an activity. For example, on your first day of a new job, someone will usually need to explain how things work in that workplace and show you the ropes. 

 

If you need more help with understanding Conor’s story, remember for each episode, you can get a full vocabulary list and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto com. OK let’s get into the story…

 

Conor: We lived in a town outside of Calgary but closer to the Rocky Mountains. So it was sort of expected, that if you were male that you would, you know, be on the football team and that gave you a lot of likes status and popularity, and that kind of thing, and I just never really, even though I attempted, I never really fit into that mould. That I… I thought that there wasn’t really a place for me there. So it was a time of confusion and then probably triggered depression and anxiety that I’ve kind of lived with since. Well but I think it really started earlier on like in elementary school with the… with kind of living with this secret of being gay and sort of avoiding it and trying to push it down or not face them so there was kind of this secret that I was always living with, which was very toxic. 

 

I saved up enough money, I think it was $1,500 for a round-trip airline ticket to Sydney and to my parents’ dismay… I… I was going! Landing in Sydney I took the the metro into like, central Sydney and literally checked into the first hostel that I that I saw. So yeah, I remember going up to the room. I think it was on like the 10th floor and opening the door and there was like everyone was sitting on their bed, like it was bunk-beds, and I kind of found my bed and put my backpack down there and then of course didn’t really know what to do next. 

 

My original plan was to actually go up the east coast of Australia but I kind of knew and that was the official story is that I told my parents but I knew that I wanted to stay in a big city where there was progressive community, like I was looking for a my people kind of. So I kind of settled in. At the hostel, it was getting pretty expensive so I had to find something a bit cheaper so I I was told about share houses. A Scottish traveler has said, ‘oh I’m going to move into this share house and you should check it out! It’s across… it was in Piermont, which is across darling Harbour, and it was quite a big house. It was like a mansion, like an old mansion, but I would be living with 30 to 40 other travelers and it was like maybe a 10-room home but it has like bunk-beds in the room. So yeah they just kind of crammed everybody in there and it was an experience. Like it had a pool in the back but it was freezing cold water and then we would play these crazy games at night like it was a lot of drinking and debauchery and that kind of thing. Just a bunch of backpackers from all over the world. I think there were British and like English, Scottish, Welsh, French, Spanish, Canadians, Americans, South Americans. Everyone around the globe kind of. So it was… it was so interesting because I learned so much from, from those people about, you know, why they were traveling where they’re from what they’re like way of life is like why they chose Australia. So I learned a ton from living there and then meeting those people. 

 

After a month I had had enough. It was time to to look for something more permanent. I ended up going to this bar Stonewall Hotel. It’s a very well-known gay bar in Sydney and so then the first night, the first night I was there, I met this girl who was sort of like glaring at me,  giving me the stink-eye from the other side of the bar and we ended up kind of sitting and talking. After the first time I met Jess, she invited me to coffee and we went for coffee and she said, ‘hey like I know you’re here living here and I share, shared accommodation and that you said that it was pretty hard so why don’t you come in and stay with me you can sleep on my couch’. I was thrilled and delighted that she offered and then that really started a like a lifelong friendship. She was giving me kind of the support and guidance that I needed to talk about life kind of every single day after work and what she was going through and I was going through we had similar kind of childhoods in a lot of ways. They were different in a lot of ways but um sort of the struggles at school and not fitting in. I would help her and give her advice on like her just because she was also gay. We would meet at the Newtown Hotel every day after work for a few pints… and that was a gay bar and so we know, we were always, she taught me the ropes of how to be… how to live in a gay world. 

 

Me and her had gone out one night to Stonewall and I met Matt. So I’d seen Matt out quite a bit and I really I had a huge crush on him and he was sort of like the life of the party and he seemed to be very popular among groups. But he was also just very nice. He would come and always introduce himself and say hi and I think one night, I just went up to him and said I really like you like I want like… I want to ask you out on a date or I like asked him out on a date. He said yes and so I think the weekend after we we went out for pizza and that kind of started my first relationship and my first time I fell in love. 

 

We had only been dating a couple months and he wanted to bring me back to his hometown to meet his mom. The day that I got there, his mom had killed a snake with a shovel and she’s like, ‘I right killed it like come out and I’ll show you’! It was really nice to meet his family they were very funny and sweet and they, you know, would cook us you know big meals and it was just like this fairytale kind of romance that we had. He was very similar to me but also very different. 

 

So we were together for about six months until I had to… I decided that I was going to go back to Canada. My parents were putting a bit of pressure to come home and finish University. So I decided that I was going to go back and Matt wasn’t too happy about that… and he… it just ended up just kind of fizzling out because, I mean, there wasn’t really…. he couldn’t come to Canada so there wasn’t really a future for us. So we ended up, kind of, it ended badly but we’re still friends now like still talk now once in awhile but at the time it was… it was sad because, you know, he was my first love and yeah we lived together at the time and spent all of our time together. So it definitely was hard but I had to come home. 

 

I was really worried and scared of coming home because I had lived this lifestyle of being out as a gay person for a year. You know where I… I change the way that I dressed and how I styled my hair and the way that I talked and everything had kind of changed and it reflected more of who I was as a person. Like my outside personality was now more in line with my, with my inner self or my true self. I built up enough courage to let my my parents know. I think I told my brother Brendan first that because… he was sort of the one that I was most worried about… but he was so accepting. 

 

That year really added to my character and to my story in trying to figure out who I am and where, you know, where I fit in. Being open-minded and accepting of who I am and who others are and being grateful for the people and the things that I have in my life.

 

Bree: That’s all for today! Si te ha gustado la historia de Conor y quieres seguir escuchando más episodios de nuestro podcast, puedes visitar nuestra pagina web, acingles.com donde tendrás todos los episodios de Into the Story. También encontrarás algunas actividades y materiales de cada episodio para ayudarte mejorar tu inglés. Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell. 

Quote of the episode

"That year really added to my character and to my story… Being open-minded and accepting of who I am and who others are and being grateful for the people and things that I have in my life."

Conor

Learning materials

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07. Holly’s story: Movement with meaning

Episode 7 - Holly's Story - podcast- aprender- ingles- Image

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Episode 7 - Holly's Story - podcast- aprender- ingles- Image

Episode 7: Holly's Story: Movement with meaning

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés británico

Esta semana escuchamos a Holly, entrenadora personal y nutricionista. Holly comparte con nosotros su camino desde que descubrió que tenía una enfermedad de la sangre desconocida y cómo esto la llevó a limpiar su estilo de vida y descubrir una nueva pasión por ayudar a otros.

Si quieres leer más sobre la comunidad de entrenamiento de Holly puedes visitar su web: https://hollybarberpt.com/

Bree: 10 years ago, Holly was living in Manchester, England and like many young adults in their early 20s, her priorities were simply to have fun and live life in the fast lane – es decir vivir a toda velocidad o vivir al máximo. However, all this changed when she woke up one morning with a mysterious chest pain. 

 

In today’s story we hear what it’s like to have a blood condition with no-name and how Holly struggled with being so ill at such a young age. As someone who was not into fitness, Holly tells us about her decision to clean up her lifestyle habits and about stepping foot into a gym only to realise she didn’t look like any of the other trainers in her personal training course. Now as a qualified nutritionist, fitness coach and an all-round happy and healthy human, Holly shares with us how she became her own client and how she used her fitness knowledge to heal her body as well as her mind. We’re calling this episode ‘Movement with meaning’. 

 

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Holly say:

  1. clot – A clot is a lump of blood that prevents it from flowing easily through your body. Listen out for Holly talking about having thick blood and a blood clot on her lungs – un coágulo en el pulmón. 

  2. out of my depth – This expression refers to being in deep water. It is also used as a metaphor to describe a situation that you don’t feel prepared for. For example, I feel out of my depth playing basketball with professionals! Out of my depth.

  3. to make up your mind – To make up your mind is to ‘tomar una decisión’. For example, I made up my mind to go to the party. 

  4. to set on fire – to start a fire means to encender un fuego. But in this context, Holly uses this expression to talk about the strong and passionate emotion she felt towards training her clients.

  5. and finally to thrive – thrive is a verb that we use in English to mean doing well or prosperar. For example, you can say, my business is thriving thanks to the new marketing campaign. To thrive.

 

If you need more help with understanding Holly’s story, remember for each episode, you can get a full vocabulary list, transc and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto com. OK let’s get into the story…

 

Holly: It was 2012, I was working but I’d just been a student so I had that lifestyle of live fast, everything will be fine and consume I what I want. I wasn’t generally unfit but I my definitely wasn’t looking after myself at this time. I woke up one day I had chest pain. I went to hospital and the next thing I knew was I was waking up and they told me that I had blood clots on both of my lungs which had caused major damage and nearly ended my life. And then for a whole year after that, I then really didn’t look after myself. So I kind of went into the ‘victim mentality’ of ‘why me? Why has this happened to me?’ 

 

My life changed a lot at that point. I was in a lot of pain. I was in a very bad place mentally as well and for just like a whole year, I didn’t take responsibility for myself and I would blame a lot of people to make it not about me. A whole year later, nearly to the day in 2015, I got very similar pains and I’d had another blood clot that had passed through my heart. So it caused a lot of damage along the way and it caused a lot of damage in my lungs and in my heart. They tested me for everything and everything came back negative which sounds like it should be a good but at the time the doctors and me wanted something to blame it on. Instead they found nothing and they said probably I just have thick blood. I was told I wouldn’t be able to exercise probably ever again. It made me anxious. It made me a very anxious person to do anything. I remember a day at one point, where I was sat in my apartment in Manchester at the time. I just I couldn’t build up the courage to go to the shop. I just couldn’t face outside and I couldn’t face that that world of what if something happens to me on the street. 

 

It was only then at this point that I started to understand and think about my health and my life what I wanted moving forward. I was only 23 at the time and what I wanted from my life was my responsibility and I had to take that into my own hands. I knew that I had to change and I knew that I suddenly wanted to look after my body. In this year between the two, I had managed to put on a lot of body fat, and for me personally, it was not about how much I weighed. It wasn’t about anything like that. It was to do with just not feeling good and not feeling myself and feeling generally unhealthy, lethargic but I didn’t know what to do about it. So you know, I would go on Instagram, Facebook. I would pick up a magazine. I would go to my local gym and I would do all of the stuff! I would speak to family and friends and every single little bit of advice that I got about changing my lifestyle was different. For me, it was just a lot of conflicting advice that I felt every Monday I would wake up and I would start something new, which of course made my mood change because I was on these crazy diets every week. I was doing way too much exercise or way too little exercise and I was just into everybody else before making my mind up because I had no clue of what I could do.

 

So I did my qualification to become a personal trainer and that was interesting to say the least because although there were some obviously really nice people and they all mean very well. It was very much that macho type situation where I felt very out of my depth because I wasn’t as physically, aesthetically fit as these people were and I sat in this room and I felt so overwhelmed and such an imposter that I had… and I kept saying to myself, ‘it’s okay you have a right to be here you’re learning this for yourself but, at the same time, I was listening to these people saying that they go to the gym everyday and they had been going to the gym for 20 years and now they’re doing their PT course and they’ve always been into fitness and I’m sat. I can hardly breathe because I am still getting over such a huge event. I’m not feeling my best and I felt so out of my depth that it felt like I would never become what they are. And then I realized I didn’t really want to be what they were and it’s ok that they are like that and I tried to steer myself away from being like everyone else in the fitness industry, which took a long time but during that course was a big eye-opener to what I didn’t want to be. 

 

For sure the practical side of learning was good and getting that qualification and the theory behind things was amazing but putting it into practice and sitting and eating and being able to say these proteins are going to do this for me. These carbohydrates are going to do this for me and all of these colorful fruit and vegetable are going to make me thrive was where I learned the most because then I saw it in my own life and I could get more energy. I could look in the mirror and I could be happy with what I could see looking back at me and I could thrive which was the biggest incentive to carry on. 

 

So I was in a job that I didn’t particularly like and I then all my friends are saying to me, ‘Holly! You look amazing! You look so good! You’ve got so much more energy! You’re socializing more! You don’t seem as anxious! What have you done? What is your secret?’ and then when I turn around to them and say, ‘Well I’m actually a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer.’ 

They were like, ‘What! What do you mean you’re a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer? Train me!’ At this point I hadn’t trained anybody else except me so I was very dubious, let’s say, about being able to teach because I had no clue and I just thought, well, I’m going to come up with a little pack and I’ll write down some exercises that we can do and I’ll explain to them that this is a real journey and I’d like to help them and we’ll see how it goes. 

 

So I started to train some friends and relatives after work and at the weekend. Being this person to so many people inspired me so much. It literally set my heart on fire! It was something that I was so passionate about so I decided it was time to quit my job. I had saved up enough money to invest in my fitness studio that I have now. It’s just a community space for people, which just makes me so happy seeing people like thriving in there doing stuff that they thought that they would never be able to do.

 

I think my philosophy now is to move with intention, move for how you want to feel that day and I like to always call it movement rather than working out and exercising because I think they have such weird connotations. I always like to say you’re moving from a place of attention, from a place of love and to start a journey because ‘I love myself’ not because ‘I hate myself’ so ‘I’m not going for my run in the morning because I hate myself I’m going for a run in the morning because I love myself! To give myself time that freedom, that strength. My heart is going to be pumping my blood is going to be going to my brain is going to be switched on and that can be with any movement whatsoever and a little like saying that I always say to everybody, including myself is, ‘all movement is good movement’ and that’s how I kind of like to live my life now with the food that I eat, with the company I keep. How is it making me feel and then going forward with that and going forward with more positive things to come from that.

 

Bree: That’s all for today! Si te ha gustado la historia de Holly y quieres seguir escuchando más episodios de nuestro podcast, puedes visitar la pagina web, acingles.com donde tendrás todos los episodios de Into the Story. También encontrarás algunas actividades y materiales de cada episodio para ayudarte mejorar tu inglés. Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of this episode

I think my philosophy now is to move with intention, move for how you want to feel that day...all movement is good movement.

Holly

Learning materials

Curso intensivo de inglés en AC inglés

Apúntate a nuestras clases de inglés GRATIS para conseguir un nivel upper-intermediate o aprobar el B2 First de Cambridge