Rare trip to the gym led to a shoeless Mrs Livingstone

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I SWORE off exercise for 24 hours this week.

During a (rare) visit to my gym on Monday, I thought I had been a victim of a shoe theft.

After sitting at a computer screen for too long, I decided to end my day with a workout and a swim.

I had placed my work shoes on the floor under my locker and kitted myself out in ancient trackie bottoms and a t-shirt.

After, well, em, 10 minutes on the cross-trainer in the gym, I decided that I was more in the mood for swimming.

I ditched the pumping music and headed back to the training room to get my swimsuit on.

The bench under my locker was bare - my shoes were gone.

“Oh my God,” I thought, “I’m the victim of a crime.”

“Someone has actually stolen my shoes!”

I honestly couldn’t believe it. I marched to the pool, eyeing everyone with suspicion.

What did I expect?

I tempted fate and left the shoes in danger of being taken by a thief - one with excellent taste, but a thief nonetheless.

“Why did you not put them in your locker?” mother asked, perplexed.

“I honestly don’t know,” I replied.

Hardly anyone puts them in the locker, so I was just following suit.

I’ve never really been completely comfortable with it, I admit.

When it comes to security, I take a Fort Knox view.

I would never dream of leaving my empty car window down on a hot day, or leaving the front door unlocked.

But, while I’m at the gym, which is a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence anyway, I leave my shoes out.

It’s a small sign that, yes, I do believe in the good in people, and I trust my fellow female fitness fanatics not to nick my footwear.

Anyway, after letting off some steam in the steam room, I had a shower and got dressed back into my work clothes and walked to the reception barefoot.

I realise this was a bit dramatic, I could have worn my trainers, but I was annoyed and in the mood for making a statement.

“Hi,” I said to the man on the desk.

“I know this is my fault because I didn’t put them in my locker, but my shoes have been stolen.”

“Really?” he said. “That’s very strange, there’s hardly anyone here.”

“Well,” I said, “I just thought you’d like to know.”

I left my number just in case, and walked out feeling cheated out of a set of shoes.

Then on Tuesday night, my gym rang.

“Mrs Livingstone, we’ve got your shoes.

“It seems some little girls were playing a game and hid your shoes as a joke. Cleaner found them later.”

“Thank you,” I said, a little surprised.

Ah well, there goes another excuse to shop for new shoes.