People admit their worst gym stories…

Stuff happens at the gym that never happens anywhere else and I have no idea why. I asked my friends about this phenomenon and got more responses than I could print, so here are the 10 most awkward, in no particular order:

1. The not-so-G-rated grandma. “My mom and my grandma went into the gym when my grandma was in town visiting. They wanted to see if she could get a guest pass. My grandma has never owned tennis shoes and generally only wears high heels, but for the gym she was planning on wearing flip-flops. My mom calls flip-flops ‘thongs’ and asked the guy at the front desk if my grandma could wear her ‘thongs’ to the gym. The guy about fell over trying not to laugh at the 70+ year-old lady and said ‘Well, haha, um, yes you can wear thongs as long as you have spandex on.’ My mom didn’t put it all together until later.” —Heather Troxell

 2. The guy who thinks he’s Spider-Man. “I saw someone doing parkour on the track at the Y the other day. They would run a lap and jump up on the bricks—really awkward for everyone—especially me who always seemed to be right behind him while he was doing it.” —My wife

3. The clean and hurl. “My friend once did a power clean and got his finger caught on the bar, which ripped off the tip of his index finger’s skin. He walked over and showed me and I threw up immediately, which wasn’t helpful.” —Peter Livingston

4. Just wear your wife’s. “It was 5 in the morning and I had to catch a plane. For the first time in my life, there were no clean underpants. Do I freestyle or wear yesterday’s inside-out? I know! I’ll wear my wife’s.’ I had my meetings during the day, and later went to go play racquetball with my pal. I’m changing before the match and he points and yells, ‘Joe!!! What are you wearing!?!’ Then he told the story all over the world after that They weren’t lacy or anything, just SEARS standards. People came up to us for years and would say, ‘Hey, you’re the guy who wore his wife’s underpants!’” —My dad, in the 1970s

5. Pretty much every day. Trying not to let one go and then it happens and somebody gets on the Stairmaster next to you (yes, I use the Stairmaster) and you’re both just marinating in it. —Me

6. Tread lightly. “I was on the treadmill during peak hours and had built up a lot of sweat. It was just a large open space full of hundreds of machines. After building up all this sweat I go down and reach for my towel while running to wipe my face. I slip and fall hard on my knees on the treadmill. I quickly try to stand up and keep running but then I fall again . . . face-first and off the machine. I start cracking up and people are trying not to look my way but I can see a large grin on lots of faces. So embarrassing, especially with all the cute ladies about.” —Roberto Diaz

7. Ask this guy for his inappropriate story off the record. These are his appropriate ones. “Had a ‘roided out dude cut in on me at the curl machine saying his work out was more important than mine. Saw a dude running in jeans and button-down shirt just fly off the end of the treadmill. Had a farter on the indoor track. And of course, the classic beefcake screaming with every rep, pissing everyone else off.” —Ricky Burrows

8. Caught by the girls’ soccer team. “In high school I was doing pyramids, a technique where you put weights on a bench press bar in descending order, do as many reps as you can and then take off a set of weights.At the end of the workout the entire girls soccer team came into the gym as I was lifting just the bar. My workout partner yelled, ‘Come on Walker, I know you can do 5!’ A couple girls mention that they could lift the bar a lot more than five times themselves and that I must be pretty weak, others were all, “You can do it!” . . . so embarrassing.” —Walker Sherman

9. The brief encounter. “I was in high school and had just started lifting. I put a ton of weight on the chain belt and got up to do my dips. I had the belt on wrong, and so when I hung in the air the weight belt slid down to the ground taking my shorts with it until both were at my ankles. I wore briefs that day.” —Tom Bailey

10. This guy singing Ke$ha, really really loud. There’s this guy running on the track yelling out, “Good vibes good vibes!” with his headphones on. He’s pumping his arms and touching the walls. As he passes me, he yells “Get behind me now!” throwing his arms up in a number one sign. I was fascinated. I couldn’t leave the track in case he did something else amazing. Then he started singing Ke$ha’s ‘Timber’ song aloud. I don’t think it gets better than this. —Me


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