You’re at the box, work through your WOD as usual, and it happens: you experience something embarrassing. Before you run out in horror, vowing never to return again, remind yourself that you aren’t the first person to have these kinds of situations. In fact, doing something horrifying at the health club is hardly novel; since the first caveman lifted a barbell, crazy things have happened in weight rooms, aerobics classes and public swimming pools!
Below are five of the more common gym snafus and how you can get through them without crawling into a corner.
1. Passing Gas
Male or female, we all have a digestive system, and sometimes it doesn’t play nicely. Whether you’re straining to do one more squat, or you’re sprinting on the treadmill, your body might just determine it’s high time to… er… “let go” of some extra air.
Though this may cause you momentary feelings of panic, it’s best to just accept that it happened. If others around notice, just laugh or shrug. The less you make of the incident, the less they’ll think about it.
2. Having a Wardrobe Malfunction
Gym shorts have a way of riding up the crotch or the backside, and that can mean one thing: Aa wardrobe malfunction. For gals, not all swimsuits or sports bras are supportive enough. This means it’s bending over or doing a Pilates pose could lead to inadvertently “flashing” other gym-goers.
While this is certainly upsetting, it’s important to remember that what’s done is done. At the very least, it’s an indication that something different will need to be worn when doing the same activity again.
3. Peeing a Little
This happens to a lot of females, especially after they’ve given birth. It’s difficult to control urination after the stress of having a baby for many women, and that means working out can lead to some unintended leakage, especially if you’re lifting some of the heavier construction-type equipment that CrossFit Boxes are known for having.
It’s a good idea to head to the bathroom at the first sign of this. In the future, make sure to empty your bladder before heading into the gym. If this doesn’t help, wearing a panty liner or pad could at least save some face.
4. Falling Off the Treadmill
YouTube is filled with videos of exercisers inauspiciously flying off treadmills. Although it might seem funny when it’s occurring to someone else, it’s not funny at all if you’re the victim. If you do trip on the treadmill and wind up face down, worry less about the awkwardness of the experience and more about any injuries you could have. Check yourself up and down, and be certain to tell someone at the gym. Health clubs have to fill out incident reports for insurance purposes, and this will protect you, too, if you discover later on that you hurt more than your pride.
Of course, the way to deal with this isn’t to get angry or upset. Just be as calm as you can, given the circumstances. If you find that you’re especially sore after the “incident”, take advantage of an aquatic therapy pool if your box or gym has one available. The next time you’re on a treadmill, though, be certain your shoes are tied, you aren’t distracted and you attach the special “Stop” clip to your clothing.
5. Dropping Your Weights
Some boxes have signs up that discourage athletes from dropping their barbells or free weights. However, the truth is that this sometimes happens. Yes, it can be humiliating to have everyone turn to look at who made the loud “CLANG!” noise, but it’s not the end of the world.
Unless there’s a reason to make a fuss about the event, don’t. Pick up the weights and go about your business. Eventually, all those eyes will focus on something more interesting than your reps.
Here’s hoping that all your workouts are fun and not mortifying… but if they do go south, just grin and bear it! That’s usually the most practical remedy of all. Besides, it’s a great story to tell your CrossFit buddies later over a post-workout protein shake.