Friday, February 20, 2009

ON FUN ~ Barefoot Bob...

GYM RATS - #10

Spicoli: “No shirt, no shoes…no dice!”
: “Right. Learn it. Know it. Live it.”
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

You remember Zola Budd, don’t you? The woman Mary Decker tangled with during a track race in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics? You may also remember that she ran barefoot. What on Earth must Nike have thought of her - throwing away endorsement potential like that?

Zola was from South Africa but competed for Great Britain. In the midst of Apartheid she was a controversial figure. The Mary Decker snafu didn’t help her cause. All she really wanted was to run long distance on her own without shoes. That was the way she had always trained.

Maybe the reason Barefoot Bob wasn’t wearing shoes in the gym the other night is because he’s a fan of Zola’s. Yup. You read that right. The guy did not have on any freakin shoes! In a gym! Out and about using the weight machines. Riding the stationary bikes. Walking around. With NO SHOES.

First of all - that is gross. On so many levels. Second - it would hurt a lot more to get a weight dropped on a bare toe. Third - well, it is just really gross.

Look, I don’t like to walk anywhere near the showers without flip flops on. I don’t even like to have my tootsies bare on the locker room carpet for more than a second before I can get socks safely on them. So you could not pay me enough money to take a stroll through the gym barefoot, much less go through an entire workout like that.

I kept staring in horror at the man’s feet praying that they weren’t going to head over to the mats next. He did use the spray bottles with cleaner to wipe down the bike and weight machines - but oddly not where his feet had been. I could not believe that no one stopped him - for his own safety, his own foot health! Not even an inquiry! I was too stunned to do anything myself.

As I finished my workout I kept waiting for him to emerge from the locker room. Does he not believe in shoes? Would he go out into the snow barefoot? Maybe he forgot his sneakers and wore wingtips to work. But wouldn’t he have just worn his socks? Maybe he didn’t believe in socks?

But no. Out he emerged with socks and casual shoes that easily could have been worn in the event the sneakers were forgotten. So….he’s either completely wacko or he’s related to Zola. Too bad I couldn’t check for a South African accent.

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Margot said...

I love the Gym Rats. I love this feature every week. i hope you don't run out of people coming into the gym.

Sandy Nawrot said...

This is one my favorites too. Talk about a bunch of freak shows! This no-shoes thing is totally disgusting.

Jenners said...

Ewwwwwww! That is so icky! And seems incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous.

And I so remember that Zola Budd thing. I went to the University of Oregon where Mary Decker trains and so I was really invested in that race and then I couldn't believe when that happened.