While visiting Joao Pessoa, Brazil on Day One of the FIFA World Cup, Canadian Eric Haaranen walked into a gym in the middle of a robbery. The two thieves armed with guns made off with petty cash, cell phones and some jewellery while the Canadian walked away with a life lesson. Haaranen, a media specialist and writer for Small Business Trendsetters magazine has lived in Brazil off and on for the last ten years. He speaks the language fairly well and though Brazil has a reputation for violence, Haaranen claims he has never been a victim of it previously.
“I guess I’ve been lucky,” says Haaranen. “I’ve been in some pretty dodgy places over the years, but I’ve never had a problem before. In fact, I’ve never even really felt all that threatened.”
That fortunate streak came to an end when Haaranen entered the Corpo Livre gym on Tambau beach in Joao Pessoa on June 12, 2014. Haaranen – often accused of being “stuck in his own head” – recalls seeing the two men enter the gym, leaving their motorcycles running at the entrance. In Haaranen’s words, “I thought to myself, ‘That it looked like a robbery. But what kind of idiots would try to rob an empty, cheap gym like this?’ so I went in only to be met with a gun in my face. It wasn’t very smart at all on my part.”
While the two thieves were removing the approximately 20 gym members of their possessions Haaranen stashed his iPhone and wallet under a treadmill and didn’t suffer any loss in the incident. “You see these things on TV and you always wonder how you might react in such situations,” says Haaranen. “The whole thing happened so fast that there really wasn’t much reacting at all. A number of women were crying and quite upset, but I found myself quite calm.” He continues, “The only two thoughts that were going through my head was that everyone get out safely and that life is really short.”
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured trying the episode and the mood in the gym was surprisingly light shortly afterwards. As for Haaranen, he claims to have been somewhat enlightened by the experience. “I realized today that I haven’t been enjoying my life as much as I should be lately. I’ve been doing the urgent tasks, but letting the important ones slide. That will change as of today.”
Haaranen is a writer and media consultant dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and professionals get the major media exposure they deserve. For more information visit his site at: http://surecited.com.