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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre Maloney


I thought I would finish off my fitness-themed month with some of my most horrifying and embarrassing moments in the gym and sport. The first one is from when I first got into Personal Training in 2003. I had a lovely older man in his 70's as a client, and I took him over to the treadmills for a warm-up. He got on, and we set the pace nice and slow to start. He was quite friendly, even a little flirty with me. He was feeling good, so he asked me to turn up the pace. We were holding a conversation, and he was speaking to me looking sideways as I was standing on the left side of the treadmill. He decided to turn up the pace again and then looked back to continue chatting. Running on a treadmill as a beginner does take some focus, and he was way more focused on me than the treadmill. Suddenly, he stumbled and flew right off the back of the treadmill, landing on the floor. As if this wasn't bad enough, he got up quickly, trying to brush it off, and proceeded to get back on the fast-moving treadmill. He flew off again! It was horrific. Thankfully, he was not injured. I think I sustained more visible injuries from him trying to grab onto me as he stumbled; I had long claw marks running down my arm. I felt terrible, but this was a good lesson to make sure beginners used the safety stop strap. He didn't come back to finish his sessions. :(

Earlier this month, I wrote about my adventures in triathlon: this was not an easy sport to move into, nor was my first open water swim. Jon and I went to meet the swimming coach that we transitioned to after getting the basics of swimming down with Suzanne, our triathlon coach. It was late April, the lake had just thawed, and we met at Musselman's in the EARLY morning. It couldn't have been a creepier day. As we pulled up to the lake, there was heavy fog coming off the water, and we watched a fisherman in a little tin boat disappear off into it. We got out of the car, and it was freezing. We struggled into our new matching wetsuits and made our way down to the shore to meet Kelvin and a few other swimmers.

My feet were freezing on the newly thawed ground, and I couldn't help but think these guys were f***in' crazy. I was silently panicking in my head, and I did not want to get in the water. However, they all made their way in, and I followed, not wanting to be left behind or let my fear get the better of me. I waded into the lake, allowing my suit to fill with water, and started doing some light swimming. The water was freezing on my face, and the cold grabbed at my chest and lungs, seizing them up. I stopped to tread water and tell myself everything was ok, and everyone else kept swimming further. Shit, I must keep up. Worse than panicking out here, is panicking out here alone. I put my face back in and started chasing, trying to catch up. My heart rate was already so high from the panic, and the water was pitch black. What's down there? I wondered.

Possibly dead bodies, giant fish, seaweed that will tangle me up and pull me to the bottom?! I tread water again, thinking Oh God, I can't do this. I'm now hyperventilating. "Which way do I go? Back by myself? Or try to get to the group?" I decided to stay and tread water; fear had me frozen. A few minutes later, Kelvin led the group back to me, and I told him, "I must get out, take me back to the shore. I will wait for everyone there, no problem." He was not having it. He asked me to lay on my back, and he cradled my head in his hands, so I felt supported. He asked me to take deep breaths and, eventually, my heart rate and anxiety came down. He gave me a pair of fins from another swimmer, which helped me be more buoyant and gave me more speed to stay with the crew. He stayed beside me, and I finally felt calm gliding through the water. Pro tip: double up your swimming cap in cold water to keep more of your body heat in and stay drier. Also, fins are a must for new hesitant open water swimmers IMO. Thank you, Kelvin, for believing in me. I was ready to walk away from triathlon that day if it meant I had to open water swim!

One of the worst consequences of outdoor sport is when you need to go number 2, you got to go now. I have pooped in forests and cemeteries, behind dumpsters, and even behind bushes on Weston Rd. in the heart of Woodbridge! It's not because I enjoy pooping publicly, it's because running makes you run! I started carrying tissues in a mini ziplock for the occasion, as leaves just do not cut it. Yes, I've used leaves to wipe my ass! This doesn't only pertain to running though, I've done it a few times before a cycling event when I was warming up too far from a bathroom. Can't risk being late for the start! Too much information?

Last but not least, I farted in front of my Personal Trainer (sorry Julia!) while stretching

last year!

Be Well Friends.

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