Adjusting to another week of self-isolation, west Salem retiree turns to Skype for workouts, connection | Salem Reporter


Susan Coburn Hughs mentioned on-line lessons from a Salem fitness center present her an emotional outlet as she tries to discover a new goal whereas caught at residence.

Susan Coburn Hughs works out at PUSH Health in Salem, which has switched to on-line lessons after gyms closed statewide. (Courtesy/ Cara Turnquist)

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At 9 a.m. Monday, Susan Coburn Hughs stood in her visitor room with jugs of vinegar and 15-ounce cans of beans at her toes.

On her pill, she opened Skype to hitch a web-based exercise class by PUSH Health, a Salem fitness center that focuses on coaching girls who’re pregnant or post-partum.

Hughs, 74, isn’t in that class however “it was such a very good program these of us which might be publish, publish, post-partum joined.”

5 faces appeared on the display screen and the ladies went by a warmup and power exercise with Cara Turnquist teaching nearly.

It’s the primary of two exercises Hughs does on Mondays and Wednesdays – power within the morning and cardio within the afternoon.

“The exercise helps, it’s only a massive sweaty hour and I all the time really feel higher afterwards,” Hughs mentioned.

She does the exercises in what’s she dubbed her “Rube Goldberg fitness center,” inside her west Salem residence she’s lived in since 1989.

Hughs’ “Rube Goldberg” fitness center. (Courtesy/ Susan Coburn Hughs)

California born and Montana raised, Hughs used to work as a public info officer for the U.S. Forest Service earlier than turning into a coverage analyst for the Oregon Division of Power.

Hughs quarantined herself the day after her birthday on March 11.

“I’m 74 and I’ve diabetes so I’m not going wherever,” she mentioned.

On March 23, Gov. Kate Brown ordered all gyms to shut statewide in an effort to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19.

Hughs hasn’t seen anybody in weeks and the web lessons present her not solely a bodily outlet, however an emotional one.

On Sunday night time, she determined she wouldn’t stay in a holding sample ready for orders to remain residence to clear.

“I’ve to discover a new use for my life. It’s not simply discovering a brand new rhythm. Iit’s discovering a brand new goal,” she mentioned. “That was this massive gentle bulb for me.”

She typed a notice to every of her six neighbors in her cul-de-sac, put it in a Ziplock bag and left it on their entrance steps.

“Simply know that I’m glad to share what I’ve if your loved ones wants one thing to maintain going – a virtually expired can of beans for dinner, a voice on the cellphone, a fast textual content, a instrument mortgage, a wave and safe-distance chat as you stroll by,” her notice learn.

Hughs mentioned she’s making an attempt to be a optimistic pressure.

“I simply really feel higher as we speak simply acknowledging that I can’t simply sit round and watch for this to be over,” she mentioned.

When she started along with her coach, Hughs was engaged on growing her mobility. Now, she’s graduated to lifting weights.  

“Her aim was all the time to stay as massive of a life as potential. I’ve seen her be capable of do extra as she’s gotten stronger,” her coach, Turnquist mentioned.

She mentioned Hughs will brag that when she goes to her bodily therapist, they’re all the time impressed by what she will be able to do.

Now the pair discuss over Skype throughout class, Turnquist telling Hughs to give attention to her vary of movement and overlook about leaping when she does burpees.

Susan Coburn Hughs makes use of Skype to take part in her fitness center’s exercise lessons being held on-line after gyms had been ordered to shut statewide due to COVID-19. (Courtesy/ Cara Turnquist)

Initially, the fitness center was posting exercises utilizing Fb Dwell, however determined to make use of Skype to permit suggestions in actual time.

“Checking in. How does this really feel? How does that really feel?” Turnquist mentioned.

She mentioned the fitness center is adapting week by week to do what’s finest for its purchasers, a lot of whom have kids at residence as faculties are closed statewide.

 “The fitness center can undoubtedly be the very first thing to go once you’re fearful about taking good care of your children,” Turnquist mentioned. “We wished to have the ability to supply as many choices as potential to make it straightforward for individuals.”

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.





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