30 November 2010

Two steps forward, one step back

Yes, I know the saying is the other way, but my way is much more optimistic. Often when we have setbacks, we feel that we have slipped immensely and have failed. But we should realize that a setback is only a setback. We can continue on past a temporary failure or glitch and still enjoy the road, and realize our end goal.

Given that I’ve been ill for the last few weeks, I will be restarting my pushup challenge from the beginning again. Hopefully my energy levels will be up enough to start again this next Monday. I don’t feel like this is a major setback in any way. The pushups will still be waiting for me when I feel better.

The time away from the gym has given me opportunity to formulate other goals. One thing that I have started working on is brushing up on my Spanish.

About 6 years ago, I took 3 out of the 4 Spanish classes offered at my local community college. My abilities have been languishing since my son was born, and I wanted to refresh what I knew and improve beyond that. I hired a tutor to help me review and I quickly went through all 18 chapters of my Spanish textbook. I signed up to take the B1 level exam in Los Angeles last week.

In hindsight (because that is always 20/20), I think that my review was a little rushed. I had about 6 weeks to prepare. When I got to the exam, I was fatigued from illness, and lacked the conversational confidence I had even a week prior. So, I’m not really sure how I did on this exam. I hope I passed, but if I didn’t, it will give me a diagnostic on my abilities.

Now I’m trying to formulate my Spanish related goal for next year. Even if I didn’t pass the B1 exam, I may try a higher level exam next year, like the C1. Or I may set other goals, like being able to hold a conversation for X number of minutes, or being able to watch a movie with captions turned off, etc. My ultimate goal is fluency, but how I will measure this is still to be determined.

So, proposing un brindis, here's to temporary road blocks and set backs, and the journey ahead.

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