real life

"The 5 most embarrassing things that have happened to me at the gym"

Image: We’ve all had those *facepalm* moments at the gym. Right? (Thinkstock)

I avoided the gym for years when my kids were young. I just couldn’t face it.

To me, the gym isn’t something to be done half-heartedly. When I become a member at a gym I like to dress the part, act the part and throw myself in. This sort of over-enthusiasm is always going to lead to an incident or two, which I am happy to share with you now for two reasons:

a. You might learn how to avoid making the same mistakes I did;

b. It might give you a bit of belly-laugh, which, let’s face it, most of us can use.

Okay, here goes (breathing deeply):

1. I got motion sickness on a treadmill

Upon my return to the gym, decked out in my new gym gear and feeling pretty fabulous, I decided it was a good idea to run on the treadmill as a way to gently reintroduce myself to the vigours of cardio.

I walked for ten minutes, slowly increasing my pace. And heck, I even added on a 1% incline because what the hell? I began a light jog and felt okay. My new sports undies were staying in place, my headphones hadn’t fallen out, and watching Ellen while running kept my mind off my lack of fitness.

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But I knew I was a bit out of shape and didn’t want to risk taking a sip of water while jogging – something I used to do with ease. I hopped off the moving part of the treadmill onto the side section so I could have a quick sip. A wave of dizziness, then violent nausea, hit me and as I staggered to the bin to vomit, I wondered if I’d gone a little too hard; a little too fast.

I never vomited. But I did sit on the floor for a while. It was explained to me by a super-fit trainer, who trotted over to gallantly hold my hair back if needed, that I had suffered from motion sickness, which can occur whenever the body has trouble adjusting to motion. By going from running to being stationary I had given myself motion sickness.

It could have been worse. I could have fallen on my face.

Embarrassing gym moments happen - but when your workout gear is as cute as this, it helps to heal the shame. Promise!:

2. I fell off a step at step aerobics

Step aerobics got me through my HSC. I attended three classes a week during Years 11 and 12 and credit it with stopping me from having the same nervous breakdown all my friends seemed to be having as we faced our final years of high school.

I was happy to see that step aerobics was still around and turned up for a class, knowing I could rock it. I used to be one of the best in the class, setting up my step in the front row with two levels instead of one, watching the newbies with sympathy and shaking my head (then there were the poor guys who just couldn’t nail the routines).

The class started off well enough. I was keeping up and catching onto most of the routines. It was during a single leg jump onto one side of the step that my then 37-year-old ankle simply gave way, causing me to topple to the floor.

Yep, too hard too fast once again. And if you think I learned from these incidents, you might want to keep reading...

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3. I walked into a glass door trying to sneak out of Body Attack class

I’m not one to shy away from new trends, especially when fitness is concerned. So my ankle refused to participate in Step Aerobics. Luckily for it and me, Body Attack didn’t require any equipment whatsoever. And as it was one of the most popular classes at my enormous gym, it took place in an expansive exercise studio complete with gripped floors, mirrored walls and super-sized air conditioning.

I bounded through the foyer of the gym feeling incredibly excited. This mum was going to blast through the class. I’d eaten my protein bar, used an extra-secure hair tie and I was raring to go.

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Here’s a tip... before walking into an exercise studio it’s a good idea to OPEN THE DOOR FIRST. But in my defence, handle aside, the glass of the door was so clean that I didn’t even see it.

My nose didn’t bleed for long, but I was a bit stunned. Yes, I still did the class. My dignity was at stake. And my ankle withstood the entire class. It knew better than to mess with me that day.

4. I got a mad crush on my male aerobics instructor even though I am a) married and b) he is not my type. He's just so bossy!

Just like that 'Call On Me' video

It’s nice to know that nothing has changed since I was a teenage gym member who developed crushes on all my male gym instructors. Because here I was, happily married with three children, gazing longingly at my aerobics trainer while he screamed orders into his Madonna-esque microphone.

I think it’s that he’s so confident, or demonstrates so much authority. Actually, I’m not sure what it is. All I know is that when I got my first wink from him, I became all puffed up like I was his favourite.

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He was a wink-slut by the way. I soon saw him wink at several other gym members during my time in his class. So I moved on to personal training sessions. Craig wasn’t my type at all but just had so much confidence in me. He talked to me with such belief that I COULD DO IT that I had to love him. And wonder what he looked like with his clothes off.

5. I farted during yoga class. Hey, it happens...

The only way to keep my ankle/dignity/libido in line was to embrace a more relaxing workout such as yoga. I’d never done a yoga class before but thought I’d give it a whirl. I was secretly worried I would fall asleep if I had to lay in one spot for too long.

It turns out napping was the least of my problems.

Did you know that yoga is so effective that your entire body enters a relaxed state, including your anal passage? It wasn’t a particularly loud fart and if it weren’t so damn quiet in the class, it could have been mistaken for a shoe squeaking on the floor. Sadly for me, it couldn’t have been more pronounced. As my face burned the instructor patiently explained to the gigglers that passing gas during class was in fact normal and frequent and could happen to any of them.

Yes, I finished the class. My dignity was at stake.

Come on. Time to share: what's the worst thing that has ever happened to you at the gym or during a workout?

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