I often make the joke that I went into a bookstore while I lived in England and picked up a ‘best of British cooking’ book only to open the cover and find there were no pages inside. As uninspiring as the gastronomic experience of my 3 and a half years in the UK may have been, I wouldn’t trade the overall experience for the world.
While I didn’t return to the US in 2001 with anything close to the James Bond accent I was hoping to pick up (“I like my protein shakes blended, not shaken…”), I did come back with the ability to drive a stick shift with my left hand on the wrong side of the road.
Even though we all speak the same language, there were some interesting differences I learned in the gyms of England – and I trained at quite a few of ‘em.
Converting kilos to pounds wasn’t a big deal, thanks to my prior powerlifting experience, but it took me awhile to accept the fact that the all-American exercise we knew since birth as a push-up, my British clients called a press-up.
Lying Triceps Extensions… I’ve always known ‘em as “Skull-crushers”. In England, they call ‘em as nose-breakers.
Gym shoes are known as trainers and steroids are referred to as “gear”.
Even common anatomical terms were pronounced differently enough to make me say “HUH?!” more than once.
Skeletal system –
Of course, I also came away with an appreciation for private insurance over the government mis-managed option, but at least I won’t ever have to worry about that happening here, will I?