9. underground systems
12. elbows; knees
13. over/more than four/4
14. ear plugs
16. ball of air
17. smile machine
18. body flying
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Interviewer: There’s been talk of you being picked for the national team again. Is it hard for you to put that to the back of your mind during games, when you know that the national coach could be watching?
Sportsman: Playing for your country is as big as it gets, and it’d be great to do that again. But at the same time you have to worry about the job on the day, and that’s playing for your club. I’ve learned over the years that your focus should be on the game you’re playing in and nothing else .
Presenter: Now, what do you do if you want to know what the weather is going to be like? You probably turn on the television or look on the Internet. But meteorology is a relatively recent science, and not so long ago people, especially farmers, had to rely on their own knowledge of the seasons.  And no season was more important than spring. Many different rhymes and sayings were used for predicting the weather, and each month had its own sayings.
Man: It doesn’t really matter what you read to kids, they appreciate anything. I’ve been reading a book about history to my seven-year-old. He doesn’t understand a word of it, but insists on having it every night . Having said that, it does make a huge difference if you can find a book that you all enjoy together. My favourite is a series of short stories about a mad inventor who creates ridiculous machines. It’s great to be able to read something that genuinely makes your children laugh.
Man: So that’s it. After all the months of worrying about it and discussing it with other people. I’ve finally done it.  To be honest. I’m not sure how I feel. A bit anxious about the future, sure, because I really don’t know how things are going to go . But I simply had to get out. You can’t go on putting up with the sort of things I had to put up with. I still can’t help thinking that it shouldn’t have come to this. But it did. and I’ve dealt with it and it’s time now to start looking ahead.
Man: When I was a kid, I was always jumping out of windows and things and climbing trees. I had numerous injuries from things like that. Also, I went through a phase of wearing all my clothes back to front. Even to this day I don’t know why I did it . In fact, I occasionally still do. I put my clothes on back to front and just sit there on my own because it reminds me of when I was a kid.
Man: Yes, it was completely unexpected. I had no idea he felt so strongly about it. I mean, as far as I’m concerned I just made an innocent comment and he suddenly went mad. He was shouting at me and pointing his finger and I thought at one point he might even get violent. How silly. He just succeeded in making a complete fool of himself. Everyone else was looking terribly worried but I thought it was all highly entertaining , borne of those insults he was shouting at me – so ridiculous. I expect he’ll apologize eventually but I really don’t care.
Woman: Of course, without blues, you simply wouldn’t have any of the various forms of popular music that have swept the world over the past few decades . Rock’n’roll, soul, rap, hip-hop – they all owe their existence to the style of music that was created in a small part of the Deep South of the US – the Mississippi Delta. The musicians who developed the style were all more or less totally unknown outside their own area, although fortunately they made plenty of recordings that are still available today if you want to find out more. And you should, if you want to find out where a lot of today’s music came from.
Man: This is the first place to go if you need information about your rights as a consumer . It has tips on dealing with dodgy workmen, faulty goods, shopping safely online and avoiding scams. It’s relatively easy to navigate your way around it, has a useful links section and will help you get in touch with telephone advisers. It will not, however, take up individual cases.
Presenter: OK, now we come to our regular spot on extreme sports, and this week our fearless reporter Tom Walker has been trying out something called indoor skydiving. And he’s with me now. Tom, what’s this all about?
Reporter: Well, it’s the same as skydiving – jumping from an aeroplane and freefalling through the air without opening your parachute for some time – except that you do it in an indoor wind tunnel. And there’s no plane, and no parachute, and, so I was told, no danger! So it gives you a taste of doing an extreme sport, but it isn’t quite so extreme.
Presenter: Right, now where did you do it?
Reporter: I did it in a vertical wind tunnel at an adventure sports centre called Runway.
Presenter: What exactly is a vertical wind tunnel?
Reporter: Well, it’s a tunnel that gets filled with air. The air is provided by four enormous industrial fans of a kind that usually provide air for underground systems . These fans produce a column of air that rushes through the tunnel from below at more than 160 kilometres per hour. When you’re in the tunnel, you float on this air. The machine has been described as being like an enormous hairdryer . It allows you to fly as if you had fallen from a plane, but you are only two metres off the ground.
Presenter: And it’s completely safe is it?
Reporter: Yes. There are bars across the top of the tunnel to stop you flying off up and out of the tunnel. The tunnel is four metres wide and has glass walls . The only small problem you might have is that you keep bashing into these walls. But you’re not really going to hurt yourself a lot by doing this – the only injuries you are likely to get are sore elbows and knees . In fact, it’s so safe that the centre is open to anyone over the age of four . In America, where the idea was invented by the military in 1994, pensioners in their eighties regularly have a go.
Presenter: Wow! So how did you get on when you went there?
Reporter: Well, when I got there I watched the training instructors running through their routine. They were doing all sorts of moves in the tunnel, such as ‘barrel rolls’, something they call ‘helicopters’ – spinning on their heads in mid-air, and back flips. Watching them do all that before I went into the tunnel left me feeling a little anxious. even though I knew the tunnel was safe. And the roar of the electric motors that power the fans, like a plane taking off and so loud you need ear-plugs , added to my fear.
Presenter: What happened when you went into the tunnel?
Reporter: Like all beginners, I was given a couple of two-minute sessions in the tunnel , which seems short, but since the average freefall from a plane lasts only one minute, you realise it is more than plenty. Held down by my instructor, I floated in the position I was told to keep to, with my hands out in front of me as if I was ‘holding a ball of air’ , for the whole session. The only time he had to correct me was on the occasions I threatened to fly out of reach or, as if by instinct, disappear out of the entry-exit door.
Presenter: Sounds exciting.
Reporter: Yeah, it’s great fun. In fact the person who came up with the idea and set up the centre calls it a ‘smile machine’ , because nobody can go into the tunnel without smiling.
Presenter: So you recommend it?
Reporter: Yes, it’s just like real skydiving, except that you don’t have the view – or the expense! And it’s good both for beginners and extreme skydivers. In fact, in some places it has developed into its own sport, known as ‘body flying’ . There are already competitions in that sport.
Presenter: Thanks, Tom, If you want to find out more about the wind tunnel.
I just fell into my television career really, there was no grand scheme. I guess it was all a case of simply being in the right place at the right time. I got my first job by pure chance  and then one job offer followed another. I didn’t set out to get where I am today and I’m sure there are plenty of people who could do the job as well as, if not better than, me. People tell me they like what I do, and that’s great, but I’d probably be just as happy if the whole thing hadn’t happened.
When I started the company, the market was wide open really and hardly anyone was doing what I was doing. Actually, the product I was offering in the early days wasn’t all that good, but there wasn’t much to compare it with, so it did OK . The fact is, it was a good idea and in business there’s no substitute for a good idea. I’m not necessarily a brilliant businessman in terms of strategy and things like that and sometimes I’m not sure what to do next. But I did have that great idea, so I’ve made my own luck.
My personal feeling is that in show business, talent will always get its reward. Even if you have to struggle on for years – which, thankfully I didn’t have to do – if you’ve got what it takes, you’ll make it. Someone will spot you and give you a part if you’re good enough, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I’ve never really had to work at it, it just seems to be something I was born with . I’ve never thought of doing anything else, and fortunately I’ve never had to.
There was no shortage of advice when I started my career as a singer. People told me how I should look, what sort of songs I should sing, all sorts of things. But I ignored them all, and I’m glad I did because I’ve been proved right. I had it all worked out from the very beginning, every detail of what I was going to do and how I was going to do it and it’s all gone very smoothly . I knew what suited me and what would be popular and I’ve followed my instincts on that. I haven’t had to struggle at all, everything’s gone very well.
To get to the top in my sport I’ve had to make the most of what I’ve got. I may not be the
most talented player there’s ever been but I’ve put a tremendous amount of effort in to be as good as I can be . All along there have been people making comments about how I’m not good enough, but that’s just made me try even harder. And I’ve exceeded my ambitions really – I only wanted to be a good club player and I never imagined I’d make it into the national side.
Speaker: As someone who didn’t even own a pair of running shoes until I was in my twenties, I think I’m well placed to talk about the virtues of taking up running. After a childhood and youth spent – or misspent – avoiding physical activity and sport at all costs , I am now, a decade and a half on, fitter and healthier than ever, and have completed more than 100 races, including ten marathons. Through my running I have gained a wonderful sense of independence, greater confidence, discipline and focus, a sanctuary from daily stresses and some great friendships. I can’t quite remember what it was that first motivated me to go huffing and puffing my way around the block – but whatever it was, I’m thankful for it now. And that’s why I am so keen to persuade you to do the same.
You’ll find that no other exercise variety gets results as fast as running. Give it a go and I promise you three things. Firstly, every muscle from the waist down will become stronger, tighter and firmer while excess body fat will be sent marching. Secondly, you’ll feel great about yourself. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel alert and focused and you’ll experience a real sense of accomplishment as you gradually become fitter and stronger. Finally, you’ll find that running is very easy to fit into your life . Unlike that exercise class, you don’t have to be somewhere dead on six o’clock, unlike swimming you don’t have to get to the pool before closing time, unlike tennis or squash, you don’t have to rely on someone else to make it happen . You can go for fifteen minutes at lunchtime, or grab half an hour in the morning. You can hit the city streets or head for the park. All in all you can make running fit into your life without too much effort. And when you do, you’ll be helping yourself not only to a healthier life, but a longer and happier one, too.
Is that a ’but’ I can hear? ‘But I’m too old/overweight/ embarrassed… etc.’. These are worries that people often reveal when they are faced with the prospect of taking up exercise. Well, I can’t categorically say to each and every one of you ‘no, you’re not’  but I can tell you that I know people who have become runners in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and only wish they’d done it sooner. I know people who’ve gone out running in the streets in bad weather and risked funny looks from passers-by, in order to give running a go, and now wouldn’t give it up for the world. After all, one of the greatest pleasures in life is overcoming fears and obstacles.
There is one warning, though. To reap these benefits, you have to approach running with patience and respect. Try to achieve too much too soon and you’ll end up aching, disillusioned and possibly even injured. The golden rule is to start slow, and progress one step at a time. Some people improve quicker than others, too, so don’t compare your progress to anyone else’s .
Now we come to technique. If you remember only one thing about running technique when you’re out there, remember to relax! It’s impossible to run if you aren’t relaxed. Unclench your fists, relax your jaw, keep your shoulders loose. Think ‘up’ before moving forwards. This helps you stay light on your feet, and makes you run tall rather that sinking into the hips. Remember to use your arms. Picture them as pistons, propelling you forwards . Keep them bent to roughly 90 degrees. It’s particularly important to think about your arms if you hit an incline – increasing the arm effort will help you get up the hill easier. What about breathing? Always a good idea, I find! Despite all the weird and wonderful theories about breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, or breathing in time with your footfall, I recommend just getting the oxygen in whatever way feels most comfortable to you .
Now, I’m going to give you the details of the Get Running programme. This provides an 8-week schedule…