There’s a machine at the gym that has cables hanging off it which you can attach various handles to and adjust the weight plates the cables lift. My trainer has an unnatural love for this thing and she’s always making me put my feet in the cables and do some sort of godawful reverse-gyno-chair routine that invariably draws curious glances because, like, no one uses the machine like that. People normally just stand by it and do arm curls or whatever. We both joke about this Onion article whenever her assigned routine is particularly odd-looking, but in terms of sheer humiliation it doesn’t seem likely that anything could top this Tuesday’s workout. I was positioned near the cable-weight-whatever-it’s-called machine, balanced precariously on the flat side of a Bosu ball — you know, those things that are like an exercise ball cut in half with a hard plastic platform on one side? — and what I was supposed to do was brace myself and alternate pulling the weighted cables with each arm. Like so:

herp derp derp

But what happened was I lost my balance and instead of letting go of the cables, which in retrospect seems like a giant no-shitter, I got pulled forward as the round part of the ball tipped:

oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck

And then I fell, and I mean I fell in a seriously spectacular fashion. It was like I fell off the top of a 5-story building. Total trainwreck. I almost wish I had video of what it looked like except of course I don’t really because I don’t need to relive that visual on my deathbed, but anyway, eventually I sort of found myself lying there with my legs akimbo and everything hurting and my trainer was like Oh wow are you all right and even though I suppose it happened pretty quickly and there wasn’t actually enough time to assemble a massive audience it certainly felt otherwise.

Bring me the seppuku sword. And an Advil.

Anyway aside from some dramatic bruising I was fine, and in fact finished the stupid exercise (although I made her lower the weights because I wasn’t chancing a second performance), but this sort of thing is PRECISELY why our bodies are always telling us to sit quietly and safely on couches and repeatedly spoon soothing amounts of gelato into our mouths instead of trying to stand on fucking balls. That’s just evolutionary science.


73 Responses to “Wipeout”

  1. nonsoccermom on August 6th, 2014 9:59 am

    I’m not sure which was funnier, the story or your captions on the pictures. I’m glad you’re okay! What a nightmare. This is why I avoid those Bosu balls at my gym – I always see people using them and think “Buddy, you are braver than me!”

  2. JenS on August 6th, 2014 10:09 am

    oof. sorry that happened! loved the illustrations! I’m sure your trainer was looking to challenge you but the first priority should be client safety- and unstable surface training is pretty questionable, imo. As always, it depends on your goals. This is a good article:

  3. Kimberly on August 6th, 2014 10:17 am

    This made me laugh SO HARD! You are my favorite. My ankles practically whimper every time my trainer brings out a Bosu ball…”Please no, I’ll be stronger on my own I swear!!”. We had to do pikes on an exercise ball and there was two of us that rolled off it AT THE SAME TIME. So you know, this but with an awesome synchronized swimming aspect to it. I vote for more accompanying drawings. This is so good!

  4. Maggie on August 6th, 2014 10:25 am

    There is one class at my gym I avoid at all costs even though the teacher is great specifically because it uses Bosu balls. I know my coordination/balance limits and they are not up to using those things. Ever.

  5. jen on August 6th, 2014 10:33 am

    I effing hate the Bosu ball and this makes me hate it even more. Though I do love the little stick drawings and your account is hilarious. But seriously glad you are okay. Eff the Bosu.

  6. Kris on August 6th, 2014 11:10 am

    Sorry, but I’m totally laughing at your expense. Glad you’re okay; but next time you get the urge to exercise, maybe take Ruby out for a nice, long walk instead and call it a day?!?

  7. Melissa A. on August 6th, 2014 11:45 am

    Go work out, they said. You’ll feel better, they said.

  8. Anonymous on August 6th, 2014 11:54 am

    It’s been a real treat to see you pop up in my feed reader more regularly :)

  9. Jillian on August 6th, 2014 12:14 pm

    moar illustrashuns plz!

  10. Kristin on August 6th, 2014 3:39 pm

    Sorry, but the pictures make this hilarious!!

  11. sooboo on August 6th, 2014 3:50 pm

    Dude, you should get a medal for standing on that thing in the first place! How is it that the ground gets farther away the older we get?

  12. Jen on August 6th, 2014 6:07 pm

    Dude. I was a gymnast, and I think your trainer might be slightly nuts. Of note: I am also clumsy. Figure that out.

    I love the drawings, and I love your frequent posting as of late!

  13. Mary on August 6th, 2014 6:32 pm

    I once fell off one of those, full length on the floor, in front of about ten people who were all facing that way. Definitely one of the most awesome moments of my life. Ugh.

  14. Caleal on August 6th, 2014 7:30 pm

    I once dropped my phone on the treadmill. Obviously it shot back and off the treadmill quickly. But my first thought was to try and bend and catch it. While still running. Which led to my falling down onto that shoulder and getting flung off the treadmill all somersault and bruisey. Walked out and didn’t go back for weeks.

  15. velocibadgergirl on August 6th, 2014 7:47 pm

    I am CRYING right now. CRYING. I’m so sorry. But OMG.

  16. Sarah on August 6th, 2014 9:40 pm

    Love your illustrations! And ouch! Hope you heal up ok.

  17. Sarah on August 6th, 2014 10:22 pm

    I had to do partner push ups tonight but I was without a partner so our Krav Maga instructor “helpfully” stepped in… So he’s holding my legs like I’m a wheel barrel and I’m supposed to do push ups, while he changes the height my legs are held at. Basically I was doing “sort-of-side-push-ups” because one shoulder GAVE UP! Then he just quietly put my legs on the floor and walked away…. I’m not really Krav Maga material!

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  19. Jenn D on August 7th, 2014 6:22 am

    I have a policy that basically states that if a trainer attempts to get me on a bosu ball to lift weights they are first warned that I don’t do that. Further insistence results in me finding a new trainer.

    I don’t get those types of exercises. Doing compound exercises with heavy weights is more effective and safer, imo.

  20. Rebecca on August 7th, 2014 7:21 am

    OMG…please provide illustrations for all your posts!! Glad you are ok and can have a good laugh over it!

  21. Carrie on August 7th, 2014 7:28 am

    I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I’ve been reading for a few years now, and you make my day all the time. I feel like your reactions and wording of the things that happen to you and your family are exactly how I would word them, if I could write well!

  22. Christie on August 7th, 2014 8:20 pm

    Thank you for reinforcing my position about never going to the gym. I was visiting with a friend yesterday and she tried to convince me to join her at bootcamp. And I was all “Yes, absolutely! I would love nothing more than to relive the humiliation I experienced in 9th grade gym because I have absolutely no coordination or physical skills! Sign me up!”
    (also…. gelato… you’re speaking my language)

  23. Misguiedmommy on August 8th, 2014 10:45 am

    I had this same thing happen, only I was box jumping and hit the box, crashed over the front of the box, landed on my head and rolled so that I somehow ran into a weight rack and landed with my ass in the air IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE GYM, sending my water bottle crashing into the metal rack making a louder bang then my own crash, making sure everyone heard. Exact same thing, half the gym stared all shocked and then one guy just stood in the corner loudly laughing, not even trying to cover it up. The annoying part, out of at least 14 guys near me, not a single person came to ask if I was okay. UGH

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  25. Jessica V. on August 8th, 2014 12:52 pm

    My trainer and I joke around that he’s constantly trying to figure out new and more dramatic exercises that will inevitably end with me in a heap on the floor, but I know in my heart that his goal is exactly that…total humiliation. Fortunately, he regularly trips over things too so we both get a laugh in.

    BTW – like many others have said – I LOVE that you are posting more here. There is a glow of happiness about you these days and I am so glad to see it!

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    I haven’t laughed so hard at work in a long time, so that you for that. I’m glad you’re okay.

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