I have always yearned to be one of those cool, calm gym goers who look like they belong on a magazine cover in all their sweaty glory as they exercise. I, on the other hand, am a big ball of awkward at the gym, a constant source of entertainment for others and embarrassment for myself. After a particularly mortifying incident the other day, after which I would have liked nothing better than to crawl into my drawstring bag and cinch it around my neck, I discussed my latest goof with my friends, and realised that I am not the only one who has, on more than one occasion, thoroughly mortified themselves in a gym full of strangers. Here are some of the more commonly occurring moments and amusing anecdotes shared by my friends and family. Their names, of course, have been changed to protect their privacy.
1. When you have a serious wardrobe malfunction and don’t realize it.
“After a particularly strenuous aerobics class was over, I realized that my brand new yoga pants had a monstrous rip on the buttocks area, which meant that every time I had bent over, I gave everyone behind me a view of my brightly patterned underwear. The most awful part is that I was right in the front of the room, doing squats and lunges the whole time.” (Sammy, 36)
2. When you’re caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing.
“When I was in university, I would often go to the gym just to use their showers. My dorm showers would never have enough hot water, usually I would wear workout clothes to go in, but once I was running late for a presentation and went in my PJs. The desk manager gave me the weirdest look when I rushed out just 15 minutes later all dressed up.” (Sheba, 23)
3. When you don’t really know how to use certain machines, but try anyway and make a fool of yourself.
“I smacked my head into the lat pulldown bar as I was trying to catch the eye of a cute guy across the room. It made a loud twanging noise and everyone in the area turned to see.” (Lucy, 25)
4. When you meet the last person you want or expect to see at the gym.
“The morning after a particularly raunchy one night stand, I went to the free personal training session I had signed up for, only to discover that the trainer was the guy I had hooked up with.” (Lizzy, 29)
5. When you leave sweat on the equipment and are unable to clean it.
“After an especially strenuous workout, the seat of my stationary bike was soaked. When I got off and before I could spray and wipe it down, someone in an obvious rush plopped down on the seat and once they realized what had happened, gave me the nastiest look ever.” (Anna, 37)
6. When you get an awkward wedgie and try to remove it discretely.
“This has happened to me more times than I care to count. It is always at the most inopportune moments that you develop the worst wedgies. Each time I have tried to wiggle it out discretely and it has never worked. I have always just had to yank it out in an undignified manner.” (Maria 33)