Several years ago, after my underground (!) gym (really, it was underneath Broughton Street) closed in the historic district of Savannah where I live, I joined the nearby Habersham YMCA. I had never belonged to a YMCA before–but I had danced to the song.
From the very first day I have been SO impressed with the folks who work at the Habersham Y. They are without exception welcoming, encouraging and fun to see each time I waddle in.
ALWAYS smiling, the MOST encouraging, MOST positive, FRIENDLIEST Habersham employee has to be RICHARD JOHNSON.
I’ve never seen Richard without a smile on his face and a cheerful word to share. He most definitely meets the criteria of a Balcony Person (Balcony Post Link One, Link Two). Balcony people are those folks you come in contact with who encourage you, bless you, inspire you, give of themselves in some way. They climb the steps up into your balcony, so to speak, lean over the railing and yell, “You’re doing fine! Keep going! You look great! You’re almost there!”
So it is with Richard. As he wheels through the busy gym, his voice can be heard above the whir of elliptical machines and the clang of free weights, greeting every person he sees: “Hey, Neal” “How you doing, Carl?” “Come on now, Janice, you can do more than that!” “Alright now!” Richard is the very definition of a Balcony Person. He infuses the Habersham YMCA with encouragement and joy.
I asked Richard a few questions about himself and his views about happiness.
Thanks to Richard and folks like him who help make ho-hum days into Occasions of Happiness.