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These hilarious exercise stories remind us that fitness doesn’t need to be flawless

In every ad for exercise gear, everyone looks so impossibly beautiful. Sure, sometimes they’re ‘sweating’, but somehow that only makes them look even more striking and perfectly put together. There’s not a blotchy red face or camel toe in sight, just slightly damp people wearing loads of lycra. If someone tried to put a camera in my face after I went for a run, I would smash the camera to pieces and eat the shards of it just for good measure.

We all know exercise is good for you. It makes you healthy and fit, it’s great for your brain too, and exercise can even be fun – especially when you reflect on how wonderful it is that exercise gets people dancing, bouncing, skating or actually meeting in parks to play Quidditch, despite the fact that, well, erm… they can’t fly.

But exercise only becomes fun once you get over the fact that it’s also sometimes awkward and embarrassing, and occasionally gross. So in the spirit of sharing, here are some of those lol-worthy times.

“My mum once gave herself concussion by sitting on a stomach cruncher – she had no idea you were supposed to lie down to use it!!”

“Two weeks ago my best friend decided she’d give yoga a go and within minutes of doing a pose she farted. She apologised and we all tried to ignore it, only for her to then fart again within 30 seconds! The session turned into ‘laughter yoga’ at that point.”

“Not so long ago I had fallen asleep on a train, and was dreaming I was at the gym doing power presses (I wonder about myself sometimes). I awoke as I pushed both arms into the air in true weightlifting fashion. Everyone was looking at me. God knows what I was doing before I woke up. Then had to sit there sheepishly for the rest of the journey – half an hour has never felt so long…”

“There I was in the gym, many years ago, doing a very unflattering move where I lay on my back and opened and closed my legs repeatedly. I heard someone say hello, looked through the gap in my spread legs and there was the lad I had a monster crush on from school. Grinning at me. Excellent.”

“I regularly swum at my women-only gym, and after a two week holiday, I was keen to get in the water. So I went to the gym, got changed into my cossie and left the changing room. I flung open the door to the pool… and stepped into a weights room filled with muscly men grunting away. They all stopped what they were doing to look at me – I was horrified and hastily retreated back into the changing room. I went to the front desk to demand what had happened to the pool – I’d only been gone for two weeks!!! – only to be told: “It kept leaking so we filled it in and made it a weights room. Oh and by the way the the gym is co-ed now, so you might see some guys wandering around.” Really?? You tell me now??!!”

“I went to an Advanced Step class by mistake when I’m very much a beginner, and couldn’t keep up with the moves as it moved so fast. I did an embarrassed moonwalk out of the studio. It was not a pretty sight, all gangly and uncoordinated. It felt like a scene from Miranda.”

“When I was 12, I took up ballet. This was a terrible idea. I cannot fully emphasise to you the extent to which this was an awful idea. Remember when Lady Gaga wore a dress made of literal meat to the Met Gala? This idea was worse than that. I am clumsy and awkward and I struggle to follow even simple instructions, three things that are quite crucial to ballet. Once we had to do this weird jumpy exercise that everyone aside from me knew, I ended up crashing into three people and falling on the floor. I was always put in the back corner after that…”

“I once went to a Zumba class after eating a pretty huge burrito for lunch. “It’s fine, I’ll work it off!” I thought. Fast forward an hour and I’ve had to run out of the class in front of everybody to throw up. The lesson? Salsa and salsa don’t mix.”

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Image: Amber Griffin

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