I have had some interesting, somewhat embarrassing experiences along the way, in my efforts to be active and try new things.  Of course by “somewhat embarrassing,” I mean, “I’m a hot mess.”  Read on, you’ll see.

1. Super Bowl Tumble

Picture it, game time on Super Bowl Sunday 2007, at a gym.  Aside from the attendant that checked me in, there was no one else in the entire facility, which turned out to be very fortunate for me.  As I was putting in my 20 minutes on the treadmill, I thought the time might go by faster if I shut my eyes for a little while.  Those of you who have also tried this brilliant idea know what happened next.  After 5 seconds, I lost my footing and proceeded to somersault backwards, landing in a heap on the floor.  It was super graceful.  I immediately jumped up to make sure no one noticed, but then remembered that it was only me and the guy falling asleep at his desk up front in the whole building.  Saved by the Super Bowl!


2. Repeat Offender

Fast forward a few weeks later to when the gym was packed with people.  Why I thought closing my eyes (again) was a good idea is now beyond me.  Apparently, I was tired a lot back then or perhaps I suffered from short-term memory loss.  Either way, this time around, I tumbled off the side of the treadmill, laying face-up on the treadmill next to me while the guy on it attempted not to put shoe marks on my head.  He kindly helped me up, while choking back the inevitable laughter that was to follow.  I don’t blame him.  I would totally laugh if I watched that happen to someone. Else.


3. Angry Birds

When I lived in Cocoa Beach, I ran a lot in my neighborhood— typically the same route every time.  One spring morning, I was jogging along, jamming to my music, when I felt something stuck in my hair.  I reached up, thinking it was a leaf or (scream) possibly a wasp, when I realized it was something much larger.  It was a bird, angrily pecking at my head!  I am no fool, I watched The Birds in high school, and I know how they really feel about people.  I wish someone had taped this incident because it was really quite the display of emotions.  I spun in circles beating myself in the head, all while screaming and jumping up and down, begging that bird to leave me alone.  It finally flew back to its flock, leaving me standing in the street, looking like I just left an audition for Twisted Sister. 


4. Bikram Fail

Last summer, I had been reading many great things about Bikram Yoga, and I decided to give it a whirl.  I figured that doing yoga poses in 105 degree heat couldn’t be any worse than training for a marathon outside during the summer in Florida.  That thought would be incorrect.  About an hour into my first class, I felt for sure that I was drowning in humidity.  I kept picturing paramedics taking me away on a stretcher, while I remained stuck in Camel pose.  Oh yes, that’s for real, look it up.  My thoughts, along with some possible dehydration and a deep, overwhelming desire to be in an air conditioned room were making me feel insane.  So I sprinted for the doors only to find that I could not get them to open.  I felt the threat of panic creeping up inside, so I began violently shaking the doors, begging for some mercy from anyone who could hear me.  A kind lady unwound herself from her current pose and showed me that I simply had to turn the handle.  Seriously, that happened.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  Surprisingly, they let me come back the next day, and I showed up prepared, with my arsenal of water bottles.  Bikram Yoga truly is great, just make sure you show up prepared if you ever try it.  And check out the doors in case you need a quick getaway.

So to recap:  Don’t close your eyes while running on a treadmill, and if you have to try it once, definitely don’t do it again.  Stay away from birds, they will attack and make you look like a member of an 80’s hair band.  And finally, Bikram Yoga is hot. Really, really hot.


Playlist Songs by 80’s Hair Bands:

“I Wanna Rock” Twisted Sister

“Rock You Like a Hurricane” Scorpions

“Paradise City” Guns N Roses

“Sister Christian” Night Ranger

“Jump” Van Halen



Ashley Shih has lived on the Space Coast for the past 5 years, and she can be seen training for marathons on the beaches of Brevard.  Her goal is to share the ups and downs of her fitness experiences with readers, in order to help them with their lifestyle goals.  Please email her with questions or feedback at ashleyerin.shih@gmail.com