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40. A Story About Just Diving In


Into the Story



Episode 40: A Story About Just Diving In

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Inglés británico

Todos sabemos que para dominar una lengua hace falta practicar, pero incluso después de años de estudio, a muchos nos cuesta encontrar la confianza en nosotros mismos para pasar de la teoría a utilizar el idioma en la vida real. A veces son los nervios, la posibilidad de quedar mal delante de otra gente. Otras veces puede ser el perfeccionismo, la idea que si no utilizamos la lengua a la perfección no ‘cuenta’. Pero más que nada, esta mentalidad nos limita y retrasa nuestro viaje hacia la fluidez total. Lindsay, nuestra invitada de hoy, hace todo lo contrario.

In today’s episode of Into The Story, Lindsay will tell us about a multilingual experience she had while traveling in Morocco. Over the years, Lindsay has managed to achieve various levels of fluency in many languages, and she thinks everybody is capable of doing the same. As you listen to her story, you will learn useful expressions such as ‘TO RETRACE ONE’S STEPS’ and ‘IN GOOD CONSCIENCE’. Listen to the end to hear more about Lindsay’s language learning philosophy.

[00:00:02.890] – Intro

Did you know that listening to stories in English helps you remember new words and expressions while improving your listening skills? And what if while you enjoyed different stories and different accents you also got top life tips from each person? Welcome to Into the Story.

[00:00:26.670] – Bree

I have a confession to make: I still get nervous when I need to have a complex conversation in Spanish. Sometimes I’m just afraid of using the wrong word, but in the end, I need to use Spanish to communicate on a daily basis. Being understood is way more important than whether I use the subjunctive tense correctly. Today’s guest Lindsay is from the website Lindsay Does Languages and she’s also the co-host of The Fluent Show podcast. Lindsay loves languages. She loves learning them, and more importantly, she loves using them.

[00:01:09.570] – Lindsay

This was quite an unexpected day. It was 2013, so it was round about the time when I was beginning to realise oh I can learn languages on my own. Okay.

[00:01:25.770] – Bree

Years ago, Lindsay and her friend Hannah decided to go on a trip together. They had met while taking a Spanish class and quickly became friends. Initially, they were going to travel to Spain, but flights to Morocco were cheap, so they decided to get on a flight for Marrakesh. Neither of the girls spoke Arabic, but French has also spoken in Morocco, which Lindsay speaks. Little did she know that she’d also need six other languages just to find a hotel room. She wasn’t going to have perfect pronunciation and perfect grammar in all six languages, but she would have to make herself understood.

[00:02:08.610] – Bree

A really quick thing before we talk about the vocabulary in today’s Story, did you know that there are about 1.1 billion English speaking people in the world and guess how many of us are native English speakers? Only 400 million. That means that 700 million English speaking people are so called non-native speakers. On Into The Story. We feature speakers from all over the world so that you become familiar with accents from everywhere. If you have a friend who needs help understanding different accents in English, then share this podcast with them. Just click the share icon on whatever podcast app you’re listening on and send it right on over to them.

[00:02:55.310] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

Thank you so much. Okay, let’s look at five words and expressions that Lindsay uses in her story. And remember, you have an extended vocabulary list, the transcript, and a quiz on our website, You’ll see the link in the show notes.

[00:03:14.910] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

Firstly, “people watching”. People watching is the act of watching people, usually in a public place. For example, if you’re at an airport and you have some time to wait before your flight, you’ll just sit and watch people. I find people watching especially fun when I’m in a foreign country. People watching

[00:03:40.410] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

Next, “in good conscience”, we use the phrase in good conscience to talk about what we believe to be fair or right. For example, I couldn’t allow my friend to pay for my lunch in good conscience. In good conscience is another way of saying, without feeling guilty, I couldn’t allow my friend to pay for lunch without feeling guilty. In good conscience.

[00:04:09.510] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

To be “drawn out”. To be drawn out literally means that something is drawn out by hand. In today’s story, Lindsay explains that she had a map drawn out. Drawn out can also mean that something takes longer than necessary. For example, yesterday’s meeting was drawn out. It lasted longer than necessary to be drawn out.

[00:04:38.610] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

To “retrace one’s steps”. Okay, let’s look at an example. So yesterday I got to my car and I realised that I didn’t have my keys. So I retraced my steps. I walked back to my house. I looked in all the places I had been before leaving the house. To retrace your steps is when you go back along the way, you’ve come to retrace one’s steps.

[00:05:07.290] – Bree – Vocabulary Section

Finally, to “dive in”. So to dive in literally means to jump into water headfirst. But you’ll often hear to dive in use to mean becoming suddenly and enthusiastically involved in something. You’ll hear Lindsay talk about the importance of diving in when you’re learning a new language. To dive in. Okay, let’s get into the story.

[00:05:37.290] – Lindsay

Everything in Marrakesh felt really like terracotta. Like real warm terracotta, sandy and dusty, and all the leather and all the big piles of spices, all these colours creating this palette of oranges and yellows and browns and just bright and vibrant and warm. Just so warm. So hot. We’d had a lovely time in Marrakesh. There’s so much to experience, I think, is the word, for Morocco.

[00:06:09.750] – Bree

Lindsay and Hannah had fallen in love with Marrakesh, a city in Western Morocco known for its palaces, gardens and especially the marketplace. A labyrinth of small streets and shops selling traditional textiles, pottery, jewellery and spices. But as those of you who have travelled know, right, when you fall in love with a place, it’s already time to leave. The friends get on a bus for Essaouira, a Port city on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast.

[00:06:41.370] – Lindsay

So we sit down, we’re next to each other on the right side of the bus, and I can see in the aisle seat opposite, a couple of rows in front, I’m watching this guy and he’s got his phone out and he’s clearly sending a message. He’s texting someone, but he’s not typing with his thumbs. He’s using his finger to draw essentially these characters. And I’m looking and I’m thinking, that’s Chinese. This guy is writing in Chinese, but drawing every character with his finger. This is amazing. And because he wasn’t right next to me, he was that little bit in front. I could get away with watching and people-watching and observing what was happening. And so we arrived in Essaouira. We had our hotel booked. It was, I think, $2 a bed and probably would have been a terrible dorm.

[00:07:39.210] – Bree

As soon as they get off the bus they’re surrounded by lots of people trying to sell them different hotel rooms. It’s an overwhelming scene with lots of shouting.

[00:07:50.490] – Lindsay

Hey, I’ve got a great hotel for you to come and stay. Do you have somewhere to stay? Do you have a taxi? Do you need this? Do you need that? And you’re like, I just need a minute more than anything. Just let me breathe. We were ready because we had our hotel. We were ready to just walk away. But I watched this Chinese guy and it was clear to me that these people knew he couldn’t speak English, so they had no common language and they were ready to exploit him. And I couldn’t in good conscience let that happen. So I went over and I thought, I’m pretty sure that if I speak a bit of Mandarin, he’s going to understand me. So I just need to risk. And there’s a thing I find with language learners, and I notice this all the time. We want perfection, right? We want almost to learn and then we speak. We go out in the world and we speak perfectly. That is rarely what happens.

[00:08:55.470] – Bree

When we speak a foreign language we can pay attention to form or we can pay attention to meaning. When we pay attention to form, we’re making sure that everything is perfect: the grammar, the word order, the pronunciation. But when we pay attention to meaning, we just need to communicate with someone. The most important thing is to be understood.

[00:09:20.670] – Lindsay

When you’re in a situation like this, you’re stood there at the side of the road. There are people surrounding you, trying to get you to make one decision or another, and you see someone being exploited. You don’t have time to pay attention to form. You can’t think, I need to help this person. Let me just get my Mandarin perfect. No, you don’t have that chance. You have to pay attention to meaning because you’re in the moment, you are there. So that’s what I did. And I went across and I said in French, leave him alone. I can see what you’re trying to do. It’s not fair. He doesn’t speak English. Stop trying to exploit him. Oh, but I have a hotel. I have a hotel. You don’t know him. I said, he’s with us. I know him. And I turned to reassure the Chinese gentleman. I said, in Chinese, hello, I speak little Chinese. You speak Chinese? Completely flawed, but attention to meaning. I got the meaning across and his eyes lit up and he said, oh, yes. And you could see there was this element of relief, I think, for both of us when we realised that we could communicate even if they couldn’t.

[00:10:31.410] – Bree

The Chinese gentleman looks like a quintessential tourist. He even has a camera around his neck. Lindsay is feeling happy for saving him from all the men at the bus station. As they walk away, she asks if he has a hotel. And he says that, no, he doesn’t. And now she feels responsible for him.

[00:10:51.630] – Lindsay

So we walked into the town along the street from the bus station. And it’s blue, it’s white, it’s light grey and completely different place. Eventually we make our way into the centre and things narrow, the markets reappear. But this time you’ve got piles of fresh green mint. And we’ve got our map. Again, 2013 on the cusp of roaming charges becoming more available. So we didn’t have any internet access, but we’ve got it drawn out. We’ve got the address and, yeah, we’re ready. This is this street. So we need to go that way. There’s nothing here. Strange. So we try again. We retrace our steps, we go back to the main street. We’re thinking, we can’t take this poor man around the streets, back and forth and back and forth. We need to find where we’re going. So we stand there, we look at the map and we look up and there’s a side street and we think, that’s it, that’s the name. Okay, so we turn. We walk down. Again, trying to reassure this man that we know where we’re going. And we turn down the side street and there’s nothing. It narrows and it gets darker. There’s an archway going across the top of us and there’s no sign for a hotel.

[00:12:22.170] – Bree

Lindsay is feeling a bit embarrassed. She and Hannah are leading the Chinese gentleman up and down different streets looking for their hotel. She starts thinking that maybe she made a mistake. Maybe she should have let the men at the bus stop take him to an overpriced hotel.

[00:12:39.570] – Bree

I’m trying to say things like, all good, everything good in my minimal Chinese. So we stopped a couple of tourists who looked – they look like they know where they’re going. They’ve been here a day or two. And we said, Excuse me, do you speak English? Oh, no, hablas español. Si si si bueno, bueno, bueno. And so we asked in Spanish, do you know where this street is? Do you know where this hotel is? Oh, no, sorry. We stopped the next people we see. Hi, excuse me, do you speak English? No. español. Maybe they’re Spanish too. No. Italiano. Italiano. Bene bene. And so again, no time to think. Attention to form. Must be perfect. Just thinking. Meaning. Attention to meaning. Get my meaning across. And then we go into Italian. No, they didn’t know where to go either. Okay, what do we do now? So we stand a little bit longer and someone else comes along and we say, Hi, excuse me, do you speak English? English? Deutsch. Okay, German.

[00:13:55.730] – Bree

Every single time they stopped someone to ask for directions, Lindsay and Hannah realised that they were using all different languages. But eventually they decided to stop looking for the hotel they had booked and try to find a different solution.

[00:14:13.430] – Lindsay

We said to the man, we said, we don’t know where the hotel is, we’ll find one together. And he said yes, okay, no problem. So we thought, right, there’s a sign that says hotel. It looks okay, let’s ask. So we go in and it was all fine. We found a triple room. And so we were able to still be together, which meant we got to speak a little bit more and find a bit more out about each other, which is where then the camera came into play. And it turned out that this man was a photographer who travels the world internationally taking photographs and then selling his photographs. And so, yeah, it was quite amazing to then be able to see some of his work. We went out for dinner together and it was just really very nice. And at the end, we kept looking at each other, thinking, how many languages? What’s the tally? So we had Arabic, we had Polish, English, Chinese, Italian, German, French and Spanish. It was unbelievable. There’s something to be said for diving in and just thrusting yourself into a situation where you need to use a language. Speak right away. Go. Just do it. Push yourself off the edge.

[00:15:31.610] – Bree

Today, Lindsay describes herself as obsessed with helping people find the best way to learn a language. She has a coaching programme where she gives her students the knowledge of how to learn a language. As we heard in her story, Lindsay speaks several languages. So I asked her if she thinks she has a special gift.

[00:15:55.370] – Lindsay

I don’t think that I have an extraordinary talent or a gene or anything like that to learn languages. I think it’s just something that once you have done, you can replicate. And that applies even if you choose to learn one language really well throughout your entire life. Once you’ve done a thing, once you can tweak it, you can adjust it, you can make it better the next time. And I find learning a new language is that same thing. It gives me that same chance to try again and to experiment and to see that worked really well for Japanese. Is it going to work for Korean? So I think that over the years I’ve got better at learning languages, but I don’t think that I have any kind of extraordinary, unusual gift. I think it’s something that we can all get better at.

[00:16:47.660] – Bree

You can find a link to her website, lindsay does languages and also see a photo of Lindsay, Hannah and the Chinese tourist during their trip in Essaouira by visiting

[00:17:00.740] – Bree

And that’s all we have for you today. This is the last episode of the season, but we’ll be back soon with more stories and life tips of people from all over the world. Make sure to subscribe to Into the Story. And while you’re there, support us by leaving a five star rating on Apple Podcast or Spotify. It really helps other listeners find us. Thank you so much. Okay, everyone, until next time, we hope you have a good time, or at least a good story to share.

Quote of the episode

Once you’ve done a thing once, you can replicate it, tweak it, do it better the next time. It’s the same with languages. I don’t think I have any kind of extraordinary gift for them, they are something we can all get better at.

Wonderful Words

A brownish-red clay that has been baked and is used for making things such as flower pots, small statues, and tiles.

An aisle is a long narrow gap that people can walk along between rows of seats in a public building or vehicle.

To treat someone unfairly for personal gain.

The act of giving a person special teachings in a particular subject.

Excellent Expressions

 The act of observing people and their interactions from afar.

To do something without feeling guilty or bad.

1. When something lasts longer than you would like.
2. Unfold something that was previously folded.

To go back along the one way has come.

Listening Exercise

Lindsay, Hannah, and their Chinese friend, in Morocco.
Lindsay, Hannah, and their Chinese friend, in Morocco.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The Story. Si quieres saber más de Lindsay y sus secretos para aprender lenguas, puedes encontrarla en su web Lindsay Does Languages y el podcast The Fluent Show. Y si quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajoWe can’t wait to see you there!  

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Publicado el 1 comentario

39. A Story About Having A Thick Skin


Into the Story



Episode 39: A Story About Having A Thick Skin

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Canadiense

El primer día de escuela es difícil para todo el mundo. Acostumbrarse a un sitio nuevo y emocionante a la vez que conoces gente y intentas hacer amigos no es una tarea fácil. Pero nuestro invitado de hoy, Alykhan, tuvo un primer día de escuela especialmente difícil cuando a los 8 años su familia se mudó de Tanzania a Canadá. A pesar de todo, lo que aprendió ése primer día le ha servido para llegar a ser lo que es hoy; un reconocido diseñador de interiores y toda una personalidad en la televisión nacional.

Today’s episode of Into The Story is about having a thick skin (ser fuerte). As you listen to Alykhan describing one of the most distressing experiences of his life, you will learn very useful expressions, such as ‘to go downhill’ or ‘to be taken advantage of’. Listen to the end of the episode to hear how Alykhan has managed to become such a strong person and how he deals with these situations in his everyday life. 

[00:00:02.890] – Into the Story Intro

Did you know that listening to stories in English helps you remember new words and expressions while improving your listening skills? And what if, while you enjoyed different stories and different accents, you also got top life tips from each person? Welcome to Into the Story.

[00:00:25.950] – Bree

The first day of school can be difficult for everyone. Trying to make sure you’re in the right class, meeting new people, wondering if you will fit in. All while trying to get used to a new environment. It’s quite a challenge. But today’s Storyteller had an especially hard first day of school. When he was eight years old, his family made a big move from Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, and West Africa to Calgary, Canada. The weather, the food, the faces. It was a whole new world, and it was not quite what he had expected.

[00:01:07.470] – Alykhan

I had no idea why I was getting into trouble. I hadn’t done anything. I was just trying to eat my lunch. I got brought to the principal’s office and saw my brother sitting there, and I was like, oh, my God, what have we done? I’m like, I hate this place.

[00:01:23.670] – Bree

Today we’re going to hear a story from Alykhan Velji, a top interior designer and one of Canada’s most recognizable design personalities. But once upon a time, he was just an eight year old boy on his way to school.

[00:01:40.050] – Bree

A really quick thing before we talk about the vocabulary in today’s Story, do you know why we believe in the power of stories to help you improve your English? Just think about this: humans have been telling stories since we were literally living in caves. And after 30,000 years, our brains have evolved to love stories by releasing Dopamine, also known as the feel-good neurotransmitter. And that helps us remember things like vocabulary. So if you love listening to true stories to improve your English, then we would love it. If you would share this podcast with a friend. Just click the share icon on whatever podcast app you’re listening on and just send it right over to a friend. Thank you so much.

[00:02:34.470] – Vocabulary Section

Okay, let’s look at five words and expressions that Alykhan uses today. First, “to go downhill”. So “to go downhill” literally is easy to picture you’re gradually going down a Hill. But when something in life starts to go downhill, it means that it’s gradually getting worse. For example, our team was winning the match, but in the second half, it all started to go downhill. In the end, we lost. To go downhill.

[00:03:10.110] – Vocabulary Section

Then we have the rhetorical question, “what am I getting myself into?” So this is a question you ask yourself when you’re in a difficult and often surprising situation. For example, imagine you offer to help someone with their bag, and when you pick it up, you realize it’s super heavy. Then you’d say to yourself, what have I gotten myself into.

[00:03:38.550] – Vocabulary Section

Next, “to take advantage of someone”. So to take advantage of someone means to treat them unfairly to ask more of them than what is reasonable to take advantage of someone.

[00:03:53.490] – Vocabulary Section

Next. To have boundaries. A boundary is like a border, a limit. But to have personal boundaries means that you have limits, usually in your personal relationships with other people. To have boundaries.

[00:04:12.580] – Vocabulary Section

And finally, to have a tough skin or to have a thick skin. This is a very important concept in today’s story. When someone has a tough or thick skin, it means that they are strong. They aren’t easily hurt by other people’s comments or actions. They don’t care, or they do their best not to care when other people criticize them. To you have a tough or thick skin.

[00:04:40.890] – Bree

In addition to these words and expressions, you have an extended vocabulary list, the transcript, and a quiz on our website You’ll see a link in the show notes. Okay, let’s get into the story.

[00:05:00.250] – Alykhan

My name is Alykhan Velji. I am from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am 42 years old and I’m an interior designer. This was 1988 in Calgary. We arrived in the summer. We had moved from Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, which is in East Africa. So feeling very good and comfortable. My grandparents were here and we were living with them at the time. And then of course, the first day of school came along. I was placed in grade two. Yes, I was just very excited for the first day of school. It was a nice fall crisp kind of morning. I remember my mom had packed me at lunch, which was hot dogs. I’d never had a hot dog in my whole entire life until I came to Canada and fell in love with hot dogs. So that’s what I wanted for lunch and that’s what I got.

[00:05:51.910] – Bree

Eight year old Alykhan is already for school. He’s wearing his backpack and inside he’s carrying the lunch his mom has packed for him. In Canada, kids bring their lunch to school, normally a sandwich, maybe a couple of snacks, but he has asked for his new favorite food, hot dogs. Alykhan’s mom then starts walking him and his brother to school.

[00:06:15.490] – Alykhan

Ya, she walked us to school and this is kind of where it all started going a little downhill. We were walking and my mom had just stopped to, I think, to tie my shoe lace. And as soon as she stopped, we were just actually on someone’s lawn. And the lady actually came out that the house belonged to and just basically started yelling at my mom and telling her to get off her property. Again, very traumatic for the first day of school. I just didn’t know what was going on. I saw the look on my mom’s face and it was a look of shock because obviously we did nothing wrong. So my mom obviously proceeded to get off her lawn. She grabbed my brother and I and we just started walking.

[00:07:03.980] – Bree

Once they were yelled at for stepping on someone’s lawn. The excitement that Alykhan felt about the first day of school has now turned into anxiety. Depending on where you live, the concept of lawn, L-A-W-N, could be new for you. So a lawn is the front part of someone’s house where they normally have grass, and often there’s nothing separating the lawn from the sidewalk. So stopping to tie your shoe on someone’s lawn is a totally normal thing to do. Definitely not a reason to be yelled at. Alykhan’s mom is holding on tightly to his hand as they finally make it to school.

[00:07:43.520] – Alykhan

And, I mean, I could tell that the way that she was holding my hand that she was pretty traumatized as well. So, yeah, we proceeded to go to school. She dropped us off. But it just left me with a really, kind of, like, eerie sort of feeling. You don’t really want to get yelled at when you’re walking anywhere and then, let alone it being your first day of school. So went to school, got into our class. Everything was brand new to me. We went to private school when we were in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania. So going to a public school was very different. There were lots of kids, lots of white kids, which, again, was a bit of a shock to me. And so anyway, we got put into school throughout the day, started meeting some new friends, and really kind of getting into that kind of first day of school moment where you just kind of realize what you’re going to get into. And so the bell rings. We all go for lunch. And I have my hot dog pack. I’m ready to eat it. And so I look for my brother, and I can’t seem to find him anywhere.

[00:09:01.210] – Bree

The lunchroom is stressful for any kid. You walk into this big room and you have to find somewhere to sit. Alykhan can’t find his brother. So he sits down alone.

[00:09:13.210] – Alykhan

And so opened up my lunch pack, started eating my hot dog. And I had those little ketchup packets to put on my hot dog. So, you know, I took those out, put it on my hot dog, and the boy beside me yelled out to the whole lunch room that I was putting blood on my hot dog. Again, I didn’t really know what to do. I was shocked. Everybody was kind of looking at me and staring and laughing. I kind of went into a bit of shock, actually, because I didn’t realize or didn’t know why this kid started saying that to me. I didn’t even know him. I didn’t even have two words with him. Anyway. People were laughing and just looking at me really awkwardly. And I just basically went into a shell and put my hot dog away. It still gets me a little emotional to this day because it was so hard for me. I didn’t have anybody around me that could either stick up for me. I didn’t know where my brother was.

[00:10:21.890] – Bree

Little Alykhan is totally shocked. Why did that boy say he was putting blood on his hot dog? Where is his brother? He stands up to try to find him.

[00:10:33.410] – Alykhan

And then the lunchroom teacher comes up to me and she’s like, what are you doing here? And I was just having my lunch. It’s lunchtime. I’m having my lunch. And he’s like, you’re not supposed to be in the lunchroom. And I had no idea. So anyway, she took me to the principal’s office. Again, I had no idea why I was getting into trouble. I hadn’t done anything. I was just trying to eat my lunch. And so, yeah, I got brought to the principal’s office and saw my brother sitting there, and I was like, oh, my God, what have we done? I’m like, I hate this place. I hated the first day of school. I was like, I don’t want to be here. I just want to go home. I want my mom is basically what I was thinking and basically got told that because we walked to school, we weren’t allowed in the lunch room, and we had to walk home from school for lunch.

[00:11:34.730] – Bree

Alykhan and his brother are sitting at the office. I can completely picture him sitting there so innocent and confused. Feeling that tight, aching feeling in his throat that we all feel when we’re trying not to cry. Most of us know that feeling of being in a new place and not understanding what’s happening.

[00:11:53.990] – Alykhan

My mom ended up picking us up and just took us home for the afternoon. And I remember getting into my dad’s car and just crying. I was like, I hate it here. I don’t know why I got into trouble. I was always a really good kid, and everyone loved me. When we were in Africa, my teachers loved me, and I just had stupid relationship with every single person that I met. I just didn’t realize why we were getting yelled at all the time. By moving to this new country where I thought I was so excited to move to Canada, I thought it was going to be a great experience. And that first day just was not for me.

[00:12:35.090] – Bree

Alykhan went from being around people that looked like him and understood him in Dar es-Salam to being in a place where he was different. He describes himself as an emotional person. Someone who likes to please people. And this first day of school experience taught him to toughen up. He had to find a way not to be as easily hurt by people’s comments and actions.

[00:12:59.810] – Alykhan

I don’t like being stepped on. I don’t like being taken advantage of. And when that happens, I feel like a conversation needs to be had to say, those are my boundaries. I mean, you have to have boundaries. And I feel like because of all of the things that I went through, it really gave me a tough skin. In order to be able to persevere and get past those things that maybe made you a little sad, made you mad, made you angry. I feel like all of those kind of experiences are teaching moments. Having a thick skin and just not letting things get to you is kind of what I’ve learned from all of those experiences.

[00:13:44.030] – Bree

Today. Alykhan appears on numerous TV shows thanks to his unique sense of style and professionalism. But it isn’t always easy to be a person who appears in magazines and on TV. And it can be especially difficult when you’re a sensitive person, as Alykhan describes himself, being the new different kid at school taught Alykhan not to let mean kids affect him so much. So when you find yourself in a situation where you’re the new different kid or where you’re just trying to do new different things, remember the importance of having a thick skin. To find out more about Alykhan and to see a photo of him around the time of this story, you’ll find a link on our website

[00:14:31.650] – Bree

And that’s all for today. Make sure to subscribe to Into the Story wherever you listen to podcasts. And while you’re there, support us by leaving a five star rating on Apple podcasts or Spotify. It really helps other listeners find us. Thank you so much. Okay, everyone, until next time, we hoped you have a good time or at least a good story to share.

Quote of the episode

“I was so excited to move to Canada, I thought it was going to be a great experience, but that first day was just… not for me.”

Wonderful Words

An area of grass, especially near to a house or in a park, that is cut regularly to keep it short.

Strange in a frightening and mysterious way.

A large room in a school where children can sit down to eat.

The limit of what someone considers to be acceptable behaviour.

Excellent Expressions

To gradually become worse.

A question you ask yourself when you’re in a difficult and often surprising situation.

to be treated unfairly, to be asked to do more than what is reasonable.

An ability to keep from getting upset or offended by the things other people say and do.

Listening Exercise

Alykhan Velji as a young boy.
Alykhan Velji as a young boy.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The StorySi quieres ver los diseños de Alykhan, no te pierdas su web Alykhan Velji Designs. Y si quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajoWe can’t wait to see you there!  

Suscríbete a las clases semanales gratis de AC inglés

Quiero recibir en mi email GRATIS (no spam guaranteed!):

Join the AC Family

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38. A Story About Doing What Scares You


Into the Story



Episode 38: A Story About Doing What Scares You

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Inglés neutro con ligero acento alemán 

¿Alguna vez te has encontrado cara a cara con algo que te daba miedo, pero lo has acabado confrontando? No hay nada como la sensación de superar nuestros miedos y cumplir nuestros propósitos. When you finally take that step forward, ready for whatever happens, you’re growing as a person. Nuestra invitada de hoy conoce bien esa sensación. En el podcast de esta semana, Kerstin nos cuenta cómo superó su miedo a las alturas bajando en rápel el edificio más alto de su universidad. 

Today’s episode of Into The Story is about doing things that scare you. Mientras escuchas a Kerstin explicando su dificultoso descenso, aprenderás expresiones muy prácticas, como ‘TO BE BUZZING’ y ‘TO LOSE FACE’. If Kerstin’s enthusiastic voice sounds familiar, you might have recognised her from her podcast, The Fluent Show. ¡Aunque no lo parezca, su lengua materna es el alemán, no el inglés! Escucha este episodio hasta el final para descubrir cómo Kerstin consiguió ganar fluidez en inglés y muchas otras lenguas. 

[00:00:00.430] – Bree 

Have you ever found something scary but you did it anyway? For some people that might be moving to a new country, learning a new language or jumping off a cliff into the sea. But for Kerstin, it was rappelling down a building.

[00:00:20.090] – Kerstin

I didn’t think of myself as somebody who’s particularly scared of heights until I was like at the top of this building and looking over and looking down. And then leaning backwards over the edge and sort of lowering yourself down on this, like very thin looking, really not particularly sturdy feeling rope.

[00:00:41.990] – Bree 

While working at Lancaster University and before starting her own business, Kerstin had a summer of daring. She had loved working at the University, but she felt her time there was coming to an end. She had started indoor rock climbing and found it meditative and calming. She felt ready to take on new challenges. One day, a charity event came up. Chris Bonington, a famous mountaineer, was going to visit the University and lead people as they repelled or abseiled down Bowland Tower, the tallest building on campus.

[00:01:28.290] – Bree Vocab

Before we listen to Kerstin, we’re going to look at five words and expressions that she uses in her story. First, ‘to be buzzing’. So buzzing is the sound that a bee makes, “bzzzz”. But if we talk about a place buzzing, it means that there’s an atmosphere of excitement and activity. You’ll hear Kerstin describe the University where she works as buzzing.

[00:01:56.490] – Bree Vocab

Then central to today’s story are the climbing terms ‘abseiling’ or ‘repelling’. So abseiling and repelling both describe lowering yourself with a rope down a vertical wall. If you’ve climbed or you’ve watched someone climb or you’ve seen the movie Mission Impossible, you’ve definitely seen someone lowering themselves on a rope. This is abseiling or repelling.

[00:02:52.560] – Bree Vocab

Next, ‘to lose face’. ‘To lose face’ is an expression which means to lose people’s respect or to be humiliated. For example, some people feel that if they admit to making a mistake, they will lose face, that other people will respect them less. To lose face.


[00:03:09.710] – Bree Vocab

And finally, to swear. To swear is a verb that means to say bad words. So swearing is using offensive language, and we usually swear when we’re angry. For example, even though I’m an adult, I do not swear in front of my mom. To swear. In addition to these words and expressions, you have an extended vocabulary list, the transcript, and a quiz on our website. You’ll see a link in the show notes. Okay, let’s get into the story.

[00:03:47.450] – Bree 

Kerstin has been working at Lancaster University in the northeast of England, and although her job is becoming very stressful, she loves where she works.

[00:03:56.010] – Kerstin

So it’s a University in the north of England, and you can imagine the campus is sort of concrete 1960s campus design. Mostly flat, lots and lots of different buildings. Sort or this little campus life and it really feels like buzzing and everything’s quite self contained. And there’s one big landmark that is the block of residences. It’s called Bowland Tower. And you just see this. I have seen this building for years and years and years on my way to work out of my window at work. I always used to be able to see it, so it sort of was part of my working landscape.

[00:04:30.630] – Bree 

Very randomly, Kerstin gets into or starts rock climbing. She finds it very calming when you’re hanging onto a wall. You can only really focus on where your hands are and where they’re going to go next. It’s almost meditative. Then she discovers that the famous British mountaineer and climber Chris Bonington is going to do a charity event leading people down the highest building on campus.

[00:05:02.830] – Kerstin

And Chris Bonington was going to come to the University that day and he was going to lead people in up abseiling, rappelling down Bowland Tower. And I thought, that just looks so fun. That just looks so exciting. And it was only £50, £50 for charity. And I thought, oh, £50. I’m going to go down this building with this world renowned mountaineer. It’s going to be so amazing. I’ll be so proud of myself. And I still didn’t realize until I was at the top of the tower. So they give you some stuff and they give you this little safety briefing and you’re in a safety briefing with other people. And I’m just there going, yes, sounds good, sounds good. Harness, et cetera. I’ve done indoor climbing. I know how to put a harness on. This is all going to be quite similar. You get in the lift, you go to the top of the tower. And then I thought, oh, where is Chris Bonington? Is he going to come and talk to is he going to say, Hi, Kristen? Yes. You’re the next person to go down the building with me. And I’m looking up and there’s people going down a building already and he’s nowhere to be seen. And that’s when I realized I’m not going to do this with supervision from a world expert. I was going to have to do it on my own. Because I didn’t have a friend with me. Nobody else was crazy enough to sign up for this with me.

[00:06:20.630] – Bree 

Kerstin is a super enthusiastic person. You can totally hear it in her voice, right? She is someone who gets excited about things. She even sometimes gets excited about things before she has the chance to really think it through and understand what she’s getting involved in.

[00:06:38.170] – Kerstin

So there I am at the top. That’s when I sort of first panicked and I realized what I had signed up for and what I was about to do. And I stopped seeing it as fun because I realized I’m on top of 100 meters tower. I didn’t think of myself as somebody who’s particularly scared of heights until I was like, at the top of this building, I was on my knees. I was on my knees on top of this thing. Everybody else is around me. And they were so lovely. They were like, do you want to do it? And I kept thinking, well, I don’t want to not do it, but I kept letting other people go first. Lots of students, and sort of PhD students, people my age, and everybody’s just managing and going down. And I’m there. And I kept thinking, I cannot in my own mind, I can’t lose face. They’re all doing it. They can do it. Why on Earth couldn’t? Like, what would stop me? Why can’t I do it? I just kept thinking, oh, my gosh. Okay. So I just kind of pushed and pushed and pushed myself did it. And I kept asking this person like, is this secure? Do you have to rope? Do you have to rope? And they just kept telling you, yes, yes, you’re safe. My hands are sweating talking about it now. It was so scary. It was so scary. The next thing that I had never, ever realized was that you have to lean backwards to get down to start going down. There’s no platform that you step onto. Nothing feel safe. It is absolutely terrifying because you have to literally lean backwards over this tower.

[00:08:09.270] – Bree 

So Kerstin is standing on the top of this really tall building. She slowly leans down and looks. She sees a crowd of people waiting at the bottom. Then she turns around and begins to lean back over the edge of the building.

[00:08:30.590] – Kerstin

You lean until you’re sort of horizontal, and then they give you a little bit of rope. But you have got this device that holds the rope, so you only have this much and you are actually in charge. You’re in control of giving it more space so that you can go down. So you’re actually the one who has to do it. And I think there is the moment where you realize the thing is actually supporting you, but there’s also the other you in that moment who says, okay, and if you fall down, you’re dead. So it was somewhere in between. And it’s windier than you think it’s going to be. So it’s a little bit cold. You don’t get blown about like it’s safe. But again, it’s something I hadn’t expected at all. And you’re just there with your legs against the little bit of wall between the window. You just kind of have to hold your legs relatively straight. And every now and then you give yourself a little bit of rope, and then you sort of do a little hop and you come down a little bit further and then you do it again. It’s not a hard thing to do. It’s all in your head.

[00:09:28.230] – Bree 

She’s doing it. Kerstin is slowly rappelling down Bowland Tower all on her own.

[00:09:36.610] – Kerstin

And I remember coming down to about the 10th floor. I kept looking up and counting because I was like, I’m not going to look down. But I kept looking up and counting windows so that I know how far I have left to go. When I’m really focusing, I talk to myself. I kind of talk myself through what I’m doing. And I think I was swearing an awful lot. So I’m not going to repeat on your show, on their podcast all the words I was saying. But trust me, every F word and S word, I was using it for sure. I didn’t realize because I was so high up, I thought, this is fine. Nobody can hear me. When I got to the bottom, there were people there. You get past this little roof, and then you finally get all the way to the ground, and there’s all these people shouting all this encouragement at me. Like, last three floors. I’m just like, “ahh f***” I want this to stop.” And they’re all just like, “come on Kerstin you can do it”. And I got to the bottom, and I don’t remember. All I remember is crying. I was so emotional.It was so intense. It was so scary. I was just like, on my knees going, oh, my God, it’s the ground. It’s the ground. It’s the ground. It’s the ground. Yay. Just, like, completely shaking and crying. All the emotion just leaving me. And my husband was just there hugging me and holding me. And just being like, “are you ok”? And everyone’s applauding and saying, oh, well done, well done.

[00:11:06.090] – Bree 

Until now, her focus has been entirely on herself and counting down the floors on Bowland Tower as she repelled. But now she begins to notice the crowd has been there with her all along.

[00:11:19.950] – Kerstin

And people kept coming up to me and saying, you were really scared, weren’t you? You were really scared. And the thing that I didn’t know that my husband told me later is everybody heard me swearing. So even though I was, like, 10 meters above them, there’s me going, and they could hear everything in this courtyard where everybody else was that I hadn’t realized. So it was just such an intense experience. I think something that this has taught me is that my enthusiasm is a strong power. Excitement about something. It can really take you places. It can really help you overcome fear. It also puts things in perspective. It gives you a comparison. So the scariest business thing I’ve ever done that’s nowhere near backwards, leaning over the top of a tower, like, nowhere near. And especially for the few years after, it really helped me put those things in perspective. So I’m glad I did it. In the end, I’m glad I did something really, really terrifying, because I found that it allowed me to remember that I can do scarier than this.

[00:12:40.610] – Bree 

Kirsten started her own business right around the time of this experience, rappelling down Bowland Tower. Now Kirsten helps people work on their own language learning skills using unconventional strategies like finding motivation and joy in learning a new language. And we couldn’t talk to her about the importance of doing things that scare you without asking her about her own experience of learning and speaking several languages.

[00:13:08.810] – Kerstin

So my native language is not English, it’s German. I have learned English, French, Latin, Spanish, Italian. Now I learned Welsh, of course. I love Welsh and then I’ve done a bit of Russian, bit of Chinese so I’ve done lots and lots of languages. I realized that one of the biggest tips that I have for people is to just keep saying this is the same as with my story actually. One of the biggest tips I have for people is to just say yes. Just keep saying yes to a new language. Don’t think too much about all the problems you have it within you you’ve totally got all the tools and capacity to deal with all of the problems later but just say yes because if you say no then you’ve got nowhere left to go. There’s nothing to fix there because you’ve not taken the risk. Whereas if you say yes that’s where the growth is and that’s where the learning is and that’s how there’s so much joy to be had there and so much adventure.

[00:14:05.350] – Bree 

If you want to hear Kerstin’s story of learning all these new languages we’ve left you a link to that episode of her podcast and to her page where you can find her courses on our website. And that’s all for today’s episode. To stream our entire archive of Into the Story. Subscribe now on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Okay, everyone, until next time, we hope you have a good time or at least a good story to share.

Quote of the episode

“Just say ‘YES’. That’s where the growth is. There’s so much joy to be had there, and so much adventure.”
– Kerstin

Wonderful Words

 Lowering yourself with a rope down a vertical wall.

To say offensive and rude words.

(Of a person or action) adventurous or audaciously bold.

Very strange or unusual.

Excellent Expressions

An atmosphere of excitement and activity.

To lose other people’s respect, to be humiliated.

It’s in one’s imagination, it’s not real

To compare something with other things to give a clearer, more accurate idea.

 We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The StorySi quieres saber más sobre Kerstin, visita su web Fluentlanguage. Y si quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajoWe can’t wait to see you there!  

Suscríbete a las clases semanales gratis de AC inglés

Quiero recibir en mi email GRATIS (no spam guaranteed!):

Join the AC Family

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37. A Story About Building Better Habits


Into the Story



Episode 37: A Story About Building Better Habits

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Inglés

A habit is something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it. Hay muchos hábitos que son útiles y necesarios en nuestras vidas, como lavarse los dientes o subir escaleras, pero hay muchos otros que no. How do we figure out what’s helping us and what’s harming us? And once we have discovered a habit we do not want to keep, how do we change it? Craig, today’s guest, managed to figure it out. 

Today’s episode of Into The Story is about how to build better habits. Mientras escuchas a Craig explicando cómo consiguió adoptar mejores hábitos, aprenderás el significado de expresiones como ‘OUT OF THE BLUE’ y ‘PAY IT FORWARD’.  Si te suena su voz, puede ser que la hayas oído en Inglés Podcast el podcast para aprender inglés que produce con su amigo Reza. O quizás conoces su página La Mansión del Inglés. Después de escuchar su historia, le preguntamos qué consejos tiene para aquellas personas que como tú, buscan mejorar su inglés. Listen to this episode of Into The Story until the end to hear Craig’s language learning tips! 

[00:00:00.250] – Bree

Hey there, listeners. Have you ever given up a bad habit? You know, like maybe you used to eat an entire chocolate bar or drink several cups of coffee. And then one day, finally, you realize this needs to change. I have to stop doing this. I need to give it up. And what does it take to make this change in your life? Well, that’s what we will discover with today’s storyteller. If you listen to podcasts to improve your English, you may recognize his voice, Craig Wealand, from the very popular Inglés Podcast. But what you might not know is that before that, he started creating courses for the website La Mansión Del Inglés, and before that, he was just one of many English teachers trying to make a living in Spain.

[00:00:54.350] – Craig

If I hadn’t started creating online courses for the website La Mansión Del Inglés, I’d probably be an alcoholic by now or maybe even dead.

[00:01:06.890] – Bree

Today, Craig will tell us about his life when he first arrived in Spain, how he realized he had a problem and how he discovered a way to fix it. And of course, we couldn’t talk to an English teacher without asking him for his tips. So stay tuned until the end of the episode to hear his advice on having good English learning habits.

[00:01:29.810] – Bree

And a really quick thing before we get into it. Do you enjoy improving your English by listening to true stories? If Into the Story brings value to your life, if we’ve helped you in some small way, could you please leave us a five star rating on Apple Podcast and Spotify? It helps us continue producing this podcast and also helps other listeners find us. Thank you so much.

[00:01:56.790] – Bree: Vocabulary

Okay, before I let Craig tell his story, we’re going to look at five words and expressions that he uses.

[00:02:04.770] – Bree: Vocabulary

First, ‘out of the blue’. So when something happens out of the blue, it means that it is unexpected, a surprise that it happened without warning. For example, I hadn’t spoken to her in years, but she called me out of the blue and said we should meet up. Out of the blue.

[00:02:30.750] – Bree

Next. ‘Cheeky’. So ‘cheeky’ is a common adjective in the UK, so to be cheeky means to be funny and charming in a slightly rude and bold way. Craig today says his class had a cheeky sense of humor.

[00:02:51.990] – Bree: Vocabulary

Next, ‘to get a taste for something’. When a person is very used to having a certain food or drink and they especially like it so much that it becomes a habit, we can say they got a taste for it. To get a taste for something.

[00:03:11.610] – Bree: Vocabulary

Next, we have ‘dependency’. Dependency or dependence is the state of being controlled or influenced by someone or something. It’s the opposite of independence. For example, babies depend on their parents for food and safety. Dependency.

[00:03:34.590] – Bree: Vocabulary

Finally, we have the expression “pay it forward”. Basically, to pay it forward means that when someone does something nice for you instead of paying that person back directly. You can pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. Listen to the end of the story to discover how this idea of paying it forward influenced Craig’s life.

[00:04:00.870] – Bree

In addition to these words and expressions, you have an extended vocabulary list, the transcript, and a quiz on our website Okay, let’s get into the story.

[00:04:15.870] – Craig

If I hadn’t started creating online courses for the website La Mansión Del Inglés, I’d probably be an alcoholic by now, or maybe even dead.

[00:04:28.170] – Bree

Craig takes us back to when he first moved from London to the vibrant city of Valencia, Spain. He immediately falls in love with its lively culture and finds work as an English teacher with the British Council, but only a few hours a week looking for some extra classes, he begins teaching for a company in the Port of Valencia. And it’s there that he meets a very special group of students.

[00:04:59.130] – Craig

One class I really enjoyed, even though it started at a half past eight in the morning, which was ridiculously early, was a class with a group of seven or eight guys who worked in the computer department of the Port. I called them ‘The Wolves’, which in Spanish is ‘Los Lobos’. They were very rowdy, cheeky, funny students, very lively. The class was very dynamic and they had a really strong, acidic sense of humor. There was one guy called Luis who used to grab me to one side during the coffee break because he loved to practice his English. And over the course of a few weeks, we became quite good friends. We developed a relationship. Every coffee break at 10:30 we’d find a corner of the cafe and we’d speak in English. Now the course finished and I moved on.

[00:05:56.040] – Craig

But a couple of years later, 18 months, two years later, I suddenly got a phone call out of the blue from Luis and he invited me out to dinner. He said he had a proposition for me and it was all very secretive. I had no idea what he wanted. Maybe private lessons to learn English? I didn’t know, but when we went out for the meal, he said that he’d started a website called La Mansión Del Inglés to help people improve their English. But he was getting nervous because it was getting very popular and the material he was putting on the website wasn’t exactly original, Copyright free content, and he was looking for somebody, a teacher, to write original material for the website. And he said to me, what do you think?

[00:06:52.890] – Bree

Out of nowhere, Craig suddenly has an opportunity to work on something new and exciting. But there’s only one thing getting in the way: his love of spending time at the pub and alcohol.

[00:07:06.450] – Craig

Now I’m British, I’m from the UK. There’s a heavy drinking culture there. I grew up in and around pubs most of the time. And of course, when I came to Spain, it was fantastic because the bars and the pubs never closed, they’re always open. Valencia’s a really lively place. But I think I was probably drinking a little bit too much. And my girlfriend at the time suggested I go to see a therapist and I have a therapist. Why? I don’t need a therapist, I don’t have a drinking problem. But I did go and I was diagnosed with a psychological dependency on alcohol, which means I didn’t need a drink every day. But when I started drinking, I found it very difficult to stop. It wasn’t a severe crisis, it was the kind of thing where I’d go to a pub with my girlfriend, who is now my wife. And we’d arranged to go and see a film at the cinema. And I said, let’s have a quick drink before we go. And then I’d meet people in there and start drinking, get a taste for it. And then obviously she’d get really annoyed because she’d plan to go to the cinema. And 3 hours later we’re still in the pub drinking beer. And the psychologist said to me, what do you think is a normal amount for people to drink for you? What do you think is normal? And I said, Well, I don’t know, maybe two pints of beer twice a week. That would be a normal amount to drink. And he said, okay, come back one month from now and let’s see if you’ve managed to keep to two pints or two large beers two days a week. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I wanted a third. I wanted a fourth. I found it very difficult to limit myself when I started drinking and it started to affect my relationship, it started to affect my life. So I decided to stop.

[00:09:06.210] – Craig

But here’s the thing, when you’re going to bars four or five times a week and spending most of the evening in a pub or in a bar, and suddenly you stop going, there’s a void, there’s an empty space. What do you fill that time with? And that’s more or less the time that my friend Luis suggested I start writing material for The La Mansión Del Inglés.

[00:09:33.510] – Speaker 2

So luckily I began writing material. I sent it to Luis in Microsoft Word and Luis, as the webmaster put it up on the website. And suddenly I had found something to fill that space in my life. That void. And I was really interested in creating material. Now, if we fast forward a few years, we started growing. We gave a lot of material away free to people who are interested in learning English. And we also sold some courses by CD-rom. In those days, we sent CD-roms by the post to people and obviously now it’s downloads. I also started creating audio for the website and that became a very bad podcast in 2008, hosted only by me. But luckily in 2013 my friend and colleague Reza joined me and we’ve been podcasting together ever since.

[00:10:38.310] – Craig

So I think there are two takeaways from this story, two important lessons that I’ve learned. Number one, be nice to people, be kind, give with an open heart. I strongly believe in something called the law of reciprocity. We pay back what we receive from others, so pay it forward. You can call it Karma, whatever you like. But when you reciprocate with something good that’s been done to you, you’re exchanging things for a mutual benefit.

[00:11:14.130] – Craig

And I think if I hadn’t spent time speaking to Luis during those coffee breaks, he wouldn’t have remembered me two years later and offered me the chance to write English courses for La Mansión Del Inglés. And I also think that if Luis and I hadn’t given so much material away for free in the beginning, we wouldn’t have created such a huge online community and had so much success. And the second thing I think if you’re trying to change your life for the better, if you’re trying to cure an addiction, stop a bad habit. You have to replace it with a good habit. You have to replace it with something positive. If you want to stop smoking, start jogging. If you want to stop watching boring TV, start a podcast. If you want to stop going to bars, start a blog, create something and help people and your life will improve.

[00:12:14.590] – Bree

Craig continues creating courses for La Mansión Del Inglés, and he hasn’t had a drink since he gave up alcohol shortly after moving to Spain. I just love the takeaway of Craig’s story. He said, “if you’re trying to change your life for the better, replace a bad habit with something better.” This is so true. After Craig told his story, we spoke a bit longer about habit building and learning English.

[00:12:44.170] – Bree

What kind of habits do you think are necessary to learn a new language?

[00:12:51.670] – Craig

I think you’ve got to look at it in two separate areas. I think one area would be just generally creating positive habits for anybody, which means that you kind of got to recognize your bad habits. For example, a student that says, I don’t have time to study English. Well how much TV are you watching? Oh, about three hours a night. Okay, so hang on a second. Maybe you could watch an hour. They could have two hours to study English. Also, the idea of the old adage of flossing your teeth, we’ll just start with one tooth a day, but once you do one tooth, you want to do all of them. So there’s that, well just learn a word a day, and the student maybe will expand on that and end up learning eight words a day.

[00:13:39.070] – Bree

Since you’re listening to this podcast, you already have the super good habit of listening to podcasts to improve your English. So good for you. If you’ve been living in a cave and you haven’t listened to Inglés Podcast, I highly recommend you do. One thing I especially love about it is that Craig and his co-host Reza are really fun and genuinely friendly guys making every episode a joy to listen to. We’ve left you links to their podcast and the website La Mansión Del Inglés on And that’s all we have for you today. Make sure to subscribe to Into the Story on Spotify Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Okay everyone, until next time we hope you have a good time or at least a good story to share.

Complete the following sentences about Craig’s story

Even though it started at half past eight in the morning, Craig…

Craig believes…

In the end, Craig stopped drinking and started…

The therapist concluded that Craig…

Craig says the best way to drop a bad habit is to…

When he first got to Valencia, Craig thought the drinking culture there was…

Out of nowhere, Craig was offered a new job by…

When they planned to go to the cinema, Craig and his girlfriend would…

Quote of the episode

“Be nice to people, be kind, give with an open heart. Reciprocate the good things that are done to you for a mutual benefit”
– Craig

Wonderful Words

Funny and charming in a slightly rude way.

A situation in which you need something or someone and are unable to continue normally without them.

Full of energy and enthusiasm; interesting and exciting.

Behaviour in which two people or groups of people give each other help and advantages.

Excellent Expressions

Completely unexpected, a surprise.

To acquire a preference, inclination, or desire for some kind of food or drink.

When an image or intellectual property doesn’t have copyright; it can be used for personal or commercial purposes without mentioning or compensating its creator.

Respond to a person’s kindness by being kind to someone else.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The StorySi has disfrutado con la historia de Craig, y quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajo. We can’t wait to see you there! 🤗

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36. A Story About The Northern Lights

p35_northern _lights_acingles

Into the Story


p35_northern _lights_acingles

Episode 36: A Story About The Northern Lights

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Canadiense

La Aurora Boreal (The Northern Lights) es un fenómeno lumínico y visual que se produce en el cielo durante la noche, especialmente en el polo norte y el polo sur. Cuando ocurre, el cielo se ilumina con formas y colores variados y cambiantes. Brigitte, nuestra invitada de hoy, ha presenciado este fenómeno en dos ocasiones muy distintas que han marcado un antes y un después en su vida. 

Today’s episode of Into The Story is about two powerful encounters with the Northern Lights. Mientras escuchas a Brigitte explicando cómo descubrió el poder místico de la Aurora Boreal, presta atención para entender el significado de expresiones como ‘stay put’, ‘uproot’, y ‘First Nations’. You will probably notice Brigitte is a great storyteller; esto es porque es  la fundadora de Women Talk, y actualmente se dedica ayudar a la gente a contar sus historias en The Story Warrior. ¡Escucha hasta el final para descubrir la clave de cómo contar una buena historia!

[00:00:00.610] – Bree
When I contact people to be guests on this podcast, I explain that I want them to tell a true personal story. And it’s such a simple concept, something that humans have been doing since we were living in caves. But neuroscientists have actually seen that when we listen to an interesting story, we feel good and our brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter, and it also helps us remember things. That is precisely why we can remember vocabulary better when we hear it in a story. Today’s Storyteller Bridget has a business that helps brands and individuals create and share their stories. At the end of today’s episode, she’ll give us tips on how to tell better stories, so make sure to stick around until the end.

[00:01:13.470] – Bree: Introduction
Hi there, listeners. Today, Bridget is going to tell us a story about searching for the Northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. In English. We all feel a bit lost and alone sometimes. And when Brigitte was 17 years old, her family lost everything. So her father decided to move the entire family from Quebec, which is a French-speaking province in Eastern Canada, to a city in Northern Alberta, which is a very cold, very English-speaking part of Western Canada.

[00:01:47.750] – Brigitte
We were so close to the North Pole that the sun would be up in the skies for maybe four or five hours a day. That was a real nightmare for an outgoing teenager like me.

[00:02:01.720] – Bree: Introduction
Now, nearly  forty years later she again find herself in a similar place, feeling lonely and lost. Let’s find out how both times, the Northern Lights helped Bridget feel more connected and helped her find her way.

[00:02:17.550] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
Before we listen to Bridget, we’re going to look at five words and expressions that she uses in her story. Firstly, we have the verb to uproot. To uproot literally means to pull up an entire plant, the roots included. It can also be used to talk about a person being uprooted, which means they move away from their culture or their country. Bridget talks about her father uprooting the entire family and moving to a new city. To uproot next.

[00:02:55.030] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
First Nations First Nations is a term used to refer to certain groups of people who are Indigenous to North America. First Nations are Peoples who lived on these lands thousands of years before Canada even became a nation. Today, Bridget talks about First Nations belief, about the Northern lights.

[00:03:19.950] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
And then we have pitch-black or pitch-dark. So both of these terms mean completely dark. It’s used to describe a place with no light at all. Some people can only sleep in pitch-black or pitch-dark, so they close the curtains. Pitch-black.

[00:03:41.430] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
And now we have a phrasal verb to stay put. To stay put means to not move position. So when I’m in a parking lot with my son and I have to put things in the car, I tell him to stay put, which means do not move. To stay put.

[00:04:03.030] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
And finally, the word dim. So if a light is dim, it means it’s low. It doesn’t give or have much light. So in a fancy restaurant, the lights are dim. Bridget talks about the Northern lights being dimmer when she tries to find them as an adult. Dim.

[00:04:24.330] – Bree: Vocabulary Section
In addition to these words and expressions, you have an extended vocabulary list, the transcript, and a quiz on our website, You’ll see a link in the show notes. Okay, let’s get into the story.

[00:04:40.590] – Brigitte
Sometimes we need a little magic. And twice in my life, I witnessed the mystical powers of the Northern lights. In 1982, my parents lost everything: their home, their business, all of their investments. So my dad decided to uproot our family and move from Quebec to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Now, these two provinces are part of the same country, but their cultures could not be any more different. Quebec is a French speaking province and has European roots, and it’s even sometimes referred as Parisians of the north. While Alberta is English speaking and with many resemblance to the American cultures and values that revolve around oil and gas.

[00:05:38.550] – Brigitte
So I was 17 years old. I had just graduated from high school. I had to leave behind my boyfriend, my friends, my large extended family. And I did not know anyone in Fort McMurray and did not speak a word of English. And no one, and I mean no one, spoke French except for my family. That was a real nightmare for an outgoing teenager like me.

[00:06:09.090] – Brigitte
And then things got even worse. When winter arrived. It was unbelievable. Often the temperature would dip below -40 degrees celsius. Some days, the air was so cold that a thick fog would freeze, making it difficult to see anything or even cross the street. It was so cold that the tires on my parents car would freeze to the ground. And then when we would start driving, it was as if you had square tires. Clunk, clunk, clunk. We were so close to the North Pole that the sun would be up in the sky for maybe four or five hours a day. It felt like it was dark all the time. I missed my beautiful hometown so much. This place was frigid. It was dark, and I was lonely and depressed.

[00:07:12.570] – Bree
Bridget finds herself in this very small city with subarctic climate, surrounded by boreal forest. Even for a Canadian, I can tell you that Fort McMurray is a very cold, very isolated part of the country. She’s feeling disconnected and misses her hometown a lot.

[00:07:33.750] – Brigitte
One night in December, I bundled up and went outside for a walk. The air was so cold, it froze the hair in my nose, and my eyelashes formed icicles. But then I saw the most spectacular lights in the sky. I had never, ever seen the Northern lights before. The magnificent colors waving and dancing in the skies were absolutely stunning. I stood on the sidewalk freezing and mesmerized by the lights in the skies. They were bright blue, pink, green, all dancing and blending together and illuminating the skies. They were so bright now. I had studied Aurora Borealis in school, but I had no idea they were this beautiful and colorful. It touched my soul, and I started changing about how I felt about this place. I later found out the Northern Lights actually have spiritual meaning. First nations believe that the Northern Lights are created by our ancestors trying to communicate with us through the Northern Lights. They believe that we can feel their presence and know that they’re still here with us. I was only 17 years old, so I never had lost anyone close to me. And although the legend touched me, I did not fully understand the deep meaning of it.

[00:09:19.290] – Brigitte
But what the lights did do was make me see the beauty of where I was, and it became home. Now, as a kid and a teenager, I loved public speaking and storytelling. I was even a DJ in my high school, but it took me years to master English, but I eventually built enough confidence to become a speaker and a storyteller again. In 2012, I created a company called Women Talk, where just ordinary women would come and share their stories. By 2019, I had 13 locations across Canada hosting monthly events.

[00:10:02.850] – Bree
The beauty of the Northern Lights had helped Bridgett find a feeling of home. It then took years of mastering English, but in 2019, she had reached a lot of success in her business. Bridget felt happy with where she was in life.

[00:10:20.190] – Brigitte
And then BAAM COVID-19 hit. I lost it all. History was repeating itself. By the fall of 2020, I once again found myself lonely and depressed. COVID-19 had closed my business and isolated me once again. I went from seeing hundreds of people every week to seeing no one but my immediate family.

[00:10:51.450] – Brigitte
So in October, I heard that the Northern Lights would actually be visible from my new city, Calgary. So the following day, I got up at 04:00 a.m. Searching for the Aurora Borealis. I got out of bed and snuck out of my house. I jumped in my vehicle and drove outside the city and onto a gravel road where no lights would interfere. There were no other cars on the road, and it was pitch-black outside. I veered off the road and parked in a farmer’s field. I turned off all the lights and got out of the vehicle. The air was cold and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I was all alone. I could feel my anxiety bubbling up. The only noise I could hear was the crunching sound of the frozen grass under my feet as I walked onto the field. I started scanning the sky for the Northern Lights.

[00:11:59.610] – Bree
Brigitte is in the dark, looking up at the sky. She’s feeling anxious and alone, just like she had at 17 years old. And then she realizes that she’s not all alone.

[00:12:13.530] – Brigitte
And that’s when I heard . . . Yep coyotes howling. And now anxiety was accompanied by fear! But I stayed put, standing alone in the middle of a farmer’s field in the darkness, searching for inspiration. And I was scanning the sky back and forth and back and forth, and I saw a wave of pale grey and bluish tint in the sky. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were the Northern lights or not, because they were significantly dimmer than what I had seen in the past. So I stared and stared and waited and waited for the lights to get brighter. But they didn’t. I felt so disappointed. I wanted to see and feel that same brilliant dancing light that had inspired me almost forty years ago! But the lights stayed barely visible. After thirty minutes of waiting and watching, I suddenly remembered hearing that with age, your eyes cannot see the colors of the Northern lights as well as they used to. But if you take a picture with your camera, it will capture the vibrant colors. So I grabbed my cell phone, lifted it up and snapped a few pictures. And with my hands shaking from the cold, because by then I was frozen.

[00:14:00.150] – Brigitte
I looked at the photo and there they were. Blue, green, pink. The pictures were awesome. I once again lifted my head and looked at the skies. And although my eyes could not see the vibrant colors, I could see all the beautiful souls that have now left my world. My dad, my grandparents, cousins, friends they were all there in the skies, dancing and trying to communicate with me to let me know I was not alone. Now my 17 year old eyes had sharp sight, but they did not possess the depth of my 56 year old eyes that could see the mystical powers of the Northern lights.

[00:15:04.190] – Bree
Even though Bridgett’s business and her entire life really have been totally changed by COVID , she is optimistic. After all this time of having to keep ourselves closed up and alone, Bridgett thinks that we’re going to now experience an era when people want to live intensely and experience the beauty in this world. She’s currently working on a new business, mixing her love of travel and storytelling. And as promised, here are her tips on how you can tell better stories.

[00:15:38.570] – Brigitte
So the first thing is always the obvious. In a story, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. So for it to be a story, something has to change. If you don’t change or something doesn’t change in your story, then you’re just talking. And then I write the story and I kind of like just daydream about it and look up meanings of words and research like the Northern lights, what do they mean? And all of a sudden it will pop out at you like it just jumps at you the direction that you have to take. And then record yourself and listen to it and then all of a sudden it will take a much bigger meaning than what you had first intended.

[00:16:23.390] – Bree
If you want more information about Bridget, her company and podcast, you can find a link on our website To stream 35 episodes of Into the Story subscribe now on Spotify Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Okay everyone, until next time we hope you have a good time or at least a good story to share.

Complete these sentences with a word that you hear in the podcast.

In 1982, Brigitte’s parents…

After moving to Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Brigitte…

It was hard for Brigitte because…

The winter in Alberta…

Seeing the Northern Lights for the first time…

In the end, Brigitte…

When she went to see The Northern Lights again, she…

After a while, Brigitte…

Quote of the episode

“The air was so cold, it froze the hair in my nose, and my eyelashes formed icicles, but then… I saw the most spectacular lights in the sky”
– Brigitte

Wonderful Words


A series of pleasant thoughts that
distract one’s attention from the present.

1. Pull (something, especially a tree or plant)
out of the ground.
2. Move (someone) from their home
or a familiar location.

(Of a light, colour, or illuminated object)
Not shining brightly or clearly.

Friendly and socially confident.

Excellent Expressions

Indigenous peoples that are original inhabitants
of the land that is now Canada.

Completely dark.

To not move or go anywhere.

To dress warmly.

Brigitte, chilling behind an ice wall.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The StorySi has disfrutado con la historia de Brigitte, y quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajo. We can’t wait to see you there! 🤗

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35. A Story About A Paragliding Accident

Episode 35 - Paragliding - Artwork

Into the Story


Episode 35 - Paragliding - Artwork

Episode 35: A Story About A Paragliding Accident

Nivel: Intermedio
Acento: Canadiense

¿Alguna vez te has preguntado qué pasa si, haciendo parapente, tienes un problema con tu paracaídas mientras estás en el aire? Esta es la desafortunada situación en que se encontró Jaclyn, nuestra invitada de hoy. Paragliding (parapente) es un deporte extremo basado en utilizar el paracaídas como un vehículo aéreo en vez de un simple método salvavidas. A few years ago, Jaclyn was dating a professional paragliding pilot, so she tried very hard to like the sport, but things didn’t go as expected… 

Today’s story is about a paragliding accident. Listen carefully as Jaclyn describes the day that everything started to go wrong. She uses very precise language, so you are sure to pick up on many useful expressions along the way, such as ‘gauge‘, ‘harness‘, and ‘landing pad‘. Como siempre, puedes escuchar el episodio de esta semana aquí abajo o en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita. Tune in below! 

Quote of the episode

“I could tell the ground was coming up faster, but I wasn’t paying attention to that at the moment. I could see treetops getting closer, but I was just focusing on holding out my glider and then finding a place where my lines and my paraglider or the other pilot weren’t in the way”
– Jaclyn

Bree (00:05): Hi there, listeners. It’s your host, Bree here. And today we’re going to hear a story about Jaclyn’s paragliding accident. En el podcast de hoy, escucharemos a Jaclyn de Canadá, que compartirá con nosotros la historia del día en que tuvo un accidente de parapente.

Jaclyn (00:38): Jaclyn, and you’ve been in a midair collision. Listen to me. We’ve practiced this. In which we had practiced this because just two weeks prior to this day, I had done a clinic learning how to deploy your reserve parachute.

Bree (00:54): Jaclyn is introduced to the world of paragliding by her boyfriend at the time, Chris Muller, a pro paragliding pilot with lots of experience and knowledge of the extreme sport. Jaclyn describes in great detail the technique involved in completing her flight that day. With Chris watching over her and giving her instructions, everything seemed to be going to plan until suddenly it didn’t. Keep listening to learn more about paragliding and what happened to Jaclyn that day.

Bree (01:30): And a really quick thing before we get into it, have you shared Into the Story with anyone else yet? You know, like your friend who is always looking for a new way to improve their English. I would be so grateful if you would just take 1 minute to share this episode with someone that you know would find it valuable. All you have to do is head to the platform where you’re listening. No matter where you listen, click the ‘Share’ button or icon and just send it on over. Thank you so much for doing so.

Bree (02:02): Okay antes de escuchar la historia de hoy, veamos 5 palabras y expresiones interesantes que utiliza Jaclyn en este episodio: First, to end up to end up is a phrasal verb that we use in English to mean to arrive at a particular place or to find yourself in a situation that maybe you didn’t intend to be in. Jaclyn uses this expression to talk about the landing point that she needs to get to after launching off the top of a mountain with her paraglider to end up.

Bree (02:41): Next, a slope. A slope in English refers to a surface that has one side higher than another – una cuesta o una inclinación en español. We can also use slope as a verb. For example, I could say the beach slopes down towards the sea. A slope.

Bree (03:04): Then comes the word glide. In today’s podcast, Jaclyn is going to use a lot of specific words and expressions related to paragliding. Glide is one of these technical words, which means to fly smoothly through the air in a continuous motion. For example, if you see a bird gliding, it means they are flying without moving their wings up and down. To glide.

Bree (03:31): Next to lift off. To lift off is a phrasal verb in English that means something similar to take off, despegar en español. We usually use lift off to talk about vehicles such as rockets or planes taking off or launching off the ground in a vertical direction. To lift off.

Bree (03:54): And finally, to fit in. To fit in can be used in a couple of key ways in English. Firstly, if I fit in with a group of people, it means that I am comfortable with them and we all get along with each other. You’ll hear Jaclyn today talk about fitting in with her boyfriend, Chris’s paragliding friendship circles. Alternatively, if something or someone fits in a space or room, it means that there is sufficient space for something. For example, I could say that we didn’t all fit in the elevator, so we had to wait for the next one. To fit in.

Bree (04:37): Tienes la transcripción, la ficha de vocabulario, y un test de comprensión de este episodio siguiendo el enlace en las notas del programa. Okay! Let’s get into the story…

Bree (04:52): It’s 2003, and Jaclyn is standing on the edge of a mountain, getting ready to jump. She starts running as fast as she can towards the Ridge. As she runs, she can feel the weight of her paraglider on the ground behind her, and then suddenly she feels it come up off the ground. She’s flying.

Jaclyn (05:15): During this time, I had a radio in my ear, and I was listening to the voice of my boyfriend, Chris Muller, who was a very prominent paragliding pilot, and I was very new to it. I’d only been flying for about two years. Paragliding flying is what you call it.

Bree (05:35): On that day, Jaclyn was learning to soar for the first time, soaring is what birds do. A bird soars over the sea. In paragliding, soaring is a more complicated flying style that Jaclyn had never done before. Soaring involves the paraglider pilot using hot air currents to gain altitude and to stay in the sky longer.

Jaclyn (06:00): So today was my first time I was going to try soaring. Now it was definitely a bit intimidating because on the launching pad, there were about 50 to 100 other pilots who were about to do a competition. Seeing as we still had an hour or two before the competition started, I was just going to go in the air and be a wind dummy, which means that the other pilots would be able to get an idea of how the air is. Was it really bumpy? Would the thermal take you high really quick, or did you have to work really hard to catch those thermals to get high in the air? So I stood there listening to my boyfriend’s voice, and at that point, he said, okay, you’re good to launch. So as hard as I can with my hands behind me holding onto my brake lines, I just start running. The glider will catch the wind, and as I’m running, I see it coming higher above my head. And right before I’m about to take my feet off the ground, I look up to make sure the entire glider is open. And once I see it’s good to go, I keep going until it kicks me up in the air, and you just keep running, and eventually your feet lift off the ground.

Jaclyn (07:03): As I take off, I was looking around. There wasn’t any other pilot in the air. It was a really clear day. Then Chris came in the air and said, okay, Jaclyn, everything’s looking good. I want you to look to your right and slowly start turning the glider. As you’re soaring, what you’re doing is turning circles and trying to see where you can find the hot air rising to take you higher in the air. I was very focused on his voice. I wasn’t maybe looking around as much as I should. I was just listening to him and where he was telling me to go. Kind of the same way you’d probably listen to your Google Maps in the car, just sort of on autopilot, listening, maybe not really being aware of your surroundings because you’re in a new area. For me, I was in a new flying site. I had never been there. I had been in the air only a few minutes, and I was doing these circles to the right, and then again, I would go to the left to try and get higher in the air. I didn’t feel like I was ascending very fast, but I definitely was gaining altitude through my soaring.

Jaclyn (08:07): Chris was in the air, and I remember he was excited saying, you’re soaring, you’re doing it. How does it feel that I was just focused on just tell me where to go next.

Bree (08:18): Everything seems under control. Jaclyn had successfully launched into the air, and now she was listening to Chris’s voice, guiding her through her first soaring experience.

Jaclyn (08:31): I was about 300ft in the air from the launching site above the mountain, so that’s definitely not very high. As I was turning to the right and doing… completing another 360, catching a thermal. As I came around away from the mountain, I saw a flash of blue, and I heard a whole bunch of fabric noises, and it was a very aggressive hit. I didn’t really realize at the time what was happening. I thought that maybe I had had a wing collapse. There was lines all in my face. There was a heavy weight on me. I looked down, and I could see that there was a person, a pilot in a harness, hanging below me. His parachute, as it swung around, my line had completely collapsed and was hanging below him. And then out to the side of us was my parachute, which was half collapsed.

Bree (09:24): Another pilot has collided with Jaclyn. His parachute has collapsed, and he’s now hanging off her. The tangled pilots begin to fall from the sky at an increasingly fast pace. They are just 300ft, about 90 meters up in the air, which means they don’t have a lot of time to do something about the situation.

Bree (09:48): Now at this time, still not registering in my mind exactly what was going on. I heard Chris’s voice saying, Jaclyn, you’ve been in a midair collision. Listen to me. We’ve practiced this in which we had practiced this because just two weeks prior to this day, I had done a clinic learning how to deploy your reserve parachute. So I was very calm. I knew exactly what happened. I looked down. I could see this other person hanging below me off my harness. I pulled out my parachute and I held it next to my body for a minute listening to Chris in my ear. Now, during this time, the glider is slowly turning to the right and it’s accelerating in speed, which is… I was very close to or had already begun to be locked into a spiral.

Bree (10:40): Jaclyn is falling in spirals towards the ground. Chris is still giving her instructions. Jaclyn knows she needs to activate her reserve parachute by throwing it out to the side and grabbing the lines to open the parachute and hopefully slow their fall.

Jaclyn (10:58): I started slowly descending, but it’s not an immediate fall. I could tell that the ground was coming up faster, but I wasn’t paying attention to that at the moment. I could see treetops getting closer, but I was just focusing on holding out my glider and then finding a place where my lines and my paraglider or the other pilot who was attached to me wasn’t in the way. So at this time, I took the glider. I threw it out to the left side. I threw it as far as I could, and then I grabbed onto the lines as it was flying out and I pulled them in as fast as I could to try and get air into this glider so you can activate it and have it stop your fall. As I was flying out, it didn’t activate right away. I kept having to pull the lines and pull the lines, but because our spiral was starting to accelerate so fast, eventually it did engage and I heard a very loudest pop and the whole thing just pops open. And very quickly, we both myself and the pilot below me stopped. And then instantly, as soon as that pop there was only about 1 second and we hit the tree tops. And then when we hit the trees, I fell through the trees and through the branches, and then we both hit the ground.

Bree (12:07): The parachute opens just in time, slowing down Jaclyn’s fall. This means that both her and the other pilot crash into the trees, but the impact is not nearly as violent as it could have been.

Jaclyn (12:21): In my ear, I heard Chris. He said, Jaclyn, don’t move. I saw where you landed. We’re all coming to you. And at that point, I sat up and I looked over to this other pilot. He popped his head up. All I could see was a big mess of long blonde curls and hair. And I said, Are you okay? And he looked at me and said, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t really understand why he was apologizing. I was just focused on what happened. Are you hurt? Do you need any help?

Jaclyn (12:52): So we were just kind of doing a checklist of how we were feeling. We were looking at our arms during this time, looking at our legs, looking at our scratches, getting out of our harness, unclipping, standing up moving around and just trying to gauge how we were. I could not believe no one, neither of us, had a broken bone.

Jaclyn (13:12): After the accident, there was… Chris was feeling I remember he was feeling very guilty that it happened, probably because he also wanted me to enjoy it. And for the two years that I had done it, I didn’t really know if I ever liked it.

Jaclyn (13:26): There was a lot of time we spent at the top of the hill just waiting, watching other pilots launching. Then it was too windy or there was no wind at all and you would go right back to the landing pad right after you launched and weren’t able to get any thermals. I just found it. It was very time consuming and I was really trying hard to enjoy paragliding because paragliding was his life. He ran a flying school. He taught people how to do this. This was his career and so I really had to fit in and really had to enjoy this to be part of his life. And after the accident, I really realized that there is nothing I like about it and I don’t want to do it again.

Bree (14:05): Jaclyn and Chris broke up not long after her accident and I’m very sad to tell you that he died in 2005. He was passionate about flying and died doing what he loved. I want to say a very big thank you to Jaclyn, who also happens to be my big sister. I’ve grown up hearing this story, but in interviewing her for the podcast, It came alive in a new way. Chris was just 29 years old when he died, which I now realize, he was so young, too young. And I also didn’t really understand how much the accident changed my sister. Sometimes things just happen to us and change us forever. You can see a picture of Jaclyn and Chris on our website,

Bree (15:00): Para escuchar todos los episodios de Into the Story y no perderte los siguientes, suscríbete ahora en Spotify, Apple Podcasts, o en tu reproductor de podcasts favorito. Ok everyone, until next I hope you have a good time or at least a story to tell.

Wonderful Words

an uneven surface
an experience involving sudden movements

to estimate or determine the amount or dimensions of something

a to move smoothly through the air

to take hold of something suddenly in with your hands

straps or cords that attach someone to a vehicle or apparatus

an apparatus that controls the speed of a fall

a long narrow hilltop or mountain range

a surface where one side is higher than the other

Excellent Expressions

to end up
to arrive at a destination or situation,
perhaps unexpectedly

landing pad
a specific area in the ground where a flying vehicle or person can land safely

to lift off
to take off from the ground in a vertical direction

Jaclyn and Chris in Florida (2004) 

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The StorySi has disfrutado con la historia de Jaclyn, y quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés con nuevos episodios, vídeos, masterclasses y más goodies, suscríbete a la AC family newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajo. We can’t wait to see you there! 🤗

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Join the AC Family