STRANGE SEX NOISES WITH TAJ, BEN, and JENN
By: Lauren Anderson
Okay, first off… the title of today’s post is making me giggle.
Mostly, because it’s perhaps the click-bait-i-est title I’ve ever endeavored to drop. But when I sat down to write this blog post, I kept remembering all the grunts and groans Taj, Ben, Jenn and I made during our last work out, and how much it was making us laugh… and now here we are.
Because accidental, strange, sexual sounding noise out of context is always funny.
A co-worker was telling us about a person’s boss who made noises that sounded like, er, sensual pleasure whenever she listened very deeply. Haha! Can you imagine?! You’re in a meeting at work, giving a presentation and your boss is agreeing and moaning along. OooooooMmmmm.
I can just picture myself there. Trying desperately not to laugh. Like, giggling in church. The more you’re NOT s’posed to laugh, the more you want/need to.
And the idea was so funny to us, that we continued to do this as a bit for the rest of the weekend.
Can you pass the salt? Mmmmm, ohhh, hmmm. I need to turn in my time card. Oooo, Mmmmm.
So I guess, it was still fresh on my mind when I met up with Taj, Ben, and Coach Jenn on Sunday for a powerlifting session.
My good pal Taj has finally come back to the gym, and she has been working with my other good pal Coach Jenn on all the elements of powerlifting. Over the course of my time at Solcana, Coach Jenn has tried to get me to come powerlift with her and the crew… but up until recently, I’ve never caved.
I think in the back of my head, powerlifting was always too hardcore. Like, in my mind I kept thinking “Oh, that’s for someday.” Or even, “Oh, that’s for someone else.”
I’ve never been that concerned with lifting the most, heaviest etc. I think I want perfect form above all else, and I figured, the better the form, the more weight I could add eventually. It was a stepped-out process in my mind. And like my Dad always says, (say it with me now) “First A, then B.” And since I really am my father’s daughter, I assumed I’m still on “A”.
But the truth is, I do have good form. (If I do say so myself…) And somewhere along the way, I got pretty strong. So what was holding me back?
Fear? I’ve been around the gym long enough now to know that things will be okay. The atmosphere of literally EVERYTHING I’ve tried so far has been nothing but accepting and accommodating.
Ability? I mean, everything you do in powerlifting I’ve already done in workouts at Solcana. It’s basically just backsquats, bench press, and deadlifts. I can do those!
So why is powerlifting such a mental block?
I’ve been talking to a bunch of people about this lately. When you want to try something new, sometimes it’s hard to go for it on your own. And it can be equally hard to attempt to do it in a large group. But a small group of trusted people? Now that’s a sweet spot.
Small enough that you can feel safe. But still a group so all the focus doesn’t have to be on you.
So when I found out my good pal Taj was bringing Ben for his first unofficial session at Solcana, and doing powerlifting with Coach Jenn, I knew I had to finagle my way into this workout.
* * *
I have come to LOVE talking to people about beginning their relationship with their bodies and fitness. And I love love love watching them experience seeing all the amazing things their body can do! On any level. It’s just so damn exciting and confirming!
It is a role that I still find myself shocked to be in, but I am so grateful when people talk with me about their journey. Because it can be so personal, and so raw.
But I also know from experience how life-changing and validating it can be. To meet your body in a new way. It’s like, here you’ve been with this body your whole life. And in one afternoon, it’s like you see it for the first time. It shows you things you didn’t know.
It reminds me of that terrible song, “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…”
If you remove the idea that both those people in the song were trying to cheat on each other, as opposed to just, OH I DON’T KNOW, talking to each other for once. But when they walked into the bar and saw it was their spouse sitting there! Wait… you like making love at midnight, AND the taste of champagne?!?! ME TOO!!!
What a stupid example. But you get where I’m going here.
I can’t tell you how many afternoons I spent wishing my body was this way or that. Longing for a different body that looked or acted more in a way I wanted. And then, to begin a fitness journey and discover that my body was capable of WAY more than I gave it credit for. That it could look and act in a way that I wanted. I just wasn’t paying it any attention.
I mean, c’mon. That’s good stuff right there.
* * *
Cut back to the gym. I’m trying not to pay too much attention to Ben as he attempts his firsts on the backsquats, but I am downright giddy to be working out with him. I’m watching his face as he moves through his first of many “Gym Feels”. There are flashes of concentration, uncertainty, pride, elation, etc. I am smiling, because I can see so much of myself in him at this moment.
But I don’t want to creep him out, so I try to focus back on me. It doesn’t take long before Coach Jenn tells me to add more weight to the bar.
I hesitate. I haven’t backsquatted more than 85 pounds since I got tendonitis in my wrist last year. I was working my way up to 85, when Coach Jenn gives me some classic side-eye, and said, “Yeah. That’s too easy. You need to add 25 lbs to each side.”
But… but! That would put my backsquat at 115 pounds!
I was like, “You sure?” And she’s all “YUP. 25 lbs each side, Anderson. Let’s go!”
I add the weight, and go in for the backsquat. And that’s when the grunts came out. I couldn’t help but laugh because they were sounding a lot like the strange sex noises that my co-workers and I were laughing about all weekend.
It didn’t take long before Ben, Taj, Jenn and I were leaning into the moaning and grunting. Because a lot like sex, sometimes it’s just more fun that way.
We moved onto the bench– and it was the same story. Coach made me add more weight than I thought I could do. At my best a year ago, I maxed out at 95 pounds on the bench. On Sunday, I could lift 85 pounds at 5 sets of 5– no problem. With some pretty choice “oooofs and Uhhhh” sounds along the way. (giggle giggle)
And then onto deadlifts. Same story. I deadlifted 115 pounds.
I was happy to discover that 115 pounds was also totally do-able. I was able to bust out 5 sets of 5 at 115 easy peasy– with some pretty distinctive moans. And a lot more laughing.
But laughter aside, this was also really eye-opening. Because if I could do 5 sets at 85 on the bench, then that probably means that if I did try to max out, I probably could do over 100. Holy shiz! When did that happen?!?
And same for backsquat, and deadlift!
I was shocked to discover that I had been under-cutting what I thought I could do. I thought there was no way that I was back up to full strength because of my injury. But in one afternoon, I discover that I am back up to snuff, and them some!
What a great reminder that consistent, steady effort really does pay off. Even if it feels like I’m not moving at all, turns out, if I’m being intentional I will creep forward bit by bit. Sometimes without even noticing. And I guess that’s true in a lot of areas of my life. In workouts, in relationships, in healing, in my career. It all counts.
This Sunday Funday at the gym, in between laughs and grunts, I guess I learned a few things:
Accidental sex noises out of context will always funny, because I’m still 13 years old at heart. I will never get over the joy of watching someone meet their body and discover what it can do. And sometimes a small group of trusted people is just the thing to get you to the next step.
And lastly– and this is one I hope I don’t forget–
A tiny, steady drop of water can change a boulder over time.