This episode's vocabulary
- Grit (noun) - bravery and strength of character.
- Determination (noun) - the ability to continue trying to do something, although it is very difficult.
- To persevere (verb) - to continue making an effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.
- To exploit (verb) - to use something in a way that helps you.
- To compete (verb) - to try to be more successful than someone or something else.
- Regime (noun) - A regime is a set of rules about food, exercise, or beauty that some people follow in order to stay healthy or attractive.
- Attitude (noun) - the way you feel about something or someone, or a particular feeling or opinion.
- To cultivate (verb) - to try to develop and improve something.
- Intimidating (adj.) - making you feel frightened or nervous.
- Coordination (noun) - he ability to make your arms, legs, and other body parts move in a controlled way.
- Flexibility (noun) -the ability to bend or to be bent easily without breaking.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, are you ready to rock and roll?
R: Yes, let's get going.
M: What characteristics do you think an athlete should have?
R: I suppose, the same as anyone who is required to work hard. You need grit, determination, the will to persevere against all odds. It's also helpful to know the ins and outs of your sport and how to exploit that knowledge to the fullest extent.
M: Why are there so few top athletes?
R: Well, why are there so few top anything. Like in any hierarchy, there will be a few people at the top and increasingly larger numbers at the levels below them. That's just how life works. I think I mentioned the Pareto distribution a while back, which shows how this manifests. Like 80% of something will be controlled or generated by 20% of those in the hierarchy. It's the same in athletics. And thank heavens, because otherwise, what would be the point in competing?
M: What's the best way to become a top athlete?
R: Having a good trainer and a training regime is always a good place to start. But you need to have the right attitude too. There's this sort of mentality that winners have which seems to keep them going. I'm not sure how to cultivate that. But if there is a way then that will be as important as the physical conditioning.
M: And do you think anybody can become a top athlete?
R: Well, if they're willing to put in the time and effort to do so then yes. I don't think there are any barriers to entry in that sense.
M: What kinds of sports are popular in your country?
R: I think it would be easier to say the kinds that aren't, frankly. I discovered the other day that aside from the usual sports like football and rugby, we have a very well-developed gymnastics community. So it seems there's something for everyone.
M: What kinds of exercise do people in your country like?
R: Well, given that we have one of the unhealthiest populations in Western Europe, it seems like we don't like doing any exercise at all. That aside, the popular ones among men are usually things like football and rugby, so that's sort of running around. And I think lots of women go to yoga or Zumba. So that would be lots of stretching. Though you can choose whatever you like, really. It seems lots of older people are doing water sports and going to the gym, for example, too.
M: And is there a difference between what older people do and what young people do?
R: I don't think so everyone pretty much has equal access to everything, don't they?
M: What outdoor sports are popular now?
R: That's a good question. Lots of people are talking about doing one rose, which is basically mountaineering or hiking or walking mixed together. That's not really a sport, though, is it? Context sports are usually outdoor affairs, aren't they?
M: What else can people do to keep fit apart from sports?
R: Well, I think the best options are jogging, going to the gym, and swimming. They aren't very competitive. But you can take things at your own pace. Though sometimes people can look a bit intimidating at the gym.
M: But if we don't talk about sports and exercise, what else can people do to keep fit?
R: I don't know what you would do apart from sport and exercise to keep fit. There's got to be some kind of work involved. Otherwise, it's not gonna work, is it? It's not going to be effective, is it?
M: What activities can schools organize for children to keep fit?
R: Oh, lots. We looked at this in our PE input session the other week. It's not just matches, but there are classes for skills development, structured games to improve coordination of the works, really. I really like the flexibility people seem to have in schools these days, both from a teaching and learning perspective.
M: What do older people in your country do to keep fit?
R: Oh, unfortunately, I'm not sure they do. Many are confined to care homes, which I completely disapprove of. But some of the younger older people, so to speak, get out and about, and they go to the gym, and they manage to work just fine.
M: Do you see that in the future people will do more sports, or will do sport more regularly?
R: I would like to think so. Yes.
R: Well, I'm optimistic about the future.
M: That's it. Bug off.
R: That's all I have.
M: Oh, you didn't want to talk about shoes. Now you don't want to talk about the future, and people doing more sports in the future. But do you think like in the future, people will keep fit in different ways? And there'll be like, new ways of keeping fit? You know, like you just go to McDonald's, you order some special burger, you eat it and this is the way for you to get fit.
R: That's too easy. There's got to be a catch.
M: Yeah, but do you think like they'll be something you know?
R: No, I think hard work will always be essential.
M: So to keep fit, you have to exercise you have to sweat so there won't be... Oh, you can like surgery. What about surgery?
R: But that's not exercise.
M: You just do the liposuction.
M: Or they just day lipo, and that's it. So dear listener, first of all, who is an athlete? Okay. So an athlete s sportsman or sportswoman. To be politically correct you just say an athlete. An athlete could be like a football player or any person who does sports, okay, he's an athlete. Usain Bolt or Messi, you can call them athletes. Athlete - like a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise. There we go. You can be a professional athlete or an amateur. Amateur - not professional. Okay? But also an athlete is a person who competes in organized events. So all those people who take part in the Olympic Games are called athletes. Right? And we are politically correct. You can talk about top athletes, top athletes, like the best athletes.
R: Yeah, that's how I was gonna say, people who work really hard.
M: The best athletes, top athletes. And also, Rory, you said, athletics. What is athletics?
R: Well, athletes are the people. Athletics is the sport, I suppose. Things like running, high jump, this kind of thing, they are athletics.
M: Hmm, yes, it's like, in the USA, they call it track and field. Track and field it's like a particular group of sports in which people compete, including running, jumping and throwing stuff. So athletics, or track and field, track and field. In the Olympic Games, when they throw things and they run then they jump. Okay. And also you mentioned gymnastics.
R: Yes. Although it what's the difference between gymnastics and athletics. That's a good question.
M: Oh, athletics or track and field is when they run, jump and throw stuff. Gymnastics is when you see ladies dancing with this ribbon. Or you see equipment such as bars, or ropes.
R: Yeah. So like athletics is about speed and power, whereas gymnastics is about flexibility and dexterity, really.
M: Yeah. Also like, different equipment. Right?
R: I don't know.
M: You know, like this dance when ladies dance with a ribbon. It's called gymnastics, also there's this bar. And then they do stuff using this bar. Oh, Gosh. What do you call it?
R: You can tell we're great sports fans, can't you?
M: No, but like, explain the difference between athletics and gymnastics. Okay. For our listeners to understand.
R: We just did it. Let's move on.
M: Okay, anyway. Yeah, just Google the pictures, dear listener. When in doubt, Google Images, just type in the word and Bob's your uncle, you are helped. Other sports and exercise you mentioned, Rory. You mentioned water sports, yoga. Zumba. Is it Zumba?
R: Yes, Zumba is like just dancing as exercise, isn't it? It's probably more complicated than that. But that's my explanation for it.
R: Yes. Mountaineering,
M: Hiking, walking. And walking is kind of like an exercise. Yeah. With walking sticks and everything. Then you said football, rugby. You don't say soccer? You say football, right?
R: Yes. It's football. Not soccer.
M: Okay, jogging, going to the gym. Go to the gym. Okay. Yeah. So things like that. Then, characteristics of a good athlete, you said determination, the will to persevere, persevere, the will to persevere.
R: That's just like to keep going despite the adversity.
M: Yeah, you persevere, you just keep going. No matter how hard it is you persevere. And grit. What does grit mean?
R: Yeah, grit, it's just your ability to keep going. It's very similar to perseverance.
M: Yeah, it's like courage and determination despite all the difficulties, yeah. So like grit. Also, dear listener, you can say stamina. Stamina is when you run a marathon and you just keep going, okay? You have like physical and mental health to keep going for a long time. So like triathlon, for example, the triathlon is a great test of stamina. Triathlon, when they run, they swim, and then they cycle. It's is crazy. It's like the whole day they do this. Rory, would you like to take part in triathlon?
R: Oh, absolutely no, I don't have nearly the, I don't know, what's the word, cardiovascular capability to do that.
M: So Rory has no stamina. He can't keep going. He doesn't have any mental resources, or physical resources to keep going. Now he's in Scotland with all these whiskey bottles. So what's the best way to become a top athlete? Rory, you said that a good trainer and training regime?
R: Yeah. Training regime is like, well, a regime is something that you have every day or on regular basis to govern how things work. So you can have it for training that can also apply to governments, for example.
M: And then you've used this nice word cultivate. I'm not sure how to cultivate that.
R: Yeah, cultivate is just to create encourage to grow, you usually cultivate plans, but you can cultivate mentalities as well.
M: You should cultivate the right attitude because it's not just a good trainer or training regime, but it's the right attitude that should be cultivated. Right? And then like, the examiner might ask what kinds of exercise do people in your country do? And then Rory said, Oh, we have one of the unhealthiest populations. Really? In Scotland, people are really unhealthy?
R: Oh, it's really unhealthy, actually. It's terrible how bad some people are.
M: Yeah, but you have football. You have rugby. In Scotland, you pretty much have whiskey.
R: Well, yeah, but not everybody plays rugby and drinks whiskey.
M: No? Not everybody in Scotland drinks whiskey. What?
R: Sorry to burst your bubble.
M: Rory has just burst my bubble of stereotypes. Then the question could be about outdoor sports or indoor sports. Indoor sports, sports you do indoors, like chess. Outdoor sports, hiking, walking, jogging. And then the question was an interesting one, like, what else can people do to keep fit apart from sports? Apart from sports, like, we can talk about exercise, which Rory did, like jogging, going to the gym, swimming.
R: Yeah, I think that's the important difference. Sport is competitive, whereas exercise is just for yourself, or it should be.
M: Can we also mention keeping to a diet as a way of keeping fit.
R: No, because fitness is about like the condition of your body as it relates to how well you can do exercise. I mean, your diet will contribute to that, but it's not the main part.
M: So I've just googled five simple tips for fitness success. Exercise daily, eat the right foods. Okay? Keep track of calories. Be sure to get sleep. Yeah, you can talk about these things. Why not? Like food and sleep and eating the right portions. Everything contributes to your fitness, to get fit, how to stay fit. And then at school, you talked about PE input sessions.
R: Yes. PE is like, well, first of all, physical education. And second of all, input sessions are just like classes, but for grown-ups.
M: And then you mentioned matches, so different competitions, and structured games to improve coordination. Wow.
R: So structured, well, if something is structured, it just means that it's planned. And there's a purpose to it. And there's sort of a logical flow to it. And coordination is just, well, how you move your body in this case, if we talk about exercise.
M: And then when you talk about older people, and how they keep fit your country. Rory said like, oh, they get out and about. Older people get out and about.
R: That's just another way of saying they just go out and walk.
M: Yeah, they just walk. Older people, right? Go to the gym. Yeah. Or they also do swimming. And what about this now it's quite trendy, walking with the sticks, like walking sticks. Is there a name for this kind of walking? Scandinavian walk? Is it Scandinavian walk?
R: I'm not sure but I know that there's lots of people doing it.
M: Yeah. Nordic walking, Wikipedia. There we go. Wow. Nordic Walking is a Finnish origin, total body version of walking that can be enjoyed both by non-athletes as a health-promoting physical activity. And by athletes as a sport. Oh wow. Nordic walking. So you have like ski poles There we go. They're not walking sticks. They are ski poles. Ski is like you go skiing, poles is like a stick. So when you see all these people or a person with these sticks and they walk..it's Nordic walk that they're doing. So you move your legs and arms rhythmically. Wow.
R: So that's the coordination part of things then, isn't it?
M: Yeah, because you have the sticks, the poles. Would you be able to do that?
R: Probably. But I wouldn't make a very good job of it. What about you?
M: Yeah, I think I can do that. I'm pretty good with my coordination.
R: Quality. So shall we coordinate our ending to this part three?
M: Yeah. Thank you very much for listening! Now you know what Nordic walking is. Bye-bye!
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