That Was Awkward: Get Them Sit Ups Right and Tuck Your...Hey Who Turned Off the Music?!

While I have written many blogs about awkward encounters on the sidewalk, in the dining hall, or out at the bars, I have yet to address one of the many awkward situations that occurs in perhaps the most awkward atmosphere on a college campus: the gym. In an effort to change this upsetting fact, today I will obsessively explore the awkward situation of dropping your iPod/iPhone while using a cardio machine. I know this particular occurrence seems like an odd blog choice, but believe me; there are multiple elements to dropping and retrieving an iPod on the cardio machines that make this situation extremely awkward and uncomfortable for both the executer of the clumsy mishap and for the surrounding bystanders (or should I say by-runners! HA).

Imagine you’re doing your thing on the dual arc trainer (my cardio machine of choice), sweating it out to your favorite jams on your iPod (which is totally some pump up Kanye playlist and not Danielle Bradberry Pandora or anything like that…). In the midst of enthusiastically pumping your arms to the beat, your hand gets caught on your headphone cord attached to your iPod. Suddenly, your iPod flies out of the cup-holder, disconnects from your headphone cord and goes tumbling to the floor. You find yourself in the awkward predicament of running (arc training?) while wearing headphones that are unattached to any musical outlet, and not knowing how to retrieve your iPod from the ground beneath you. Not to mention the fact that your display of disgrace attracted all surrounding gym-goers who are now looking at you like a complete newbie for not investing in one of those fancy arm-strap-iPod-holder things. Sorry I would rather spend the extra money on food, hence my frequent visits to the gym.

You now attempt to retrieve your iPod as gracefully as possibly, and consider your options for doing so. You could attempt to stop moving but remain positioned on the machine and simply bend down to pick up the iPod. However, this physically puts you in an extremely awkward and unflattering position. Picture someone standing on an arc trainer, knees bent, buttocks in the air, bending over in an attempt to reach something under her feet. If any of you readers are straight male college students (doubtful), please get your heads out of the gutter right now and picture this scenario on an old sweaty man with very short shorts. In any case, the outcome is not cute. Therefore, one should try to avoid remaining on the machine while retrieving the fallen iPod.

The seemingly simple solution, now, would be to step off of the machine, pick up the iPod, and then resume your workout. However, if the machine senses that you have discontinued your workout, it will turn off. While you could simply turn it back on afterward, there is nothing worse than losing that valuable on-screen proof that you have burned over 100 calories and arc trained (still not sure what to call it) over a mile! Therefore, you have to figure out a way to get off the arc trainer, grab the iPod, and get back on the machine in a fast enough time frame that the mastermind inside the arc trainer screen does not think you have permanently ended your time together. While this idea seems easy enough, I should warn you (not from my own experience of course….) that stepping off the arc trainer does not necessarily stop it from moving. If you step off too quickly without first slowing the machine down to a resting position, there is a good chance one of the foot holder things (I probably should have learned the proper terminology before writing this blog) will hit you in the shin and you will be even more publically humiliated than you already were. Basically, the gist of this entire blog is that dropping your iPod while using a cardio machine is extremely uncomfortable and causes a serious predicament. No matter what method of retrieval you choose, you will inevitably resume your workout with a little bit of shame to burn off with those calories, and per usual you will think to yourself: That was awkward.