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Sick exercise teacher (F, cold)


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So this is my first story. Sorry, it’s mostly illness/fever at first:

At work today, I got a message from my exercise teacher that she wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t going to hang out with some people after yoga class like we usually do. She teaches a dance class right before that I sometimes go to, and that news made me decide to go, since I wanted to see how she handled teaching with a oncoming cold.

I get to class and she is sitting behind the check-in desk, looking tired and chilly. She’s about 5’4”, dark hair, tan skin, and the truly gorgeous body that comes with being perfectly muscled. Even though it’s clear that she’s not feeling herself, she’s still trying to be nice and chatty with everyone as they come. She noted that she was surprised to see me and I made up some excuse about being busy for her other classes and wanting to fit something in. She smiled tiredly and I took my place on the dance floor.

All the regulars trickle in, as well as a few newcomers. We’re chatting, greeting each other and joking around, until she comes out from behind the desk and tries to quiet us. She opens her mouth to speak and croaks at first, before clearing her throat.

“Hey ladies. First, who here is new to my class?”

A few women in the back raise their hands.

“Haha, of course you’re in the back. Well, this class is fast paced, with four or five new moves per song, so you won’t get it all at first, but just keep moving and have fun. Also, as you can probably tell, I’m getting a cold, which sucks. Well, it is what it is, and just know the class won’t be as high-energy as usual. Well, here goes.”

The first song was a warm-up song, medium-tempo, and most of us regulars knew the moves already. The teacher didn’t take off the shirt she had on over her workout clothes but she did all the moves with us, standing in the front of the room. Like I said, most of us knew the moves, but I noticed that she never called out the steps for the people in the back. She also didn’t look like she was having any fun.

At the end of the song, she grabbed her metal water bottle and went to fill it up. I didn’t even know she had one; she usually drinks vitacoco or from a plastic bottle if she brings one at all, but this water bottle got a lot of use that night.

I knew the next song from other classes, and it definitely wasn’t one I would have picked to do if I was feeling under the weather, lots of jumping and bending that is tough to do with clogged and stuffy sinuses. Sure enough, she didn’t do many of the moves with us, and when she did, they were half-hearted. She started to look flushed, and took off her overshirt. I also noticed that she kept taking her hairband out and rubbing her head as though she had a headache.

As class continued, she developed a pattern of starting each new step as it came in the song and then stepping back, leaning against the wall tiredly while drinking from her water bottle and calling out when we needed to change. A couple of times, we all would have lost the rhythm if it hadn’t been for one of the girls in the front row who knew the dances as well as Jamie, the teacher.

Just over halfway through, it became clear that Jamie really wasn’t feeling well. She stopped dancing out a new step and leaned forward, putting a hand against the mirror to steady herself. In the mirror, I could see that her face was really flushed. She reached down for her water bottle and turned as she stood back up to lean against the wall. She closed her eyes and draped one arm across her stomach. People didn’t really notice at first, but then she opened her eyes and said “watch Erin” (the girl in the front) before walking quickly to the back of the room.

I sent her a concerned look and she mouthed “Dizzy” before walking to the door to the outside. She opened it, letting in the crisp, fresh fall air and leaned her forehead against the cool glass of the door. She grimaced as she heard the song going into its last verse and then wrinkled up her nose. She hitched once or twice and then sneezed “Hissshooo!” into her arm. Given the music that was still playing, only a few of us noticed. She gave her forehead a few more seconds to cool down against the glass and then came back inside to lean on the desk. At first, she pretended to check for a new song, but then she admitted weakness.

“I need to take 5, guys. Feel free to get water or use the restroom.”

Since class usually runs with little pause at all, a few of us exchanged worried looks. She leaned against the desk, scrolling through the ipod and drinking water. It seemed like she wanted to sit or lie down, but she knew if she would, she wouldn’t get back up to restart class. She also clearly didn’t want help, or really for her weakness to be acknowledged at all. After 5 minutes, she started the music back up.

For the rest of class, she seemed a little better. By that point, she’d had a full bottle of water plus, and opening the door had cooled the room significantly. She also slowed the tempo of the class down, pausing between songs and adjusting the playlist to easier, slower stuff. She still didn’t do every step of the songs, but she was bouncier and more engaged. We also finally got her to laugh and smile with us.

In the cool down, when we stretch, bending her head towards her toes clearly hurt. As she straightened, she surreptitiously rubbed her sinuses and took out her hairband again. She breathed a huge sigh of relief as class ended, but the sigh turned into a painful, dry sounding cough. She quickly drank some water to cover it up.

During the period between classes, she did go sit back behind the desk and lean her head against the wall. She tried to engage with some of the newcomers to get them to come back, but they clearly saw how tired she was and how hoarse her voice was and quickly thanked her and left. She dimmed the lights for yoga and then ducked into the restroom. It’s just off the side of the dance room, which is sort of awkward because you can hear most of what goes on.

No surprise, I thought, given how much water she’d drank, but then I heard her sneeze from behind the door, one of the goopy, messy sneezes that come at the beginning of a cold. I could hear her start to blow her nose and then she sneezed again, and again. She finished blowing and then sneezed again. I winced for her, because unless she’d brought a travel pack, which I very much doubted, her options were paper towel or TP. Judging by the sound of those sneezes, if she’d picked toilet paper, her hands would be a mess now, but the number of times she’d had to blow would have been agony with a paper towel.

I got up and went to my bag for a new travel pack I’d bought that day. As she came out of the bathroom after washing her hands, I offered it to her. “Sounds like you need this,” I said quietly. “Thanks,” she said, with a grateful half smile. “This is not the week I wanted to get sick.” “I know,” I said. She was starting a new class and had just met a guy, so the timing was pretty awful, unless the guy was into that sort of thing. As I went back to my mat, she ducked into the closet where we leave our street stuff to quietly blow her nose one more time. Between the dancing and the water, she was getting out the stuff causing the headache, but it wasn’t the best time. She still had a yoga class to teach.

Should I continue?

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Sneezing while doing yoga could lead to all sorts of fun - all those deep breathing exercises are going to give her a pretty powerful set of lungs... ;)

Great story, please continue... oh, and welcome to the forum! :D

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Thanks for the encouragement y'all.

Here's Part 2, possibly of 2. Not sure where to go from here:

As those of us who’d danced before relaxed on our mats, new yoga folks trickled in. Jamie tried as hard as she could to hide how icky she was feeling, particularly because there were a lot of newcomers, but she’d reached that part where mucus was pretty much constantly dripping from her nose. It was either hold a tissue up there permanently or stop to blow every five minutes or so. While we were all still chatting, she could hide the noise of the nose blowing under our noise, but I was eager to see how she would handle class.

After the room had filled, she got up from behind the desk to lock the door. We were mostly not paying attention (except for me) so she took a second to lean her forehead against the door again. She slowly took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders, using every tool in a yogi’s arsenal to try to get her mind and body to a place where she could teach. She sniffled, trying to get the mucus to stop its downward progress, and headed to the front of the class.

“Ok, guys,” she said. “Let’s get started. We’re going to focus on the legs and core today, following up on some of what we’ve been doing the past few weeks. “ She stopped and rubbed at her nose, fighting against a sneeze. It seemed like she didn’t want to admit to being under the weather in front of this crowd, but she couldn’t avoid it, as rubbing her very full nose was making squelching sounds. She turned around to grab a tissue from the pack and pinched it against her nose to stifle a sneeze: Hammph! Her other hand immediately flew to rub her forehead; stifling was obviously painful. She rubbed her head and nose a few times before turning back around.

“As you can see, I’b a little under the weather tonight,” she finally admitted. “It shouldn’t affect buch, but let me know if you are uncomfortable with me adjusting you. I’ll be using plenty of hand sanitizer, but I understand if you don’t want to take the risk. Just raise you hand now or mention it to me as I walk past during class.” Nobody raised his or her hand. “Ok, with that taken care of, let’s start in child’s pose.”

She took advantage of us being face down on our mats to blow her nose quickly and walk over and grab the bottle of hand sanitizer. Her nose was still majorly full and I wondered if the pack of tissues would last her through class. She began to walk us through the breathing, and as she spoke, I also began to wonder if her voice would make it. She clearly did too, and reached for her water bottle.

She walked around to the front of the room and got down on her mat to do some poses with us. As she arched her back in cat position, a small drop fell from the tip of her nose onto the mat. I felt so bad for her, but at the same time, I was impressed that she was trying to push through. We shifted into our first downward-facing dog of the night, and she got up to adjust us. She came over to me and checked first to make sure it was ok that she touched me. “Of course,” I said. With that, she moved my shoulders away from my ears and then pushed on my lower back to shift my hips higher. Her hands felt strong, but way too hot and clammy. She moved on to others. When I looked back after she left, I saw her holding a tissue to her nose as she moved among us.

Next, she sent us through sun salutations. First she walked us through it and then she let us do it on our own to music. She turned the music up a few notches and stepped back into the bathroom. “HAaaashooo!” I heard, before she even closed the door. “HAAsshooo! Haashoo!” She moaned a little as she blew her nose, and my heart melted. She washed her hands and stepped back out, clearing her throat.

The next sequence required her to talk and walk around constantly, working us through some tricky transitions. She tried switching to a rough whisper to save her voice, but trying to whisper loud enough to be heard strained her throat and she wound up coughing. She drank some more water and then positioned herself in front by the mirror. “For the next few minutes, just watch me and do as I do,” she said. She left her tissues, water bottle, and hand sanitizer next to her, but kept the tissue she was currently using crumpled in her hand.

She got into goddess pose and worked us through some stretches and folds. As she lifted her head after showing a headstand prep, I saw her face scrunch up. “HASHooo! Hashuhhh!” Her hand barely got up to cover her nose in time. She took a sip of water, cleared her throat and blew her nose quietly and ineffectively, and gave us the next pose as she stood up and leaned her head back against the wall. I think she closed her eyes, but I couldn’t turn my head to check. She stayed there, naming the poses, until the end of the sequence.

She walked back to her mat to guide us through the last set of standing work. She walked us through some of the more challenging poses, but struggled to do the balance work, like tree, and so just watched us. Right towards the end, as we were all attempting the peak pose, she sneezed again and nearly toppled out of her squat. “Damn,” she whispered.

With that final idignity, most of the resistance seemed to leave her. She sat cross-legged on her mat, back against the wall, as we did hip openers and stretches to end class. She usually gives a couple of people adjustments during the hip openers, but that night, she didn’t move, keeping her eyes closed and one hand at her nose the whole time. She sniffled and stifled a couple sneezes as we lay in savasana, the final resting pose, hoping not to distract us, and took sips of her water. As she called us out of savasana her voice was gravelly and hoarse.

“Ok, begin to wiggle your fingers and toes and stretch your hands above your head. Hug your knees to your chest and roll to your right in a fetal position and then sit up cross-legged using your hands. We bring our hands together at cough cough, excuse me, at our heart’s center, filling with gratitude for everything our bodies allow us to do…” and then she stopped. Even though this was her canned speech, used every session, something made her stop. At first, I thought she was having difficulty feeling full of gratitude, given her body’s rebellion, but then I opened my eyes and saw that she had a stuck sneeze. “Ah, ah...for allowing us to come…ah ah… to the mat and prac…HASHOOOO! practice yoga, opening our minds, bodies, and sprits. Thumb knuckles to the third eye center, we bow…HASHOOO! and say, Namaste.” She bowed her head only a fraction, instead reaching for the packet of tissues to blow her nose. At this point, she barely seemed to care if it was quiet. “Thank you all for coming and for putting up with me. I hope to be much better by next class. Have a great week, and as always, I’m here to answer any questions you might have.”

She moved to lift up her knees and rest her head on them but then remembered that she was in public and was still hoping to project a professional atmosphere. Instead, she hauled herself up, gathered the hand sanitizer, water bottle, and tissues, and walked over to sit behind the desk. A few of the newcomers got up and thanked her and reassured her that they’d be back while the rest of us got ready to leave more slowly.

Once they had all left and it was just her friends who remained, she groaned and put her head in her hands. “That was awful,” she whispered, sniffling. The class was fine, we reassured her, it was just bad that she felt so awful. She had paperwork and cleaning still to do before she locked up for the night, but the thought of thinking or moving was clearly overwhelming. Instead, she reached for a tissue and blew her nose for the thousandth time that night.

“I should have gotten a sub, but I didn’t think it would get so bad so fast,” she said. “Dance didn’t help,” a friend noted. “You got a lot worse after that. Maybe on Wednesday just do the yoga class?” “Maybe,” she said, in a tone that we knew meant that she would try to do it all.

“Do you need a hand with the Swiffer?” I offered. “No, no, I’ll get it,” she said, and tried to stand up. As she lifted herself up from the chair, one hand went to her forehead and then she sat back down. “Maybe I’ll get it soon,” she whispered dizzily. I picked up her water bottle to bring to her and noticed it was almost empty. I filled it up and offered to drive Jamie home. She started to protest, but everyone shut her down. She was clearly in no place to drive.

I cleaned the floor as everyone helped her stand up and put on her coat. She was burning up. We grabbed a roll of toilet paper from the supply closet as she had unsurprisingly finished the entire pack of tissues. We got her into the car and I asked her for her address before she closed her eyes, her forehead against the window. I drove her home silently, giving her the chance to finally rest. She sniffled in her sleep and woke up once to cough, a harsh, wet cough.

When we arrived, I woke her up to find her parking space and walk her into the house. She whispered her thanks, and I asked if it was OK if I came up and made sure she got into bed. I also wanted to make her some sort of soup, because I knew she lived alone and would probably just fall asleep hungry if I didn’t. She almost protested, but then leaned her head against my chest and let me in. She went straight to the shower and I heard her sneeze three times there while I heated up some vegetable soup with rice and made tea. When she came out of the bathroom and was in her pjs, I gave her the soup and tea. I looked around and noticed that there were no tissues or cold medicine around. We’d driven by a 24 hour pharmacy on the way, and I told her I would go grab some things while she ate.

When I came back with Vick’s, Tylenol Cold, and plenty of tissues, she was asleep, but most of the soup and all of the tea had been eaten. I left the bag within arm’s reach and tucked her in. I wrote a note thanking her for the class and hoping that she felt better before heading out.

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You have made yoga sounds surprisingly sexy :D I think we would all appreciate a little hands on instruction from a sneezy yoga teacher ;)

Very well written and hopefully the first of many fics???

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