Welcome to Real Feels, the series where the Shine community talks feelings—in all their good, tough, and “ugh, this again?” glory.

Today: Shine's very own growth lead, Colleen Wormsley, gives us cringeworthy realness with her most embarrassing story.

Feeling embarrassed like:


What's your cringeworthy story?

When I was in college, I was running on the treadmill at the school's fitness center and really feeling my workout playlist. It was 2012, so Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," and the Glee version of "Teenage Dream" obviously were included in the mix.

I was about a mile in when suddenly my arm got caught in my headphones and pulled my phone out of the treadmill cupholder. My phone hit the treadmill and went flying across the room.

I was caught off guard and thought my phone screen shattered, so I started to stop without actually stopping the treadmill. The result: I tripped, fell on my face, and flew off the treadmill, joining my phone in a devastated heap on the ground.

I. was. mortified.

I could hear everyone in the gym gasp, and some kind soul came to help me up.

Thankfully, I'd only suffered a few scratches on impact. I collected my phone, took a deep breath, and went to get back on the treadmill to continue my run, determined to see it through.

"I get knocked down, but I get up again."
- Chumbawamba

The only thing: I never turned off the treadmill and it was still going at an 8:45 min/mile pace. I only got one foot on the treadmill before I flew off for the second time.

Collecting myself, yet again, I immediately slammed on the button to stop the treadmill, for real this time. Again, miraculously, I only suffered a few scrapes.

I realized to leave the gym I'd have to walk past everyone, and I was too mortified to look anyone in the eye. My solution: I ran for an entire hour and a half until the gym closed so I would be the last one there.

How did you think you were supposed to respond to that feeling?

I think most people would have immediately left the gym.

I stayed because I was partially too embarrassed to look anyone in the eye and partially because I wanted to prove to everyone that even though I just fell twice, I was going to push through and get in a better workout than anyone in the gym.

What did you learn?

I stayed off treadmills for almost a year after that.

In all seriousness, though, being able to look back on this story and laugh taught me not to take things too seriously. This situation also taught me how to be resilient since I literally had to get back up when I fell not once, but twice.

What song pairs well with the feeling?

ATF Badge - BLK
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