That Awkward Gym Moment When...

There’s a reason many people gravitate to obscure areas of the gym: Awkward moments are inevitable when working out.


Sometimes it seems like every eye is on you, which makes even the smallest flub mortifying. Here are some of the most common blunders everyone can relate to. (These may or may not have come from my own experiences).

You Can't Figure Out a Machine.

You don’t just need some level of athletic ability for exercise — you’ll also need common sense. There are few things more humiliating than sitting down at a machine and not being able to work it. Sure, it gives you a picture as a description, but a real-life example would be helpful. The confusion on your face is evident, and you have to experience the walk of shame away from the machine without finishing a single rep.

You Are Busted Mid-Selfie.

If you didn’t take a pic documenting your workout experience, did it even happen? The people staring at your staged facial expression mid-workout clearly don’t understand that concept, and they'll let you know you didn't get away with it.

You Completely Miss Your Mouth.

You’re basically dying of thirst. You go in for a big swig and … you miss your mouth completely. Dribble stains your chin and shirt. There goes your dignity.

You Dance Like No One's Watching ... But They Are.

Music is about as necessary to working out as breathing. And when your jam comes on, you can’t be expected to just stand still. Unfortunately, there’s no way to bust a move and remain unseen. The more uncoordinated and enthusiastic your moves, the more awk the situation becomes.

You Trip on a Treadmill.

If it’s easy to trip on a sidewalk, how much easier is it to trip on a high speed version of a grocery store conveyer belt? Yep, it’s not that hard.

You Get Coached by a Stranger.

I’m unsure why some people think I want them to interrupt my workout to explain everything I’m doing wrong. Just a newsflash to these personal trainer wannabes: Most people are self-conscious about working out in front of others already. Thank you for making it worse. A few pointers are welcome. But a full-on personal training session? I did not sign up for this.

You Embarrass Yourself in a Zumba Class.

If you go to Zumba — or really any dancing class — there’s a good chance you’ll struggle. Not only is it an often-underestimated workout, but you also have to keep up with the instructor who is practically a professional. Those of us who have issues with simple coordination are positively doomed to become the laughing stock of the class.

You Are Caught Staring at Yourself in the Mirror.

You’ve done a few sets of ab exercises, so naturally, you have to check your six pack progress in the nearest mirror. Or maybe you stare for a bit because your form just looks that good, right? It happens.

You Go for the Same Equipment as Someone Else.

You both go in. First, the uncomfortable pause and stare. The “after you,” “no, after you” follows. There’s no good way to solve this.

You Drop Your Weight.

You have big weight-lifting aspirations for your workout that day. Too big. You go for it, only to end with a bang. The bang of the weights falling, that is. Naturally, the crash draws the attention of everyone in the vicinity, and your weakness is evident to all.


If you have experienced any of these, take comfort in knowing you’re not the only one. Awkward moments happen. Laugh it off, and keep going. And as always,

Be well, Auburn.


Photography: Cat S

Every day is an Auburn Adventure for Cassie as she lives "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Cassieness."

Her favorite ways to stay active include daily treks to class, playing volleyball or tennis, spontaneous dancing, and taking advantage of the Recreation and Wellness Center.

Cassie enjoys expressing herself through creative stories with endings that may only be revealed in 140 characters or less.