Happy Tuesday! Are you in full holiday swing? Me either. Whatever, don’t worry or anything, I mean there’s still time to get it together. It’s sort of embarrassing that I have absolutely no holiday spirit this year. Speaking of embarrassing, that’s what today’s optional topic is all about over at one of my favorite link-ups, #DishTheFit with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers, “Embarrassing Fitness Experiences”.
Embarrassment is one of life’s most painful, yet humbling, emotional states. Let’s face it, we’ve all done something that makes our cheeks and ears go red and leaves us searching for the nearest rock to reside under permanently. However, when these blunders occur professionally, it can make a moment seem like an eternity and make you feel like every fabulous thing you’ve ever done will forever be forgotten.
“You’re not as dumb as you look.”
A couple of years ago, while I was attending a Kinesiology lecture, I got very interested in a particular part of the discussion. The lecturer was talking about the science of resistance training and it was so interesting. I looked like a pro; I was taking notes, nodding my head, and genuinely hanging on every word that came out of the speaker’s mouth. So, naturally, when the floor was opened up to ask questions I thought, “I’m going to ask something and engage in this lecture.” So, I raised my hand, along with countless others, and was eventually called on to stand up and ask my question. I knew in my head that what I was asking was a legitimate question and one that would be useful to apply to everyday life. So, there’s me, standing up, looking all confident – here it goes,
Me: “What’s the difference between an 8 and a 10 pound weight?”
Lecturer: “Two pounds.”
Me: “Oh, I mean, I know it’s two pounds, but what’s the difference physically?”
Lecturer: “Still two pounds.”
Me: “Hahaha. (They’re laughing with me, not at me…) Let me rephrase, what is the IMPACT of using a 10 pound weight vs. and 8 pound weight?”
Lecturer: “There we go, it’s…”
Honestly, in my head, that question made sense, but when I stood up, openened my mouth, and the words came out even I was like, “omg you just sounded like a total airhead!” I held my own though, because I am REALLY good at laughing at myself. I approached the lecturer after at the cocktail hour and asked, “hey, what’s the difference between asking a question incorrectly twice the same way? Nothing.” I introduced myself and we both laughed it off. Handle your blunders with swagger and nobody can touch you, my friends!
A shoe in? A shoe out.
I have been an indoor cycling instructor for several years now, and have done or said countless ridiculous things over said years. However, one instance happened early on in my instructing days and it was so ridiculous, someone had to leave the class to pee she was laughing so hard. So, when I first started instructing it was primarily as a substitute. Sometimes I would just be attending class myself and they would ask me to fill in on the spot. One evening, I was at the gym to just work out on my own, when I was asked if I could fill in for an instructor who was stuck in traffic and wasn’t going to make it. I agreed, but didn’t have my cycling shoes with me. There was a couple of pairs of shoes behind the desk, but none of them were my exact size. I’m a size 7 and the closest size they had was an 8. I went with the 8, thinking it would totally be okay for the 45 minutes I was using them.
So, I came in, and started the class. The shoes were a little loose on me, but I actually started thinking, “I should get a bigger size, these are so roomy and feel great!” Moving ahead, about 25 minutes into the class, I added some sprinting intervals into the climb we were working on. I was moving along, confidently saying, “add a little more gear/we’re picking this hill up/push” This is when it happened; as soon as I started my sprint, MY FOOT CAME OUT OF THE SHOE! I’m so not kidding. So there I am, with my shoe-less foot at a 90 degree angle, trying to slow down my other foot, which was currently at a 110 cadence. It. Looked. Ridiculous.
The only part that saved me from total ruin was that it was so funny that even I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I don’t know why I couldn’t have just used my sneakers that day, but I learned from that point on, that friends don’t let friends wear cycling shoes that don’t fit! It’s always a plus if the instructor leads a class NOT wearing over-sized shoes. Lesson learned!
We’re only human
I have plenty of other embarrassing things in my vault, for sure, but when I first read the topic for this week’s link-up, these two incidents stuck out in my mind the most. Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes and have mishaps all the time. It’s what makes us human! The best way to handle embarrassment, I feel, is to be able to laugh at yourself and take something from it. Does this mean I’ve stopped forming questions like a jackass? Um, no, I can still sound pretty ditsy most of the time. Seriously, you should have seen me playing scrabble a few weeks ago with my English major sister, her Ivy League educated journalist boyfriend Walter, and my bookworm smarty-pants husband. Let’s just say, I’m nothing if not entertaining!
What’s your most embarrassing fitness story? How do you recover from an embarrassing moment? Let me know and join in the conversation at www.thefitswitch.org and www.jillconyers.com and #DishTheFit!