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  • Monica Jones

Don’t sweat it! Sports Idioms

I used to rock climb in the United States before I moved to Chile. Several years ago, I went on a climbing trip with some friends to Smith Rock, which is near Bend, Oregon in the United States. Read about our trip AND learn some commonly used sports idioms!

My friends and I started driving from Boise, Idaho to Bend, Oregon at 6 am on Friday morning. We were all pretty tired but also stoked to have an epic weekend of rock climbing at the “birthplace of modern American sport climbing.”


Unfortunately, when we were halfway to Bend, our friend Tyler realized he had forgotten his climbing helmet, shoes and harness. After he told us what happened he said, “I’m so sorry everyone. I really dropped the ball (1).”


My friend Ben, who always has a positive attitude, responded quickly, “Don’t sweat it (2) Tyler, I brought some extra gear you can use.”


“Really?! Wow, thanks man! You’re really ahead of the game (3)!” Tyler gratefully responded.


After we dropped our bags off at the Airbnb we headed straight to Smith Rock to start climbing. Our group had a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced rock climbers. I was definitely a beginner but I wanted to give it my best shot (4) in order to learn more about how to improve my rock-climbing skills.


My friend Katy was the most advanced climber in the group and she was a great teacher, so we decided to team up together. She could see I was nervous for my first climbing route at Smith Rock State Park.


“Monica, you can set the pace (5). If you want to go slow, that’s totally fine. Just do what you feel comfortable with. Plus, I’ll climb the route first so I can give you tips for doing the difficult sections,” Katy said in a reassuring manner.


“Okay, thanks Katy. I needed to hear that,” I responded as I started to belay her up the side of the cliff.


At the end of the weekend, after a few days of climbing, we were all completely spent. It goes without saying, we were ready to go home and rest. As we headed home at the end of our trip, Ben said to me in an upbeat tone, “Way to take the bull by the horns (6) this weekend Monica!”


Now, I’m no Lynn Hill (one of the most famous professional rock climbers), but I went the distance (7) and managed to successfully climb several beginner routes. I was also fortunate enough to observe and learn an immense amount about different rock-climbing techniques from the more advanced climbers in our group. What a fun rock climbing weekend we had!


  1. Drop the ball: make a mistake or mishandle something

  2. Don’t sweat it: don’t worry

  3. Be ahead of the game: to be prepared or in a position to succeed

  4. Give it one’s best shot: to do the best one can

  5. Set the pace: establish a speed, level of skill, or standard (for others)

  6. Take the bull by the horns: to do something difficult in a brave or confident way

  7. Go the distance: to manage to continue with a difficult activity or goal until the end

You’re turn! When can you use these common sports idioms?! Write in the comments below or write me at monicajones4276@gmail.com / @monicayourprofe 😊


#EnglishClass #EnglishTips #MonicaYourProfe #AprendeInglés #LearnWithMonica #ClasesDeInglés #Englishpronunciation #PronunciaciónEnInglés #BusinessEnglish #InglesDeNegocios #Englishidioms #ModismosEnInglés

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