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Adventure at a fitness club.

Posted Aug 28 2009 8:23pm
I had an interesting adventure yesterday afternoon I’d like to share with you. It’s a bit long, but I like to share some of the details as well…

I took the chance that I had to run an errand to the bank in the middle of the afternoon to make it into a nice walk, since it takes me about 45 minutes to do the round trip on foot from my home office…

On my way, I always pass this upscale fitness club that caters mostly to the residences and business people in the area (picture upper-town east Toronto, which is mainly populated by business towers, fairly new home developments and condo towers). I have thought many times to challenge myself to go in that club to pretend I’m interested in becoming a member and see how I am treated as a potential client.

Today was the perfect day to do it because I was completely barefoot and I hadn’t brought along any backup/emergency footwear. I was dressed rather casual: cargo khakis, a white tee, a navy-blue hooded sweatshirt, my trusty orange baseball cap and my wrap-around sunglasses. As I approached the building, I braced myself since there were people smoking just outside the doors and they gave me some “looks” as I approached. As I was opening the door, I noticed a security guard planted behind a desk in the lobby, just across the hallway to the club entrance. I was surprised to get a rather friendly nod from the security guard as I passed him by, I’m sure he noticed my feet because his desk was not very high… That brought down my anxiety levels and gave me more confidence to proceed with my experiment…

As I entered the Gym reception area, I noticed that the place was really upscale and full of business-types, all clad in the best of the best of brand-name sportswear. I also noticed a boutique next to the reception desk completely full of sports footwear of any shape and brandname imaginable. I giggle to myself as I braced again to approach the women at the counter.

To my surprise, I was greeted very cordially from a certain distance by the one of the women behind the counter, so I’m almost certain that she saw my bare feet as I approached her. I greeted back and asked her if I could get some general info about memberships – expecting to get a brochure or something of the sort… I guess not… I was basically forced to talk to a very well-dressed sales rep in full business attire, complete with high-heels who greeted me very cordially and took me into her office to “assess my fitness goals”… Not a word about my bare feet! (WOW)…

From there, it was all cool… She remarked on how much I reminded her of some friend from Colombia or some other Latin country and then I sat with her for about 10 minutes, we discussed the pricing (which is totally out of my range, of course) and she invited me to take a 15 minute tour of the facilities with her… I agreed, of course but I was dumb enough to make her aware that I was barefoot -- I'm not sure why I needed to do that! -- and to ask her if she was OK to take me on tour like that. Without a flinge, she told me I would be fine, she just recommended to stay away from the free weights area in case someone might drop a dumbell on my toes (I was going to start a conversation about how a pair of flip-flops, or even sneakers wouldn’t have protected me anyway but I thought “why mess with perfection?”).

The rest of the visit went very well. I ended up talking with one of the “senior” trainers. A ver well-postured man who seemed to me more like a business executive than a sports trainer. I noticed he glanced at my feet a few times during our chit-chat, but no mention whatsoever about my lack of footwear…

I ended my visit with a tour to the lockers; which looked like a club within the club – they have a lounge area in there, complete with a TV set!! Who wants to watch TV in a locker room full of semi-naked men walking between the showers, sauna and the whirlpool?? Rich people are funny…

I even got an invite to try the place out for a week if I wanted to “just drop me an e-mail” she said… “I’ll be happy to arrange that for you Mr. Morales”.

Of course, after THAT, I walked to the bank as if I owned half of Toronto. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I was treated so well at such upscale place – I guess they do recognize that anyone can be a potential client and that, for all they know, I might be some excentric millionaire or something of the sort – I wish!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderfull spring/fall (depending on what hemisfere you live in).

Keep them feet bare and proud,

Barefoot Moe

Barefoot in Toronto
Barefoot Planet Online Store

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