Flying off treadmills and other embarrassing gym mishaps

29th January 2010

Flying off treadmills and other embarrassing gym mishaps

On a lighter note this week, MSNBC has a story out today on embarrassing gym mishaps, the bulk of which appear to occur in January by amateur gym-goers armed with freshly made new year’s resolutions.

Last year, there were more than 1,500 reports of exercisers landing in the emergency room after run-ins with workout equipment, according to data collected by the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission.

The agency estimates that when extrapolated to the rest of us, more than 50,000 people are treated in the ER each year after falling off exercise balls, getting snapped in the face by resistance bands, dropping heavy weights on their toes, tripping over jump ropes or flying off treadmills. Especially flying off treadmills.

When I moved from a graphic design position into a reporter role, one of the managing editors interviewing me asked why I think I’d make a good reporter.  I replied that I’ve publicly embarrassed myself so many times now that I have no qualms speaking to anyone about anything.  And yes, one of those embarrassing moments sadly involved me being propelled off the treadmill before an audience of early morning gym rats.  It was back in 2003, when I had finally achieved a fitness level in which I could run for more than a few minutes before collapsing in a huffing pile of red-faced exhaustion.  I had just upped the speed on the treadmill from a brisk power walk to moderate jog while reading a magazine to ward off the dreary monotony I’ve always found comes with running.  You know those annoying little subscription cards magazine publishers strategically place throughout that have the end result only of annoying readers?  As I flipped through the pages, a few of those cards spilled out onto the belt of the treadmill.  Fearing that I’d step on one and trip, I tried to strategically swoop down and flick it off all without losing my stride.  Yep.  You can imagine how this story ends.  I tripped, my headphone line got tangled in with the emergency stop button cord and I ended up ejected onto the floor with scrapes to my elbows and knees and a badly bruised pride.  All I could do was just sit there and laugh as a couple of concerned weight-lifters rushed to my aid.

How about you?  Do you have any embarrassing gym mishaps to share?

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Rachel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 14 responses to “Flying off treadmills and other embarrassing gym mishaps”

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  1. 1 On January 29th, 2010, Bountiful Luv Muffin said:

    I was in an exercise class, and the underwire in my bra started to poke me. I kept up with the routine and rooted around until I grabbed the offending wire. (I just imagine my right boob deflating like a balloon!) I ripped it loose and flung it into a nearby trash can. The instructor was the only person who saw what I did, and I thought she was going to fall out laughing!

  2. 2 On January 29th, 2010, Kathy said:

    A few years ago, when I was at my most gym-consistent, I had my own treadmill incident. I was jogging, probably 15-20 minutes into my workout, when I looked down and realized my shoe was untied. Yeah, you can guess where this is going… Unthinking as could be, I stopped and leaned down to tie it, with the treadmill still going, and FLEW off the back of the treadmill. Conveniently this was early early in the morning, so only the other early-birds saw my graceful exit of the treadmill, but still a miracle I didnt kill myself or creak something.

  3. 3 On January 30th, 2010, Lyndsay said:

    I have no stories because I think I’d have to live next door to a gym in order to go regularly. Recently I’ve started running in short spurts (about 250m at a time) daily on my way to the subway. I’d love to be able to run 4x that but wish I could know how much work it would take to get there.

  4. 4 On January 30th, 2010, Liz said:

    I’ve had many accidents while working out. Once I had the band around the arches of my feet (shoes) and my trainer was having me do something and it came loose and smacked me in the eye. I ended up with a small black eye from that. I once went flying off the treadmill while walking during the busy time at the gym. Luckily nothing too serious happened but some bruises and such. I almost hit my self in the face with a free weight when I was first started working out and didn’t really have the control with heavy weights. I’ve almost tripped over machines too. I’ve never tried jumping rope because I can only imagine what would end up happening. I’m generally clumsy so these things don’t really surprise me at all. The last thing that happened to me at the gym that I fell up the stairs before I even got to the working out part :)

  5. 5 On January 30th, 2010, Ashley said:

    Not as funny as yours, but I used to be on an exercise dance team and I brought my gym bag to the dance class (I was just recently robbed of my purse at work so I was really cautious of my belongings during this point) and I was looking for something in my bag, tons of people around me, and I quickly pulled my pants out of the bag and my sparkly red thong flew out with it, landed in the middle of the floor. It was pretty funny.

  6. 6 On January 30th, 2010, Aleya Bamdad said:

    Oh where should I start? Thee was the time when I fell on my butt in kick boxing. Then there was the time when I wasn’t watching where I was going and walked into the men’s locker room, which did contain a couple of guys in their tighty whiteys. But I think the worse one was when I put too many weights on the machine and ended up hanging from my arms. I guess you had to be there to see that one.

  7. 7 On January 31st, 2010, Catherine said:

    Getting so much ‘oh wow, I thought I was the only one who did that/thought that/was so unco-ordinated’ joy out of this post (in the nicest, most suuportive way :0). I just discoverd this blog tonight, wondering round the blogshere trying to distract myself from purging (I’m bulimic-in-slow-painful-occasionally hilarious-recovery) It’s certainly filled that role nicely. Much thanks and kudos to Rachel and others who keep this thing charging along and who dare to challange the mainstream views. Thanks heaps. Catherine, Melbourne, Aust.

  8. 8 On February 1st, 2010, Penny said:

    For several years, before I’d injured myself too often to keep justifying it to myself, I took a judo class. My sensei generally tended to start and end each class with a judo-adapted game as a warm-up and cool-down exercise. Shortly after I’d ordered my judogi (practice outfit) but before it came in, the class was playing what Sensei called “Japanese Bulldog”, which was basically “British Bulldog” but played on our hands and knees, and the object was to crawl very fast from one end of the dojo to the other without being pinned down by the people who’d volunteered to be “bulldogs”. On this particular occasion, I was wearing a pair of sweatpants, underneath which was a pair of underwear that was really too big for me, but nothing else had been clean that morning when I’d gotten dressed. On one of my passes across the dojo, one of the “bulldogs”, trying to catch up with me, grabbed me by the (very) elastic waistband of my sweatpants and also managed to get the waistband of my underwear, too…

    I ended up inadvertently mooning almost the entire class! :D

  9. 9 On February 1st, 2010, Elizabeth said:

    Penny, your reminded me of the time back in high school when we were playing flag football, and I grabbed the flag of a guy, except I accidentally grabbed the pocket of his shorts, and ripped them right off his body. :-O I’m not sure which of us was more embarrassed, him standing on the football field in his underwear, or me holding the tattered remains of his gym shorts.

  10. 10 On February 2nd, 2010, Eli said:

    I was really into a groove on the treadmill, running at a good speed, on my second mile, and somehow I slip and go flying off. With the genius-ness that comes from being hella tired from exercising, I figured my best option was to climb back on the treadmill… By grabbing on to the part that was still going at at least 6 miles an hour.
    By the third time of trying my brilliant plan and failing, something clicked and I realize “oh wait a second, this isn’t going to work” and got up the normal way.
    There was a ton of people at the gym, of course.
    And none of them went to help me (including my brother). Sad.

  11. 11 On February 2nd, 2010, Jackie said:

    I’d have to say, all of Phys Ed throughout my entire school career. Except maybe preschool, and like Stewie from Family Guy, I also was fond of parachute day.

  12. 12 On February 3rd, 2010, i-geek said:

    I avoid treadmills like the plague, so I don’t have any good stories. I haven’t yet fallen off of the elliptical or spin bike. However, I did take a core training class last semester. During the first class, I managed to fall off of my exercise ball during a simple exercise (knocking another student off of hers in the process), set off an avalanche of other exercise balls at a later point, and get “stuck” during an exercise circuit (by “stuck”, I mean that I was so tired and sore that I got halfway into position and couldn’t move either forward or back, so I was just laying on the mat moaning, arms and legs up in the air with the ball between them, while my friend laughed at me in between her own groans). It’s amazing that I went back the next week.

  13. 13 On February 5th, 2010, All Women Stalker said:

    I almost bumped into cardio machines because I got a little dizzy from walking on the treadmill. Walking that high up was a bit weird for someone who’s always been walking on rubber tracks or cement paths. I had to walk slowly and try to act as normal as possible.

  14. 14 On March 12th, 2010, Lampdevil said:

    Penny, you’re not the only one showing a wee bit too much in the dojo. :D I had gotten some new workout gear to wear beneath my gi. Alas, the sports bra didn’t offer nearly enough support, and karate was particularly jump-up-and-down that day. Yes. I flashed the entire class. Oh lord.

    Then there’s all the falling down that I tend to do. I trip on things! Things that aren’t even there! Me and the floor, we have an understanding. We’re good friends. We spend a lot of time together. It only ever seems to happen when I’m barefoot and in gi pants. The rest of the time I have balance like a mountain goat. Seriously.

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