The Day I Found Myself in the Gym with One Direction’s Harry Styles!

A few weeks ago, on Saturday the 11th of March to be precise (I remember the day because like an excited teenager, I feverishly sent my son a gleeful text to inform him that I had just been in the gym with Harry Styles), I dragged myself off to my local gym which is just a few hundred yards away from home. I was bone tired that day and didn’t really feel like doing any form of exertion except to spend my evening with a cold fizzy drink and my favourite chocolate Minstrels by my side, watching Columbus on TV or some other favourite old TV series that I had probably watched for the umpteenth time! And yes, there are many days when I don’t feel like doing anything remotely healthy! It’s a constant battle with me, my sweet tooth, my ever threatening mid-riff bulge and just turning into a couch slouch!

Anyway, on this particular Saturday, I procrastinated until it was about 5.15pm when I finally decided to pull myself together and get to the gym for 5.30pm before the gym would shut at 6pm. I got to the gym and found it deserted but for a young ordinary looking young lad (good looking) dressed in casual gym attire and training quietly when I came in. I spared him a glance and our eyes met as we said ‘Hi’ to each other and we each carried on with our individual workouts. As I worked out, it registered with me that his face was vaguely familiar and that he bore a resemblance to one of the One Direction members but it simply never occurred to me that this could be the case. So I kept casting furtive glances his way and thinking to myself that he bore quite an ‘uncanny resemblance’.

After about fifteen minutes of trying to hold down my curiosity, I went up to him and asked politely what his name was and he mentioned ‘Harry’ but because there was music blaring loudly in the background, I thought he had said ‘Ari’ (or something like that and I didn’t want to appear too nosey or intrusive by asking him to repeat his name so that I could hear properly, what he had said his name was), so after he mentioned what I thought he had said his name was i.e ‘Ari’ I offered my explanation for asking by explaining that he resembled someone I knew! I remember at the time that when I said this he just gave a very faint smile and continued with his workout while I continued with mine.

A few minutes later it was 6pm and time to leave the gym so I rounded up, said bye to ‘Ari’ and left. As I got to the Concierge area, I decided to mention to the Conciergereceptionist that I had just seen someone who looked very much like one of the blokes from One Direction. Mind you, when I said this, I had no idea that it could be true because I had no reason to believe that any of the One Direction members trained at my local gym. The receptionist then looked at me in disbelief and said to me: you mean you’ve just been up there with Harry Styles and didn’t realise it was him?

I responded with my eyes rolling: you mean that was Harry Styles from One Direction up there with me in the gym? To which she replied ‘yes’ and we both erupted into peals of laughter as I explained how I had approached him to ask his name still not realising who he was. I had basically spent the past half hour training alone in the gym with a member of arguably the most famous boy band in the world without realising it! Just as we were indulging in our fit of giggles, Harry Styles, came down, obviously having completed his workout. He glanced at us both; gave a lovely smile with a small wave of his hand and was out through the door walking down the street like the most ordinary lad you could ever meet.

Despite being old enough to be Harry Styles’ mother, it didn’t stop me from being just a trifle star struck at the thought that I had actually been in the gym training with this young famous lad for a good half hour. I was told that Harry Styles had been attending the gym for the past two years.He always kept a low profile, was ever so courteous to everyone and tended to visit the gym when it was quiet – understandably; otherwise the gym could easily be forced to deal with the unmanageable situation of screaming young girls camped out in front of the gym waiting to catch a glimpse of ‘Ari’. One Direction at the height of their fame had grown to become a world-wide boy band phenomenon and the most successful boy band in recent times at least. It was strange to see one of the members training in an ordinary local gym and keeping such a low profile with absolutely no fancy or celebrity airs and graces about him, despite his millionaire status. For one so young, it was impressive. His parents or whoever sure trained him well. Some food for thought!

Let great health be your wealth!
Kobi Emmanuella-King

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