October 18, 2010 | German

A Pimsleur PR

I shatter my previous Pimsleur record.

Yesterday I achieved a new Pimsleur PR.

PR means “personal record”; in running, it is your best time for a given distance. Speaking of which, I haven’t talked much about running lately because (1) although I am obsessed with it, I recognize that that is not the focus of this blog, and (2) it isn’t going all that well. I am running only about every other day, and not that far, and quite a few muscles are quite sore. So yesterday, which would normally have been a running day, I instead spent a lot of time stretching.

Foam Roller: My Pimsleur Companion

Foam Roller: My Pimsleur Companion

When I say a lot, I mean a lot. I spent hours on the floor. Fortunately, I had Pimsleur (and a foam roller) to keep me company.

A Pimsleur lesson is approximately half an hour long, and I initially thought I’d do just a few lessons. I began the day partway through lesson 17 of Level III. 

I finished that lesson first. Then I did 18. Then 19. Then 20.

I didn’t want to stop.

I finished 21 at 5:49 p.m., 22 at 6:32 p.m., and 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Normally I would have put away the Pimsleur by now. Or before now. At a certain point, even with languages that are familiar to me, my speech tends to degrade into gobbledygook. But that wasn’t happening, and compulsiveness was taking over. I kept going.

24 and 25 came next.

I finished 26 at 9:50 p.m. By now I was thinking, I can finish all of Level III (which contains 30 lessons) before I go to bed. And once that thought was in my head, it became pretty much impossible to stop.

I finished 27 at 10:19 p.m., and 28 at 11:01 p.m. I was slowing down, but still I kept going. I finished 29 at 12:18 a.m.

It was then that I hit the wall. As I began lesson 30, the very last lesson of Level III, exhaustion—physical and mental—overcame me. Just thirty more minutes, I told myself, and I’ll take off the headset. I lay on my exercise mat mechanically responding to the German prompts. Face-down and horizontal: not a good foundation for productivity.

The next thing I knew, I woke up in the middle of some random lesson. It was 1:00 a.m., and I had fallen asleep before finishing 30. Crap!

I considered redoing the lesson, but my brain rebelled against even one more minute of Pimsleur. I conceded defeat.

I had just enough energy left to count: nearly 13 Pimsleur lessons in a single day, trouncing my previous record, which I think was somewhere around eight.

Hi, my name is Ellen, and I am a Pimsleur addict.

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