If there was an award for most embarrassing workout that would definitely go to MMA! Nothing like getting your head clamped in someone else’s sweaty crotch. At least it was Allison’s!
Setting aside the time I peed my pants running the mile in high school, the time I almost lost my virginity in a tragic bowling pin accident in elementary school and my entire three years of middle school, I’ve still had an epic amount of embarrassing fitness moments over the past five years. The first problem is that fitness is, by it’s very nature, embarrassing. You have to do some seriously weird poses, making some strange noises and all while wearing relatively little clothing. That plus all the bodily fluids – I’ve puked, peed, fainted, squirted breast milk, made sweat angels on the weight benches and contaminated half the gym with pink eye – equals a recipe for humiliation. The second problem is, well, me. If there is a way to have a wardrobe malfunction or be betrayed by my own body then I have done it. Really the only question you should be asking at this point is “ONLY 10 embarrassing stories this time, Charlotte?” Feel free to laugh. With me. Mostly. (Okay they totally weren’t funny at the time.)
My Top 10 Most Embarrassing Fitness Moments (in no particular order – because can you really rank utter humiliation??)
(And pics like the above, from our Eleventy Things To Do With a Jump Rope workout for Shape didn’t really help.)
1. The jump rope incident. Showing off my mad speed rope skillz in boot camp one day I tripped over the rope and whipped myself. This in and of itself was not uncommon. The Gym Buddies and I were so covered in welts during our Jump Rope Experiment that people thought we were in some kind of kinky cult. But this time I snapped myself across the butt at just the right angle that it put a hole in my tight lycra pants the size of a quarter. If that wasn’t bad enough, the hole then ran, like nylons do, from one cheek to the other. There was nothing to do but stay in the back of the pack for the rest of the workout with Allison’s sweatshirt tied around my waist. I skipped the squats.
Heck yes, we worked out in this get-up! It was Lady Gaga day!!
2. The vibrator incident(s). At the Y, the childcare staff give us pagers in case of a poop emergency. Unfortunately it can be hard to find a good spot to stick these pagers so after experimenting with different locations, I finally decided the waistband of my yoga pants was good enough and took off for a jog around the track. It wasn’t until I heard my (male) friend singing “I see London, I see France…” that I realized I had a problem. The weight of the pager had been slowly pulling down the top of my pregnancy-stretched pants until, yes, there was a moon on the horizon.
Oh but this was not the end of the fun those devilish little things had with us! The pagers vibrate and so, understandably, the Gym Buddies occasionally refer to them as… vibrators. Apparently someone forgot to turn their pager in and so the staff was asking anyone if they had taken one home.
Staff: Do have one at home?
Allison: One what?
Staff points at the pager
Allison, cheerily: Oh, you want to know if I have a vibrator at home?
Staff: Let’s just call them pagers, okay?
Allison, beet red: Well then, no, I don’t have one.
This leotard was most notable for the weird places all those sequins ended up. #ouch #costumefail
3. The I-thought-it-was-a-shirt incident. 101 ways to cut up your t-shirt sounds like a good idea in theory. You take one ratty race tee and with a few snips you’ve got cardio couture! Except that I failed to take into account the ultra thin fabric of my tee and the fact that as I worked out the knots got looser. One handstand later during cooldown found me with my new creation partially obscuring my face and totally twisted around my arms. I wrestled around on the floor with it like a lime green octopus in 20,000 leagues under the sweaty sea before I finally realized it had basically just disintegrated. (But thank heavens for full coverage sports bras!) Holding my gym bag in front of me, I made a mad dash to the locker room. I thought I was all clear and no one had seen my disaster until two guys on the way out yelled “Thanks for the flash!!” You’re welcome. Not.
Just Megan and I doing shoulder press push-ups. Nothing to see here. Move along.
4. The noxious gas in Turbokick incident. …The moment you realize that processed soy meat replacement products do not agree with you. It was, literally, green in that poor enclosed studio. I’ve been apologizing ever since.
Krista and I are so competitive we actually measured our tongues to see whose was longer. We tied.
5. The stripper squat incident. There’s a leg move that Turbo Jennie likes to call “the stripper squat”. It’s basically a butt-to-heels squat down with that weird little in-out leg thing strippers do on the way back up. To up the sexxxy, you straighten your legs and stand up butt first. I’m not explaining this well. Which is probably why I can’t do it well. Anyhow, my ineptitude at faux-stripping was all fine and dandy when it was just us girls in the aerobics studio but one day I was trying to demonstrate the move for Gym Buddy Lisseth… and we just happened to be standing in front of the unisex bathroom door. For once in my life I totally nailed it and just as I dropped it like it was hot a grizzled, beefy weightlifter came out. The timing could not have been better (or worse, actually) as he got the full effect of my stand up and hair toss as if I’d done it just for him. The look on his face was priceless – pretty sure if he’d had a dollar I’d be that much richer – but the look on my face was sheer horror. I swear I’m not that kind of girl!! (Disregard #3. And #2. And #1. Thank you.)
Lots of our embarrassing moments came from equipment failures. Like this time when I made my own “sandbag”. We worked out with it for 10 minutes and then had to spend an hour cleaning it up grain by grain off the gym floor.
6. The Tony Horton and Shaun T incident. No matter how many celebrity interviews I’ve done, heaven help me but I still turn into a total fangirl whenever I land someone I really adore. And such was the case when I got to interview Tony Horton, God of P90X. He was so funny and charming! I was asking intelligent questions! All was rainbows and Dreya rolls! Until I blurted out “I loved Insanity! Those plyos were awesome!” You guys: Tony Horton did not invent Insanity. Shaun T did. And while they are both hilarious, hyper energetic and super buff, the former is white and the latter is black. How I missed this difference watching hours of each set of videos I still do not know.
What? Tutus totally make Bulgarian Split Squats easier! Don’t believe me? Try it. No seriously, do it.
7. The smoothie incident. If you’ve ever been in a gym you’ll know that the only thing more ubiquitous than weights that people have “forgotten” to put away are random water bottles. And if everyone shops at Target (as we all do here in the Midwest) when Target has a sale on bottles (as they always do) then we all have the exact same bottle in varying colors. Plus when I’m sweaty my brain stops working! The Gym Buddies are so used to me accidentally drinking out of theirs that they hardly call me on it anymore. But one day, I picked up a bottle and took a long swig only to realize mid-swallow that I was downing a protein shake and not water. First, it was nasty. (I will never understand how some people can just mix protein powder with water and drink it! I’d rather snort the powder off the plastic spoon it comes with.) Second, it was not mine. Nor was it the Gym Buddies. I don’t know whose it was. But I put it down and nonchalantly walked away. Yeah, I didn’t even tell them I drank out of their bottle. I should probably get tested for Hepatitis now…
A REAL friend will spot you in a press-to-handstand. Even if that means she ends up with your crotch in her face.
8. The panty liner incident. Good news: Fila makes some amazing “shaping” workout pants! Bad news: The fabric is ultra slippery! A fact I discovered when I tried to put a panty liner in the gusset. There were air jacks and plyo burpees coming my way, I had to be prepared! But halfway through class something caught my eye. Why would there be a crumpled piece of white paper on the floor? I wondered. Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t paper but a panty liner gone rogue out the leg of my bootcut pants. Horror stricken I did what any girl would: I stepped on it. And that adhesive that was so wimpy it couldn’t hang on to my pants? Stuck like glue to the bottom of my shoe. I tried to kick it off to no avail. So I remained glued to the floor while all my fellow aerobicizers jumped around me. At last I bent over like I was tying my shoe, scraped that sucker off the bottom and threw it in my gym bag. I don’t think anyone knew. Although I probably just ruined that. C’est la vie.
“And that, Megan, is where the babies come from. Not your bellybutton.”
9. The sneeze-puke headstand incident. I shot puke out my nose while sneezing in a headstand. In case you missed my hand-drawn pictorial play-by-play (also known as my most disgusting post ever, thanks to reader votes) you can still read it in all it’s technicolor glory. I love you this much.
Remember the time I photobombed a supermodel!?
10. The I-still-can’t-talk-about-it-without-dying-inside incident. For whatever reason, this one probably is my most embarrassing moment ever. To this day I can’t even think about it without turning 8 shades of red. Years ago I was in a running group. We were all tight, it was like a workout and free group therapy, and I totally loved it. One day I was pacing with a guy friend (back in the day when I ran enough to actually pace and not just drag myself asthmatically up a hill) and neither one of us was paying enough attention to the sidewalk. At the last minute he saw the fire hydrant coming at us and dodged sideways. As he did so, his arm knocked into my arm and he hit my hand right into his junk. Hard. (No that’s not a euphemism) I screamed and jumped backward. He immediately turned bright red (whether from pain or embarrassment I know not) and stammered “Ahhhh I am SO SORRY!” and then I was all “No, I’M so sorry!” and then he was like “Are you hurt?” and I was like “No! Totally fine! Totally!! Are you?” and then he winced, stumbled and was like “Oh no, of course not!”… for the next three miles. Worst three miles ever. Gah. I would just like to say again: I swear I’m not that kind of girl.
My weight might have been a wee bit unbalanced. Also: weighted hip thrusts. Really?!
So! You workout, you must have an embarrassing moment! (Right??) I want to hear all about it! What have you done in the name of fitness that still makes you blush remembering it? Also, Shape has commissioned me to write a “readers most embarrassing fitness moments” slideshow and I’d love to include yours! You can choose to be anonymous or you can wear it with pride and I can link back to your blog and even include a picture of you if you like.
Note: I will NOT use the stories in the comments here unless you give me explicit permission to do so. If you DO want your story considered for the Shape.com slideshow, please say so. Also, if you want me to link to your blog and/or use your picture please give me that info as well!