Even though some of life’s funniest moments occur while working-out, exercise ain’t no joke. But just like life outside the walls of the health club, moments of an awkward or embarrassing nature are bound to happen at some point when you least expect it. Considering the combination of all the strain, sweat, constant motion, bulky machinery, and raw physicality of it all, it’s no wonder whole blogs are dedicated to humorous tales of “fitness club moments gone bad.” Notable fiascos include:
Falling off the treadmill – While running at a nice brisk pace for a number of minutes, you decide to hydrate yourself so you reach for your water bottle. Fiddling to twist the cap off provides the momentary lapse of concentration that allows you to lose your footing, go careening off the mill and straight to the floor. Sound familiar? Treadmill mishaps are pretty common and even dangerous in some instances. When multi-tasking while on the machine, it’s best to focus on the task at hand to avoid injury. If you need to adjust your iPod, take a sip of water, etc., consider slowing down the pace first. As a further precaution: Make a mental note of where the emergency stop button is located. You never know when you may need it.
Breaking Wind – This is probably one of the most embarrassing experiences, and if it’s happened to you, please don’t let it keep you from returning to the gym. Exercise is hard work, so it’s only natural if all that exertion results in some air seeping – or blasting – outwards. If by chance you’re the one that dealt it, you have a few options: Ignore it, laugh it off, or kindly excuse yourself. No biggie.
Elliptical machine issues – Having to cater to folks of varying sizes, sometimes the foot wells on these machines can be kinda large, making it hard to keep firm footing once the pace picks up. If you experience a little instability while working up a sweat on these machines, it may be a good idea to get the hang of them first at a slower pace before moving up to rapid speeds. Keeping hold of the handles is important too – they function as more than just a heart rate monitor.
Clothing mishaps – This happens probably way more than it should. Boobs popping out of skin-tight sports bras; shorts sagging down while on the treadmill; pants splitting wide open during a kickboxing class – online testimonials reveal the most hysterical fitness attire tragedies. Two very important factors in choosing optimum workout attire are comfortability and support. Looking cute is fabulous, but make sure you cover your bases to avoid the avoidable.
Weight machine mishaps/Lifting too much weight – Mastering the techniques of weightlifting require initial instruction to learn proper form to prevent injury & get the best results. When dealing with lifting weights and using large, complicated machines, the last thing anyone should be concerned with is keeping up appearances. Take time to learn how to operate the machine and learn the limits of your own body to avoid injury and embarrassment.
Vomiting – When folks don’t give their bodies enough time to digest their food, work-out on an empty tummy or push themselves to the limit, they run the risk of overturning the contents of their stomach. A Fitness 101 tip: if you begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous, find a place to lay flat and elevate your feet, but if you have to let it rip, get to the nearest toilet or trashcan, if you can.
Sweating in ‘awkward’ places/over-sweating – A sweat-free gym is like a food-free supermarket. If a workout is any good, your body is gonna excrete some kind of perspiration, but for some, sweat spot patterns may leave them feeling a tad vulnerable. Big ole wet patches around the crotch and posterior, for instance, can lead to feelings of humiliation. Excessive sweating, where exertion leaves one drenched from head to toe, can be a source of embarrassment too. To mask the wetness, give dark clothes a try, or moisture-wicking fabrics as found here and here that aid in evaporating wetness from skin.
Too much jiggling – While on the treadmill or cardio class, you may be annoyed at all that excess flesh jiggling about each and every time you move. Self-consciousness hits an even higher note when you begin to notice all the tight ’n’ tone bodies surrounding you, making you feel even more out of shape than ever before. Body image issues are one of the top reasons many people refuse to work out in health clubs. The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone has to start somewhere. Exercise physiologist Brian Housle’s words are ones to exercise by, “Focus on the task at hand. Wherever you work out — and whatever your hang-ups about doing so might be — try to ignore what other exercisers think or do and focus on how important physical activity is to your health.”
Nudity – Showering after a good workout is fundamental, especially if you’re heading to some sort of social setting afterwards. Fitness center locker rooms are there for your convenience, but they can be awkward, intimate quarters and not everyone is cool with the idea of getting naked in front of strangers and/or standing less than a stone’s throw away from strange naked bodies, and of course, the germs. All it takes is an adjustment in your daily schedule, and voila! You’ll have ample time to shower in the comfort of your own bathroom after a nice long work out.
Clutchettes, we know you’ve got ’em. What are some of your most embarrassing work-out moments?