Help! I can’t count!

Posted: July 8, 2012 in CrossFit, Exercise, Fitness
Tags: ,

Who knew counting could be one of the hardest things to do while working out?

Maybe it’s just an ADHD thing, but I have a hell of a time not losing count, particularly when it’s something that you need to hold for a certain count or where the exercise has several bits within it and I forget where I was by the time I get to the end of the exercise.

I finally figured out a way that helps me keep count more accurately. I use a foreign language for the count and English for the in-between.

For example, one of the exercises assigned to me for physical therapy is an isometric exercise designed to recruit the small muscle chains in the neck (I also tend to overkill and defeat the purpose, but that’s a whole different issue). So I need to count five of them per side, but hold each for a four-count. That became scrambled in my head on a regular basis, and, for some inexplicable reason, my brain randomly substitutes “ten” for “two.”

However, if I use, for example, German, it goes like this:

  • Eins, two, three, four;
  • Zwei,two, three, four;
  • Drei, two, three, four;
  • Fier, two, three, four;
  • Funf, two, three, four.

I seem to be able to remember whether I’m on drei or funf better than whether I’m at three or five. Now, to keep that from becoming an issue, I rotate languages in which I can count to the requisite number (no, I don’t speak these languages; I’m excited to find a use for the ability to count in several as the near limit of my competency).

So here’s one to ten in several languages, in case you want to try:

German: Eins, zwei, drei, fier, funf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn.

Spanish: Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diaz.

French: Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept. huit, neuf, dix.

Japanese: Ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyu, ju.

Latin: Unus, duo, tres, quattuor, quinque, sex, septem, octo, novem, decem.

Koine Greek: Heis, duo, treis, tessares, pente, hex, hepta,  okto, ennea, deka.

Greek alphabet as counting tool: Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa. (Note: I omitted the digramma because, as many Greek students, as well as fraternity pledges, I learned the Greek alphabet without it.)

You can also use Google Translate for counting fun.

Hope this is helpful to other counting-challenged CrossFitters (or any other type of exercise requiring counting).

  1. Laura Mc says:

    fantastic idea! Can you help with counting when you’re too tired to count past 3? ;?)

  2. Change My Body...Change My Life says:

    I think that’s brilliant!

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