Really, I just sound slow but I don't have any learning or language disabilities. The name of this so-called affliction is a Texas twang. When you spend all but a few years of your life in the Lone Star State, you don't realize how pronounced it is. Texans realize not everyone has that slow, steady cadence that's particular to certain parts of the US, but it's not a big deal because everyone else sounds like you. Seriously - you can drive for hundreds of miles in almost any direction from the hill country and STILL be on Texas soil. It has been made clear since landing in the the UK that not only is my accent different, but so is the way I hear things.
Last week I was tired of doing halfhearted workouts in the house and waiting for a day with no precipitation to get out and exercise. I discovered a couple local gyms, so I was on a mission to join one before my fifth chin developed. I struck cardio gold at the first place and immediately signed up.
This week I had my two induction sessions at the new gym, and boy are they a chipper bunch, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed at an ungodly hour of the morning. I must say it's a bit disconcerting that I could have given birth to the personal trainers on staff. It's not that I mind the fact that they're so young, but rather that they are just so enthusiastic and gung-ho about the job. If these guys are doing any pub crawling, their recuperative powers are amazing. Ah yes, the miracle that is youth! The first trainer on Wednesday looked like Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series... the FIRST couple books. The receptionist set up my initial session on Saturday when I joined the gym and I thought she said Ron's look-alike was named Zed. So when I met him, I said his name and he corrected me. He said (garbled name in rapid fire Brit accent I couldn't understand) and I repeated it incorrectly again. He said it once more, and yet again I said it wrong. On the fourth try, either I got it right or he finally just gave up on my pronunciation and let it drop.
This morning I went to my second session at the gym, where it seems they pump pure oxygen into the place based on the level of enthusiasm that almost smacks you in the forehead. Today my barely-out-of-his-teens personal trainer was named James. Hallelujah, a name I immediately recognized and could speak in my own twangy Texas accent. When he asked me the name of the trainer I worked with on Wednesday, I wanted to dig a hole and climb right in. But since that wasn't an option, being on the second floor of the facility and all, I cleared my throat and made my best attempt, which could have been construed as Fred, Ted, Ned, Red or Ahmed. I was hoping one of those would be correct.
James of the easy name chuckled and corrected me. Drat! I still have no idea what Wednesday boy's name is.