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For a few years now, I have been thinking about taking part in a triathlon. Unfortunately, there is one big problem: I can’t swim. Actually, it’s not true to say that I can’t swim at all, but I’m nowhere near good enough to take part in a competition.
Earlier this year, I decided to join a sports club in Gifu and see if I could learn to swim properly. I started going to the pool two or three times a week, but I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Other people seemed to be using much less energy than me and still going much faster.
One night, I noticed a guy swimming two lanes over from me. Even under the water, I could see that his stomach was quite big, and he certainly didn’t have a swimmer’s body. I soon realized, however, that he was much faster than me, and I started to feel really depressed and think about giving up. “If I can’t even beat a guy like that, ” I thought, “there is not much point in carrying on.”
I didn’t give up, though, and a few days later, I started talking to a woman and a man who I had often seen swimming together. We became quite friendly, and they offered to teach me how to swim. Both of them were really kind, and they were very good teachers. Over just a couple of months, I got a lot faster, and I also learned how to swim much more efficiently.
Last week, they were giving me some tips as usual, and I suddenly noticed the big guy swimming in the next lane. Now I bet most of you are thinking that you know how this ends, but I’m guessing that you probably have the wrong idea, so please keep reading.
When my two teachers saw the big guy, they called him over. They said to me, “This guy is the best teacher in the club. Let’s ask him to watch you and give you some advice.” To be honest, I really thought they were joking, and I was quite shocked. I thought it was very rude of them to make jokes about him.
Of course, it turned out that they weren’t joking at all. The man used to be a competitive swimmer, and he was much better than all of us. Even my teachers were listening to everything he said and asking him for advice themselves. In just 15 minutes with him, my style improved more than it had done over the previous month.
The point of this story is that the old saying is true: you should not judge a book by its cover. When I saw that guy for the first time, I never imagined for a minute that he could be an athlete. After I watched him closely, however, I realized that even if I train hard for five years, I will probably never be as good as he is.
Anyway, this experience made me wonder if any of you have ever made a mistake like mine and misjudged someone based on the way he or she looked.
Look forward to hearing your stories.
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか？」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ！
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