ELC does a 30-day challenge


ELC puts “flexibility” at the heart of its offer by Amy

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been bendy and most of my youth was spent in a strange gymnastic position: as a crab, doing headstands, handstands, cartwheels, back walkovers, front walkovers, ….

At 50 years old, I realise that it would probably be a mistake to attempt any of these again, especially on my own as no-one would be able to rescue me if I got stuck or cartwheeled off a terrasse, BUT …. As I intend to live to the age of 115 and as I intend to be bendy and stretchy to the end, my 30-day challenge is to succeed in doing the splits once again.

 So this is me at the beginning of the challenge.

Objective: full splits with no permanent damage to my social life by the end of September. To be continued … 

Bendy Flexible
Headstand Le poirier
Handstand L’appui renversé
Cartwheel La roue
Back walkover Une souplesse arrière
To get stuck Rester coincer
To do the splits Faire le grand écart



30-day Challenge by Nick

Amy suggested we take a thirty-day challenge to achieve something we had always wanted to do. It was the first day back at work, and I was already exhausted! My holiday had been spent moving everything out of my flat to live permanently in the countryside; coping with a broken water pump and picking up my family – and that was just the first day! For the next month I was running around looking after anything between six and ten people and smoothing the inevitable minor disagreements between teenagers.

My immediate thought was to take the ‘do nothing’ challenge. Doing absolutely nothing at all for thirty days straight called seductively to me. Just take a snap of myself napping every day for a month!

But after a good night’s sleep and the realisation that work had, indeed, started again, it was clear that that was not a viable option, however tempting it may be. Exchanging ideas and seeing the problems and delights of learning a language with my students slowly lit a bulb in my head: learn a language! Languages are both my business and my passion – I speak three fluently and manage to garble a few phrases in two others. One of those two is Spanish, and I decided to put myself to the test and have given myself the challenge of learning Spanish in thirty days. The first three days have flown by in a flurry of excitement, but I can barely say anything more than when I began. I think the real test will be to see if I can keep it up, every day for a month… and how much I’ll learn, of course.

I’ll keep you posted!


30 days of illustrations by Katie

I grew up with a big sister and a big brother who teased (taquiner) me mercilessly…as older siblings (frères et sœurs) do. One of my big brother’s favourite pastimes was to invent stories to terrify me; including tales of how they found me in a turnip field (un champ de navets) when I was a baby and how my twin brother ate too many bananas, turned into (se transformer en) a monkey and escaped to live at the zoo.

Luckily, instead of traumatising me for life, the teasing made me stronger, made me creative and develop a sense of humour. So, Amy and Louis…thank you for that!

One of the stories, which originated from my grandmother and was twisted (tordu) by my brother was the story of a little boy and a cat. The little boy is curious how the cat makes a purring (ronronner) noise when it’s happy, so the cat opens its mouth to show him the machinery inside….that’s where it gets a little dark.

My family still remember this story even years later (my parents were both equally proud and disturbed by my brother’s creativity) so one day, my sister and I decided that it would be a good idea to write it down and illustrate it.

This was a few years ago and unfortunately the project remains unfinished.

All is not lost though, because the 30-day challenge is my opportunity to finally complete our book.

“Peter and the Cat” is not a long story, but we have many more in mind, including the character that Amy and I created: “Louis Zoover and his Magic Hoover”.

If I can work on an illustration every day, we will soon be the new Grimm siblings and I will be able to terrify my own children in turn. What a nice thought, I can’t wait to get started!

My 30-day Sporting Challenge by Daniel

Personal challenges: easy to say, easy to start, easy to stop, easy to forget. The tough part is getting past the start, when you’re very motivated and very serious about your new life-changing decision. Motivation, however, is like a child carrying an ice-cream; sometimes they won’t drop it straight away, sometimes they’ll get half-way across the room and drop it when they see a cookie, and sometimes they’ll ignore it because Peppa Pig is on the TV.

My own history with personal challenges is inconsistent, to be honest. Countless times I’ve declared that it’s time I ate healthier, or will learn to paint, or learn Arabic, or learn programming, or some other amazing idea. Immediately after declaring my intention, however, I quickly pretended I never said it. No witnesses means no accountability!

There have been times, though, when I did something for longer. For example, once I had read about people that would run at least 1 mile (1.6km) a day, every day. Some people had been doing that for years, and the record was about 40 years of running every day. If you could run at least 1 mile every day for a year then they would put your name on a website. “I can do that,” I said to myself, “I want to be on that website,” and hurried to look for my running shoes at the back of the wardrobe. I actually lasted 144 days, running at least a mile a day, many times much more, before the flu and a trip overseas made me stop. I didn’t get my name on that obscure website, but 144 days is still a pretty good effort.

Why am I talking about challenges, though? Well, the holidays are over, and it’s time to start a new year of work. We’re all (hopefully) refreshed and full of energy, and so it’s a great time to declare a new challenge. Not every challenge needs to be a grand adventure though; there’s nothing wrong with choosing a smaller, modest challenge. In fact, small things can lead to big things. My challenges tend to be focused on exercise or sport, and that will continue this year. Because I recently purchased a gym subscription, my 30-day challenge will be to go to the gym at least 5 times a week. I think that’s a good mix of ambitious and modest; not easy, but not impossible.

Let’s see how I go…