A memorable 1st impression

Posted on 21 Dec 2006 at 5:02pm
By Daniel A. Kusner Life+Style Editor

Brian Hall effortless charmer, ideal straight dude



On Friday, March 3, I scheduled five photoshoots for the 2006 Readers Voice Awards. The last appointment was set for 4:15 p.m. with Personal Trainer winner, Brian Hall.

Hall, of course, was one of the three missing mountain climbers, who tackled Mount Hood earlier this month. Their adventure became the focus of an intense search that looked like it had the makings of a heroic rescue. This week, however, all those hopes were officially abandoned. And now, while trying to describe Hall, it looks like I should use the past tense.

After reading the first newsflash about the missing climbers, I immediately remembered Hall. How could I forget meeting him?

Hall arrived at the Dallas Voice offices wearing shorts, a T-shirt and a stopwatch around his neck. He also carried one of those huge inflatable exercise balls, a medicine ball, a jump rope and some stretch bands. From Performance Playground, the gym where he trained clients, Hall walked to the Voice offices, which are only a block away. While making his way down the sidewalk along Fitzhugh Avenue, Hall bounced the inflatable ball like a basketball. And to squeeze in another quickie aerobic burst, he avoided the elevator and climbed four stories to reach the Dallas Voice floor.

His skin absolutely gleamed. Hall’s physique was ripped from the pages of a muscle magazine. And with shoulder-length hair, he looked sexier than Tom Cruise in “Legend” (the only movie that Cruise has looked genuinely alluring).

There was something instantly magnetic about his personality: gentle and friendly, almost like a puppy. A smart puppy, who was 6’3″ and 215 lbs.

Going over the notes from our interview and recalling the e-mails and phone conversations, I remember asking Hall if he was gay or not. The answer came back that he wasn’t gay. Which was completely believable.

Hall was one of those rare guys: confident with his sexuality without being an egomaniac. And if men found him attractive, that was cool not that Hall was sending mixed messages. Yes, Hall was gorgeous. But the gaydar needle didn’t even bounce.

Born in Germany and raised in South Dakota, Hall grew up nurturing his obsession with basketball and soccer. He earned a scholarship to be a goalkeeper at the University of Connecticut where he graduated with a degree in business management. After college, he migrated to Big D to play for the now-defunct Dallas Rockets professional soccer team.

Over the past 14 years, Hall had trained more than 350 Dallasites. Nine clients had been with him for 10 years or more.

From our interview, one quote wasn’t included in the article that I wrote last March. Looking at the sentence now, it seems poignant.

“My passion is mountaineering. And I have climbed Denali [Mount McKinley in Alaska] and Aconcagua [the tallest in South America] and several peaks over 18,00 feet in both Peru and Bolivia,” Hall said. “In the next few years, I hope to climb Everest.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 22, 2006.

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