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You haven't heard from me in a little while. I had a few days away in Paris getting all cultured 'n stuff.

Apart from a few incidences in bakeries (I love me a fresh croissant!) where a combination of my pre-GCSE French alluding me and some native Parisians seemingly pretending they didn't know what I was asking for, I made myself understood reasonably well and understood enough of what was going on around me to get around fine.

Some people don't manage so well.

They panic.

They avoid doing certain things that may expose their lack of French.

They get lost and mixed up.

 

Yet I don't find the differences in us as people but in our bank of experiences.

I had some exposure to French at school.

I don't have the stereotypical English anti-French attitude partly through being an Arsenal fan and growing up idolising lots of French players and partly through not considering myself fully English.

I have a dad who English is a second language to. He speaks around five languages fluently and enough of around 10 others to get by. He taught me his native language when I was a toddler (I haven't spoken it for around 25 years but can imitate it pretty well).

I have studied a form of linguistics briefly.

 

I'm not inherently better at languages than anybody else but I am better at picking up pieces than some just because of my experiences.

 

I think sporting skill is the same.

 

We've all seen people who can pick up sports more easily than others given the same period of time learning and the same coaching.

It makes it look like those people are inherently better learners.

It's not the case.

 

Won't the kid who had lots of exposure to ping pong early on pick up racquet sports more easily in later life?

Won't the kid who was born into a family where Judo was all around pick up tackling in rugby faster as a teen?

Won't the child gymnast advance through yoga more easily in adulthood?

 

Where as the answer to these questions are not categorically affirmative, I would rather bet on than against them.

 

Experience and existing neural circuitry are a big reason will put people at a learning advantage over others without necessarily being apparent.

 

There's a beautiful thing about realising you're not a crappy learner but you're just missing some key experience -

you can always choose to catch it up.

 

 

Arton "Le Croissant Connoisseur" Baleci 

 

P.S. if you don't feel like getting better at running comes easy to you, come to my running workshop on March 15th. It'll be better than that croissant you're feeling the urge to eat but kinder to your hips. Book a place by clicking here.