“Wow, you’ve got a perfect snatch!” Yes, those words actually left my lips the other day. I was helping a friend with her kettlebell moves and that was it, I swear. Before we both busted out laughing, all I could think was only in the gym.
I don’t know if it’s the relative lack of clothing or all the weird body positions but there are so many things that we do in a gym environment that totally wouldn’t fly anywhere else. Just today, for instance, as I tried to work out the knot in my right butt cheek courtesy by rolling all over a medicine ball, I felt someone looking at me. Someone who was waiting for the ball. Sheepishly I rolled it over and mumbled, “Sorry, I’m done molesting it now. Your turn!” Or the time I had an entire conversation with a friend while I held bridge pose (lay on your back, hips up in the air like you’re petitioning the Goddess of Fertility) and she was rolling out her inner thigh on the foam roller. Neither one of us so much as blinked. Context is king.
Yet when it comes to bizarre things people can say in the gym but not anywhere else, the Rear Naked Choke Hold always, always wins for me. I’ll never forget my first time sitting in on a jujitsu demonstration during an MMA class and hearing the instructor tell us to prepare for that move. How on earth do you prepare for something that has those four words in any combination?? For the record, it’s called “naked” because it means the person doing the submission hold isn’t using anything but their arm to do the choking portion of the program. I know, I know this is serious windpipe-crushing stuff and MMA fighters are some of the best athletes on the planet. (Truly, they are.) It’s still really really funny. Seriously: go stand in front of the mirror and try to say “I’m going to mount you and put you in a rear naked choke hold until you submit” with a straight face. Can’t be done.
So in honor of all things awkward, here’s my highlight reel of best gym convos ever:
Favorite Overheard Gym Conversation:
Trainer to woman lifting heavy weights: Don’t forget to breathe!
Woman: Is that even possible? Has anyone ever actually stopped breathing on you?
Woman: One of these days I’m going to faint just to freak you out.
Favorite Gym Class Conversation:
Boxing Instructor, to me taking my first real boxing class: Oh you’ll be fine in this class! You know how to punch, right? Duck and weave?
Me: Assume I don’t know anything.
BI: I assume you know how to… Hammertime! (At which point he started singing MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and did a pretty decent hammer dance.]
Favorite Bad Compliment Conversation:
Fellow student: Hey, it’s your first time! You’re doing great!
FS: Um, no. That’s possibly the worst speed bag I have ever seen. (FYI: He was right. I could not figure that thing out!!)
FS: That was hard to watch.
FS: Yeah. But don’t worry! You’re doing great!
Favorite CrossFit Conversation:
Guy 1: So today I’ve got a WOD of five rounds of Fran AMRAP followed by 100 kippers and thrusters.
Guy 2: You just made that up, didn’t you?
Guy 1: Yep.
Guy 2: I knew it because you spelled out W-O-D.
Favorite Conversation With a Child:
Son #1 handing me something at the store: Look mom! You should totally get this!!
Me, absentmindedly: What is it, honey?
Son #1: It says it’s a “push-up bra”! And you love to do push-ups!!
Me: Wrong kind of push-up!
Son #1: Well, what kind of push-up does this bra mean then?
Me: Ah… nevermind. It’s a gym bra. You’re right.
What’s your favorite example of something you can say in the gym that you could never say in real life? Anyone else have a funny fitness convo lately?