MY YEAR 2018 started with an accident, a very painful one. It was January 4th, day one of our bike ride trip. We were nearing our destination for the day. A friend suddenly called out “SNAKE!”. I reacted, and squeezed the handbrakes as hard as I could, on the gravel road.
What a great start to the new year! I was incapacitated for quite some time. I couldn’t do much on my own. Teaching, cooking, gardening and exercise, all things that I took for granted became a challenge for me. As I’m independent I’m not good at asking for help. I soon became sick of asking for help and was very frustrated with my situation. After a few weeks the physical pain subsided, but the mental pain continued. I was missing beautiful summer days filled with activities – boogie boarding, snorkelling and long strolls along the beach. I felt miserable.
To change my mindset, I focused on things I could do well. After all I had plenty of time. I started learning about web design. I’ve created a few websites using templates before, but this time I learned more in depth. I completed a Google digital certificate course and started helping local small businesses. I felt great satisfaction in accomplishing the course, and helping others using my newly learned skills.
I attended my first French class on behalf of my husband who was sick at the time. As a language teacher I knew the importance of each lesson, and I didn’t want him to miss out even one lesson. I sat in the class amongst advanced students, and I took notes in the foreign language to the best of my ability. Although I didn’t understand much, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
That was the end of term one. I enrolled in the French beginners’ class and never looked back. Bernadette is French and is a great teacher. I’ve been quite a diligent student and was overjoyed when I was invited to join the advanced class as well. The French language is elegant. There are many exceptions and irregular conjugations to learn. It’s a challenge for me especially as the Japanese language does not have articles nor any differentiation between feminine and masculine nouns. I love grammar, and learning French reignited my passion for language.
Language is the mirror of culture. Language always reflects the many aspects of the culture of a country where the language is spoken. I’m privileged to learn French from a properly trained language teacher.
I took up Parkrun on 26th of May. I was back at teaching but was still feeling sedentary due to my injury. I felt lazy, inactive and disengaged from my previous active life. My fitness level was down, and I needed something to bring a spark back in my life. My friend was already on the Parkrun journey, and I decided to support her.
After talking to her on Friday night before, I registered and printed out the barcode, set the alarm, and off I went. It was simple. I felt that once I decided to change some aspects of my life, everything aligned to support my decision. My friend slept in that morning. I walked whole 5 km listening to French conversation on my iPod regardless. It was a beautiful autumn morning. The air was crisp, and I enjoyed the stillness of the morning. My new routine was set firmly. Hail, rain or shine I’m at the start 7.45am every Saturday. I was a happy walker improving my “personal best” for a few weeks.
Nowadays I can run the whole 5 km, and I’m pleased with my progress. For me one of the weekly quests is to improve my personal best with a faster time. The satisfaction of bettering my target fires my enthusiasm as I’m a goal-oriented person. I simply can’t wait for my 50th run next May. As with life, the weather is not always kind. We sometimes suffered horizontal rain and strong wind, but I learned to weather the storm. Inverloch parkrun community is very warm and friendly, and I’m happy to have found another place I could belong.
French and Parkrun both provided me with the opportunities to focus on things I could do well. It was a shaky start to the year, but as all’s well that ends well, as The Bard says.