One man’s gym used an unconventional method to push him to continue his workout when it literally locked him inside the facility as he squeezed in a late-night sweat session.
Dan Hill was swimming laps at a 24 Hour Fitness in Sandy, Utah, around midnight on Jan. 12 when employees at the supposed 24-hour facility locked up shop, allowing the oblivious gym-goer to continue his workout all by his lonesome.
Hill said he slowly began to realize what had happened after getting out of the pool to discover a completely empty gym.
Baffled by the apparent employee error, the stranded customer walked around the gym to try and find a way out but only discovered an emergency exit that was armed with alarms, he explained to KTVX.
Hill decided to call the Sandy Police Department for assistance, concerned that authorities would mistakenly believe he was breaking in if he tripped the security system.
“I called dispatch and the guy pauses for like 10 seconds and says, ‘You’re where?'” Hill told the station. “And I said, ‘I’m in 24 Hour Fitness, and there’s an alarm system here and I don’t want to get busted for breaking and entering.'”
Once he knew help was on the way, Hill started having fun with his unusual circumstance, taking a series of empty gym selfies and sharing them on Facebook. His post has since been shared more than 13,000 times and racked up more than 33,000 reactions.
“I am literally locked inside 24 hour fitness right now,” he wrote. “They closed the doors and went home while I was swimming my laps in the pool. Doesn’t the name suggests [sic] that they stay open 24 hours?”
“I called my wife, she said find a comfortable place to sleep,” he added. “LOL.”
Deputies arrived to rescue Hill after he had spent more than an hour alone in the gym.
He later took to Facebook to share a photo with himself and his saviors, captioning it, “Free at last! Free at last! Thanks to three nice cops I am free at last.”
Reflecting on his ordeal, Hill described the incident as comical and compared his situation to the movie “Home Alone.”
“I just thought it was kinda funny at the start,” he told KTVX. “You know, it was kinda like Home Alone. Like, ‘Oh my gosh. I have this gym to myself.'”
The gym, however, found the situation mildly less funny and promptly issued an apology, explaining it recently changed hours at certain locations from open all day and night to open Monday to Sunday from 4 a.m. to midnight.
“On behalf of 24 Hour Fitness, we apologize to Mr. Hill and the unfortunate experience he had in the 24 Hour Fitness Sandy club, 10365 South 1300 East, when it closed Saturday evening,” the company said in a statement.
“We made the decision recently to close select clubs in the overnight hours of 12:00 to 4:00 a.m. based upon low usage, among other factors. In doing so, we have been helping members locate to nearby clubs that are open during the overnight hours. We clearly did not do a good job of our closing procedures for this club on Saturday night and will reinforce our club procedures so that this incident doesn’t occur in the future. We continue to be committed to providing our members and guests with the best possible fitness experience at a great value,” the statement continued.
Hill later took to Facebook to clarify that he still loves 24 Hour Fitness and “felt bad” about any poor publicity he may have caused the franchise.
The self-described “smart alec” also proposed what he believes might be a “workable” solution for his future nighttime workouts — a giant red arrow pointing into the gym’s pool that reads, “I’m here.”
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