Health and Wellbeing

The dangers of exercise – A cautionary tale.

July 23, 2013
what I think I look like....

what I think I look like….

I joined the gym this week because I’m determined to bring sexy back to suburbia. I’m strong and sturdy stock but I wouldn’t say I’m a natural athlete. The thought of running endless kilometres or cycling until my arse is numb doesn’t appeal, so to keep my interest piqued I’m more of a group fitness chick.

I’ve sampled a variety of classes this week and I just suffered my first injury.

I was rocking it like a white chick in Zumba. I was salsaing, sashaying, and gyrating my way to hotness when I realised my glow had progressed into a full blown sweat which needed a wipe, in case the drip fell off my nose and landed in front of me. When your pelvic floor is as shithouse as mine, any drops on the floor can cause a minor heart attack. My towel was off to the side so I just grabbed the bottom of my oversized singlet (the de rigeur apparel for almost middle-aged hip-hoppers) and swiped it across my sweaty face.

Unbeknownst to me, a piece of sushi rice from lunch had hardened into to a razor that slashed my nostril, causing me to make a girly squeal. Thankfully it was in time with the Carib beats and the instructor mistook it for enthusiasm. The ensuing frantic wiping of my stinging nose was also not unlike my trip to the Caribbean but that’s another story.

It’s not the first time I’ve injured myself in the gym.

I’ve attended numerous gyms over the past 15 years so it stands to reason that someone as klutzy as I would have sustained a few injuries. For the most part they’re lame ass injuries. Kicked a dumbbell, shin gauge in the spin room, armpit chaffing and such.

I dare say the most fantastic of all, and one of my all time most embarrassing moments, was at Fitness First in Bondi Junction. I was on a treadmill in a cardio room filled with gorgeous young ladies who never broke a sweat. They wore matching LuluLemon ensembles in pastel shades that highlighted their perfect tans, and their carefully applied make up screamed ‘I spent hours to look this natural’.

I’m one of those beetroot faced exercisers. You know the ones. The second they start warming up their head goes puce and you wonder if they’ll need a paramedic before the class is out.

what I actually look like...

what I actually look like…

Anyway, I was in all my purple glory after a half hour run on the treadmill when my left foot ventured off the belt and onto the stationary side part. This caused the foot on the treadmill to flick out behind me like a ballistic ballerina on meth. Accompanying said acrobatics was a big, high, girly squeal, just loud enough to draw the attention of everyone within a five mile radius. Fearing the worst I tried to steady myself, but I over compensated in my panic and my other foot to hit the other stationary side.

I could smell my fate (or was it my feet?) and I could not stop it. Before you could say Geronimo, you unco wench, I was on my knees on the treadmill, and being unceremoniously spat off the back.

I cracked up. How hilarious! Imagine that??? If I saw someone do that I would quite possibly pee my pants laughing but the room was silent. I looked around and everyone pretended they couldn’t see me. So much more humiliating than pointing and laughing.

What was wrong with these people??? They couldn’t have not noticed the almost six-foot beet-headed woman, arms and legs flailing across the cardio room.

The attractive girl I landed on was simply forced to acknowledge me as I was in a heap at the foot of her machine.

‘You ok?’ she asked disinterestedly, never losing a stride on her Cross Trainer.

‘Yeah, are you? Wasn’t that the funniest thing you’ve ever seen???’ I asked

Get this…. she rolled her eyes. Stride, swish, stride, swish, so forth and so on….

I jumped back on the metaphorical horse, trying to save the tiny amount of face I may possibly still have had, but my wrist was smarting, and my knees were stinging and my pride was somewhere under a piece of equipment. That would have been bearable, but every ten seconds or so I would imagine myself on my knees flying across the room and crack up again.

In summary, the gym is a place of torture. Sure, the benefits are many and varied, but take note that danger is around every corner, and humiliation is just a treadmill mishap away.

Have you suffered a gym mishap? Can you make me feel coordinated with a similar tale of embarrassment?

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Hooking up with the Essentially Excellent Jess and the IBOT kids because I’m blogging on Tuesday.

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  • Reply finallygotsomethingtosay July 23, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I am also of the beetroot-face clan. The first time I took a boxing class, years ago, I tried so hard to keep up I passed out. I went to grab sime wter because I knew I felt lightheaded, but I was too late. I came to on the floor with an aching jaw. The worst psrt? No one even noticed. They were all so wrapped up in their own calorie-burning endeavors that not a single person saw me keel over. An auspicious beginning. I did end up loving boxing, though. I just made sure to be right in front from then on.

  • Reply Kel July 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Well, the tale of your treadmill escapade and the video have my pelvic floor on the verge of failing me! But I’ve never been a gym girl – my best friend and I tried our best to be gym people when we were in highschool. We would put on our cutest shorts and shirts, got new runners and everything. And then we’d go buy masses of M&M’s and coke and watch trashy TV while we observed the action on the treadmills.
    Sadly, nothing exciting ever happened – but on the odd occasion when we ran out of M&M’s and decided to at least stand near the machines and hopefully achieve a workout through osmosis, we would put the treadmill up to full speed and see how long we could keep up.
    The potential for hilarious, if not incredibly painful, results was worth it.

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design July 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Thoroughly entertaining piece. I’ve never heard of rice referred to as a potential body hazard, but I’ve eaten and dropped enough grains of rice to know it’s forgotten texture.

    I’ve never been in a gym. I know it’s good for you but it feels counterproductive to me. I never understood people who drive everywhere and then use a treadmill. The monotony of machines doesn’t appeal, though a class might. Running makes me want to vomit. I enjoy walking. Maybe one day I’ll be one of those walking stick nerds hiking up the country side. But for now, I use exercise as a means of transport.

  • Reply ultramarindance July 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’m an instructor, and injuries in group classes are my worst nightmare, because I always feel responsible for everything that happens in my class. I think your entry actually made ME feel better because I can try thinking that some people have a natural inclination for mishaps and it’s not all my fault really, and because I know that there are people who can laugh about that stuff, not making a big deal out of it. Thanks for pointing out the humor in those situations.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Oh, I’m a fairly graceless creature!!
      I can pick up moves with ease, just not gazelle like in my execution!!

  • Reply themisscinders July 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Hahaha! I would have laughed along with you!.. After I got over the panic that you may have hurt yourself!

    Although I’d have to actually go to a gym to witness something like that anyway! I haven’t been to the gym since I was about 13yo!

    I can totally relate to beetroot face though! I swear after a minute of running I look brighter than a beetroot! Doesn’t stop me though!

    MC x

    • Reply themisscinders July 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Now I’m giggling because I didn’t realise I used so many exclamation marks… *shakes head*

  • Reply [email protected] of Toast July 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Very funny read – thank you! I am proud to say I have never been injured in a gym. This is because I have never actually set foot in a gym. You can’t be too careful…

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

      I think that’s wisest. Safety first!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 23/07/2013, at 11:47 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Kristie July 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    This made me laugh out loud, imagining you flying off the back of a treadmill!

  • Reply Lisa - lybliss July 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Laughed Out Loud – that’s bloody funny! I am so unco in a gym and can’t help but put shit on those who take it too seriously. We could totally be gym buddies ( only so long as we can stop at Bakers Delight on the way home). My story – Once I was at the gym, running on the treadmill and feeling Oh-So-FIne, facing towards 5 mounted wide screen TV’s. All of a sudden on each screen came Food – Masterchef, Jamie Oliver, Kylie Kwong…. OMG I was so instantly distracted I FELL OFF the treadmill. Tre’ styl-ish ! Nothing like a sweaty, middle aged, lycra clad arse high in the air while Jamie says “That’s Pucka that is!”

  • Reply Me July 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I am the beet-faced lady when I run ! Oh no – I wish I had been there (a) to give you a hand up and (b) I would have absolutely cracked up with you !!!!
    Have the best day that you can !

  • Reply [email protected] July 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I may or may not have shot off the back of a treadmill, only to leave a (small) hole in the wall. OK, I did, but at least it was at home.
    How could they not laugh at or even better, with you???
    Gotta watch that rice too, it can be deadly 🙂

  • Reply pieterk515 July 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    By now the whole office has seen the posted treadmill fail video. Its tears and hysterics! Thanks for that. It’s also a great visual aid to your story which had me in stitches.

    I also share your view on the places of torture i.e. exercise. Check it out if you want…

  • Reply Have a laugh on me July 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    When I was training (losing weight) for my wedding I used to SMASH it at the gym, pool and weights area. There were many a times I used to fall off the machine, I used to just shake it off and blame my iPod xxx

  • Reply ksbeth July 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    like you, i am instantly red, the moment i move a muscle. people are constantly asking me if i am okay. i can totally empathize with your experiences, i think i’ve done every humiliating thing in the book at the gym over the years. last one was i found out i really had a paper thin inseam on my leggings which had totally worn through by the time i got off the elliptical. my daughter alerted me and i tied her jacket around my waist after flashing god knows how many gym-goers )

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      I have thighs that rub and EVERY pair of jeans wears out in the thigh! What’s up with that????

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 24/07/2013, at 3:40 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply frazzledandfortyish July 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Love it!! I’m lucky enough to love exercising – gym, sports, running, cycling … but never have enough time. Hence my first personal training session ever earlier this week has left me a little battered!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Good for you! Battered in just the right ways though…. I’m loving my new health kick. Yes, time is the issue.

  • Reply Grace July 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Bahaha! Love it!!! I used to go to Fitness First and Bondi Junction and I swear…there wasn’t a single personality that could be found in that spin or body pump classes. If I had been there, I would’ve totally wet my pants! Shame we didn’t bump equipment, uh, I mean cross paths 🙂

  • Reply Nina July 25, 2013 at 4:34 am

    I didn’t have a klutzy moment but I do have an embarrassing moment: I took advantage of the gym’s free personal training session, and I did not want to lose face and say this was too hard. So on I went, lunging with 10 lb dumbbells and doing crazy stuff that was out of my league when my body does what it does when it’s overworked: I barfed. Thankfully I barfed in a trash can, but it wasn’t in the bathroom; it was the trash can for the whole room. And it stank the place up big time. Oh lord, I cut that training session short and fast!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 25, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Nina!! That’s awesome. How cringeworthy.

      You are definitely in the uncool gum gang.


      Sent from my iPhone

      On 25/07/2013, at 4:34 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Vanessa Beattie (@BabblingBandit) July 25, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Very funny! I go very red too when I exercise. My worst fear is farting when laying on my back doing any sort of leg stretching with a trainer. I don’t do group exercise other than spin classes. I’m too unco for any of the other options out there. Tried step once, fell out of step very quickly while right up the front of the class. Rather than to humiliate myself further I just picked up my step, water and towel and left. And the red face I sported wasn’t because I exerted myself too much! V.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

      That’s hilarious. You and I should get together and work out sometime… Oh, hang that, let’s drink coffee or martinis and talk about inappropriate wind!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 25/07/2013, at 7:47 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply progressisperfection July 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Reblogged this on Progress Is Perfection and commented:
    Love this post, had me laughing the whole way through. I had to share with the rest of our blog followers 🙂
    – Veronica

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