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Readers' Most Embarrassing Fitness Moments

Saved By the Sock

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"There was the time my OB tampon slowly slid down my leg while I was teaching about 50 university students of both genders. I managed to stuff it into my sock until I was able to take a 'natural' break and, er, adjust the stereo volume, at which time I also changed my socks and stuffed them in my gym bag. Yeah, when you're the instructor and they're all waiting for you, it's not like that's particularly subtle." —Alexandra

A Mouthful of Mammary

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"During a Pilates/yoga class, I finally did a shoulder stand! I didn't think I could do it so I was so excited and proud of myself—until my boobs fell into my face and I literally choked on them for a few seconds before I fell out of the pose. Yikes! I didn't think anyone noticed until the teacher called as I was leaving class, 'Nothing like a mouthful of mammary to knock you down a peg or two!' —Michelle

Romance on a Rowing Machine

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"I once had a romantic moment with a rowing machine. I returned to a machine I'd used a few minutes before but hadn't realized that the tension on the machine had been turned down. I gave the bar a huge yank and shot off of the seat and landed with my crotch on the bar. My position meant that I couldn't release my feet from the pedals, and I sat there thrashing around until I could reach my feet. Dignity? Not on my watch, my friends." —Avril

Not So Ladylike Exercise

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"As part of my physical therapy, I had to do clamshells, where you lie on your side with an exercise band around your knees and open and close your legs. I did weeks of these, facing the workout room in carefully chosen shorts (I don't wear bike shorts or yoga pants because they feel too revealing!). One day the normal benches were taken and I had to use one in front of a mirror. Everything went fine until I half sat up and noticed that you could see clear down to my underwear in the shorts I was wearing! And had worn for weeks! And had faced the whole room with dozens of people working out! And because my leg was so not flexible from the surgery, things weren't as well-groomed down there as usual. Thinking about still makes me want to throw up." —Carrie

DIY Disaster

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"101 ways to cut up your T-shirt sounds like a good idea in theory. You take one ratty race tee and with a few snips, you've got cardio couture! Except that I failed to take into account the ultra-thin fabric of my tee and the fact that as I worked out, the knots got looser. One handstand later found me with my new creation partially obscuring my face and totally twisted around my arms. I wrestled around on the floor with it like a lime green octopus in 20,000 leagues under the sweaty sea before I finally realized it had basically just disintegrated (thank heavens for full-coverage sports bras!). Holding my gym bag in front of me, I made a mad dash to the locker room. I thought I was all clear and no one had seen my disaster until two guys on their way out yelled, 'Thanks for the flash!' You're welcome. Not." —Charlotte

Poor Time to Pop a Squat

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"I joined a Hash House Harriers group—a social running group who take turns laying out a running route for the week. They have a leader at the front who carries a horn and a tail-ender who hangs out at the back. He/she also carries a horn. The horn is used every once in a while and the call is made 'on on!' to ensure that the group remains together. One Monday evening as we were running, I had to go. It was sudden and there was no way that I could make it to the end of the run. I waited for a moment when the tail-ender was preoccupied enough not to notice my absence and snuck away from the group. I downed the shorts, deep squatted, and... relief! That is, until I heard 'HONK HONK–ON ON!' 'HONK HONK–ON ON!' and the whole group, obviously doing a return on the circuit, came jogging right by me and my make-shift lavatory." —Nate

Never Underestimate a Fit Chick

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"[In college] I asked out my Econometrics TA that I saw at the gym. Before our racquetball date, I stewed for a week about whether I should beat her badly, just a little, or let her win. I decided to let her win. But as soon as I saw her line up, I knew I was in trouble. Turns out, her dad is a pro racquetball player. I never even saw the ball until it hit me in the head." —Mark

Sports Drink Surprise

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"I was nervous running my first 10K and wanted to do well so when I came to the first water table, I just sprinted by it. But by the third water station, I was dying of heat so I grabbed a cup in each hand and dumped it over my head. Except instead of a refreshing splash, I covered myself in light blue Powerade. Even worse, the buttons on my music player got so sticky I couldn't work it. I had to finish the race sticky, music-less, and slightly blue-tinged." —Karly