Success Story: She Overcame Her Dislike of Technology to Start Training Online


Helen Harris, 74, has no computer and hates her smart phone, which she uses as little as possible.

But she refuses to let her dislike of technology prevent her from staying in shape via online training sessions.

“I am open to new things – I am NOT an old fogey,” Helen says, emphatically resisting the myth that people “of a certain age” are afraid of digital communications or anything related to new ways of learning.

“I just don’t like the phone, and I don’t have a computer. I have lots of stuff to do. I take care of my animals. I work in the garden…”

Shortly after gyms and fitness studios had to close amid the coronavirus crisis, Helen’s trainer called to ask how he could help her make the online transition.

She resisted.

He persisted.

“She was adamant that she could not go online and this was really too much,” says her trainer, Joe. “I prodded her several times that I could help her.”

Finally, she submitted to his coaching – which took a couple of calls and tried both their patience.


“We just said we’ll keep pecking away at this until we get it done,” Helen recalls.

Eventually, she learned how to use her smart phone to participate in workouts via Zoom, the simple, common video conferencing tool that many fitness businesses are using. One of the things that we have found that helps our Pacific Fitness & Coaching family is being prepared for the session at home and then also being patience—as well as using a lot of humor especially in these trying times.

Now? She’s grateful and excited.

“I do like what we’re doing right now with the live classes,” she says. “It’s very important. I would not exercise at all if it’s just me by myself.

“We have a great group of people… We play music, and we sing.”

She also gets in an effective, safe workout that’s good for her physically, mentally and socially, says Helen, who is retired and lives alone.

Via computer, her trainer can see Helen and everyone else in the group training session. He tailors the workouts for each of them. Helen, for example, can’t do certain floor exercises because of a chronic back issue, so Joe gives her other movements to perform.

She even enjoys gathering common household items (cans of vegetables, a bleach bottle) for workout props.

“It makes it more fun,” she says. “I like improvising. It excites my brain.”

The bottom line for Helen? She knows how important exercise is and she’s committed to staying healthy and strong, regardless of the challenges.

“It’s what I need to do for my body – it’s for me. It’s my job,” she says. “It’s extremely important right now to be active, to take care of yourself, to de-stress. An exercise session is going to help with that.”

Trainer Joe was proud of Helen’s achievement. “She was really pumped that she could do something that she never thought she’d be able to tackle,” he says.

Helen’s advice to anyone else reluctant to take the time to learn how to train online?

“Just buckle up and do it,” Helen says. “If somebody like me can do it, anybody can.”

One of the things that I have stressed from the beginning of this crisis is that movement is medicine—it boosts our immunity as well as our sense of well being! Here at Pacific Fitness & Coaching we have daily classes as well as Small Group Training sessions available—all these things are easy once you get the hang of it. Please contact us today—we are available for questions and to help get you moving!

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Gresham OR 97030
Right behind AAMCO and right next to the Gresham Golf Course

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