Man with Special Needs Approaches Fitness Guru 10 Times in 45 MinutesHis Response Has 50,000 People Searching for


It doesn’t take much to be kind. Smile, have patience, say hello; they’re all small and cordial acts, but they carry so much weight in this world. That’s something Ricky Derouen knows to be true.

While working out on Monday at his local Planet Fitness, Ricky witnessed a rare kindness between two fellow gym-goers.

He took to Facebook to detail the encounter, which sent the Internet into a widespread search for the “man in the orange shirt.”

“If anyone recognizes this man in the orange shirt, you walk up to him and shake his hand,” Ricky writes.

Ricky Derouen

“He doesn’t seem like the the bragging type so I’ll brag for him.”

Ricky explains that while working out at the Planet Fitness in Pascagoula, Mississippi, a gym member with special needs constantly approached this man in orange, “10 different times in a 45 minute time span with handshakes, hugs, questions and interactions.”

Planet Fitness has long branded themselves as a “judgement free zone.” Their website states:

We believe no one should ever feel Gymtimidated by Lunky behavior and that everyone should feel at ease in our gyms, no matter what his or her workout goals are.

The man in the orange shirt just became their new poster-child.

Ricky Derouen

“Not only did this man smile, laugh, give him workout advice multiple times, and joke back with him while getting in his own workout, but he didn’t care who was watching while doing it,” Ricky writes. “His patience, compassion and friendliness was next-level admirable.”

Ricky says the man with special needs approached him as their workout came to an end. Pointing to the man in the orange shirt, he told Ricky, “That’s my friend,” with a smile that beamed from ear-to-ear.

“The world needs more people like this man in the orange shirt, well done sir.”

After being shared more than 50,000 times since Monday, the Internet FOUND the man in the orange shirt! His name is David Samuel. The father of three is from the Dominican Republic, and it appears that his small act of kindness has landed him a lot more “friends” than just the man at the gym.

With so much hate going on in the world, it’s refreshing to see people loving one another for a change. All the praise for David, and the excellent reminder of how easy it actually is to be kind.

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