The Awk Spot: The Time I Blew Up A Ball At My Desk

You GUYS. I haven’t posted something in my Awk Spot series in a WHOLE YEAR. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my love for awkward moments. Rest assured that awkward situations and people are CERTAINLY still finding me. I guess I just haven’t written about as many of my awkward experiences as I used to? A reader actually called me out recently on not having posted any awk spots in a long time, so today I’m here to warn you guys about how NOT to blow up an exercise ball at work.


Through my worksite wellness program, we encourage staff to decrease the amount of time spent sitting all day, and we recommend replacing standard desk chairs with alternative workstations. My group recently purchased a few stability balls and standing desks to “practice what we preach.” I put that in quotes because I haven’t been the best about making the switch from my desk chair, but I’m trying!

Standing Desk

However, if you ARE making the switch to a stability ball chair, my advice to you is to forgo the old-fashioned hand pump when trying to blow the damn thing up. Otherwise, you are going to look extremely awkward while pumping away under your desk.

Stability Ball Chair

Really, it’s not the best motion to be doing in the work place. It gets you weird looks. Oh, and welcome to my little 9-5 home. Now you have a visual of my work environment. Pretty exciting standard. I look smart in my glasses though, don’t I?

ANYWAYS. Back to pumping. Get rid of the hand pump. But really, the foot pump isn’t necessarily much better…

Wellness Works: Work antics

Right?! Why is blowing up a darn stability ball the funniest slash dirtiest thing ever?! Even the directions were dirty. I can’t even repeat what they said to do. Don’t worry, once the ball is blown up, sitting on it is a whole different story. Every movement gets you an awkward squeak where you feel obligated to explain that you are sitting on a stability ball so your co-workers don’t think you are THAT person who farted at their desk. Oh, and there’s really no graceful way to get off of the ball when standing back up. Trust me. None.

I promise that my corporate wellness programming is more advanced than this, but I needed something silly to get me through the end of my week. Now I’m off to put together an inspirational wellness talk that I’m giving to a group of nurses at a marketing event in a couple of weeks.

I’m thinking I’ll leave the balls out of it.

–Let’s chat–
Do you use an alternative workstation? Any awkward exercise ball stories you’d like to share?
Does anyone want to tell me about an awkward moment you’ve had recently?

New to F&F in the past year? You have a lot of catching up to do!


The Awk Spot: The Time I Was Poised (but still spilled the coffee)

My girlfriends and I aren’t exactly known as the dainty ones in a crowd.

Cape Cod Weekend 2011 036

Cape Cod Weekend 2011 035

In fact, at one point we actually created a whole list of words that “nobody would ever call us.”

  • Dainty
  • Sophisticated
  • Graceful
  • Poised
  • Delicate
  • Elegant
  • Posh
  • Petite
  • Refined
  • Classy

Those were just some of the words that made the list.  Can you see why?

Bridgets Bday 2012

me trina

me and slesh

PC 07 Five Year Reunion 038

Well guess what?  This week I proved our list wrong, ladies.  Check out this evaluation that came in after my Stress Less presentation in Atlanta on Tuesday:

“Thank you for providing this seminar in Atlanta.  Presenter was knowledgeable and poised.  Really good takeaways.  Nice slide show as well.”

Little does this poor staff member know that the very next morning, I spilled an entire cup of hot coffee down the front of my khaki pencil skirt five minutes before we were supposed to leave for work.  I had to rush back upstairs, iron and change in a panic, and ended up in the same blazer I wore the day before.  If that doesn’t scream poised, I don’t know what does.

Who knows, maybe dainty will be next.  I’d say there’s a good chance.


My favorite part of the “words people would never call us list” is that if you look up antonyms to just about any of these, guess what word shows up?


If you had to pick just one word that nobody would ever describe you as, what would it be?!

Happy Thursday!  Keep it awk, friends.

The Awk Spot: The Time Tim Tried Spin Class

This morning I taught Spin class for the second time this week.  Call me boring, but I used the same class format I taught on Wednesday when I subbed then.  I really got a good workout from it on Wednesday, so I decided to repeat it today.  Had the class been in the same time slot, I wouldn’t have done a repeat class though.  I hate doing that!

Tim came to my class this morning, which was fun.  I always love having him there.  I must admit though, that any time Tim comes to my Spin classes I have to laugh a little bit.  He’s come a long way since his very first time…

The Awk Spot:  The Time Tim Tried Spin Class

Two A Day Tuesday didn’t always used to be my thing.  Back in the day, I actually taught a weekly Spin class over at the Waltham Y branch on Tuesdays.  That’s where I started teaching right after college when I lived in Waltham for a year.  I had a Monday morning Muscle class, a Tuesday night Spin, and I can’t even remember what else it seems so long ago!!

Anyways, when Tim and I started “dating” (aka dating but not admitting it), I somehow convinced him to try one of my Spin classes.  He agreed to come to class, and when he got there I helped him get set up properly on a bike.  After I adjusted his bike settings appropriately, I said to him, “Now make sure when you’re pedaling that you have enough resistance to support your knees.  You don’t want it to be too light that you hurt yourself.”  I instructed him on how to both increase and decrease the tension on the bike.

Apparently as I turned and walked back to my instructor station, Tim decreased the tension immediately.  He tells me know that his first thought was, “If I have ANY hope of impressing this girl and making it through an hour of cardio, there’s no WAY I can keep the resistance on.”

I started class, not knowing that Tim had turned the resistance ALL THE WAY DOWN.  And I remember after two minutes of introducing myself, giving my spiel, and instructing the WARM-UP, I looked over at Tim.

He was peddling away as fast as he could.

Like a little boy getting onto his bike for the first time.  No joke.  Legs FLYING.

And we were still just warming up.

I made a point to remind everyone to have enough resistance, to enforce that we were still in the process of getting our heart rates up, etc.  Didn’t help.  Tim’s legs were still cycling away.  Again, when we discuss this story years later Tim INSISTS that he was doing this because he hadn’t been on a bike since he was 12 and “when a 12-year-old boy stands to pedal, you automatically go as fast as possible.”

Well, he continued going as fast as possible until a sharp pain went shooting up the side of his leg.

(Um, YEAH, that’s cause you didn’t LISTEN to me!!)

Tim continued on, leg in pain, throughout the class.  At the time, I had no idea.  Now I know that about 35 minutes into it, the pain was becoming unbearable.  As in, he could feel the pain reaching the fingertips in his left hand.

(For the record, I’ve NEVER heard of that happening to anyone before). 

So naturally, when your leg (and left fingertips?) are hurting, the solution is to adjust the handlebars.

As Tim continued cycling, he leaned somewhat forward and starting playing with the knob that holds the handlebars in the bike.  But he didn’t realize that it was already on the highest setting that it could be on.

And this happened:

The handlebars came OUT of the bike.  Tim was now holding them in his hand.

But he wasn’t expecting the handlebars to come loose like that, and the momentum pretty much sent him ricocheting backwards.

Handlebars in hand still.

It looked like he was on a unicycle.

Oh, AND his water bottle during all of this went SHOOTING to the front of the exercise room at the same time and slammed against the mirror.

Everyone stared at him.  And what did I do?

I calmly just said, “Excuse me, SIR?  Do you need any help?”

As if I didn’t even know him!!!    Oh my God, I am (was?) the WORST.

He was fine.  But he did awkwardly limp around work for about a week, pretty much dragging his foot on the floor.

Moral of the story is he realized early on in our relationship to listen to me.  And now it works out well, even though we always argue over who gets to tell this story to our friends.

Anybody have a funny first time workout story they’d like to share?  Or an embarrassing exercise moment?

For more phenomenal awkward moments, check out my past “Awk Spot” posts:

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Keep it awk!

P.S.  Thanks, Tim, for re-enacting your most horrifying gym moment this morning.  😉