Arriving at the store to start my shift at 12pm it was evident that there was already a buzz in the air, an atmosphere of anticipation and nervous excitement. People were already waiting in the store, mingling with the team from Optimum Nutrition and chatting with store staff but also eagerly checking the clock, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the main event – Steve Cook and Shaun Stafford.
Optimum Nutrition always go all-out during their store takeovers and in keeping with their usual enthusiasm and professionalism, they came armed with a top team, a schedule of great physical challenges and competitions, and a load of free samples and prizes to give out. On the menu were ice cold Platinum Pre, Gold Standard Whey and Amino Energy, all of which were distributed liberally by Team Optimum. Also making an exclusive appearance were Optimum Nutrition’s not-yet-released protein bars which many of the guests had a chance to try. The words ‘amazing’, ‘delicious’ and ‘wow’ were used repeatedly so I think it’s safe to say they were a hit.
As arrival time approached the Predator Nutrition store was bursting at the seams as hundreds of people battled for a decent vantage point. Customers and fitness enthusiasts from all corners of Yorkshire and beyond crammed in to wait for the athletes and the queue spilled out of the double doors.
At 1:15, our Wonderboys arrived (fashionably late of course) to a hero’s welcome. Now, as a heterosexual male, I try not to talk too much about other men’s looks but these two guys are impossibly handsome. I didn’t even think it was possible to look that good in the flesh. Sure I’d seen them in plenty of magazines before Saturday but I assumed it was all makeup and Photoshop. Well take it from me folks, it isn’t – these boys are like Zac Effron’s better looking and far more ripped big brothers and it gets worse – they really nice guys as well.
At the meet and greet, the more people that spoke to Steve and Shaun, the more fans they made. Both men gave their time willingly and listened with genuine interest to each and every person in the queue, cracking jokes, swapping gym banter and posing for photos.
The most refreshing thing about the two main faces of Optimum Nutrition is their friendly, down-to-earth nature. It’s clear that celebrity status has not yet managed to inflate any egos.
Make no mistake folks, these two are role models who more than live up to their billing – men want to be them, and women want to be with them. The guys are truly ace!
As the day came to an end, it was time for Shaun and Steve to shake the final hands, sign the last few autographs and take the final pictures, as the Optimum nutrition team packed up and headed upstairs to the local gym to train.
As gutted as I was that I couldn’t train with the team, I was so happy to have been part of what turned out to be a great day for the fitness community in Leeds, one of many more to come we hope.
© 2014, Adam Darnbrough. All rights reserved.