Faye is a 77-year-old retired teacher who lives with her dog in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. She first started Living Longer Living Stronger around 10 years ago on the recommendation of her surgeon, who said she may be able to avoid knee surgery with specific strength training.
Over the years, Faye has seen the benefits of attending her local Living Longer Living Stronger class. She has increased her overall strength and loves to connect with the other participants in her session. These relationships have grown over time, and she very much feels a part of a community while working out.
During Victoria’s first lockdown, Faye’s Living Longer Living Stronger provider offered sessions online, but Faye decided not to attend. Like many, she thought she would just continue to walk her dog, wait it out and re-join Living Longer Living Stronger when things opened back up. Faye was reluctant to join an online session because she enjoyed the face-to-face program and wasn’t sure she’d have the same connection online.
Faye also had concerns over technology. She owned an iPad, but it was too old to run the Zoom program. If she wanted to continue to connect with her family, Faye had to upgrade her technology. Since she wasn’t spending her money on anything else, she invested in a brand-new iPad. With the support of her 13-year-old grandson, she learned how to use Zoom. Taking this step and learning a new skill meant Faye could connect with her family.
Faye went from strength to strength and was soon accessing her banking and doing her weekly shop online. She was even being able to continue attending her church fellowship group as her other friends came online. A whole new world started to open up for Faye.
So when Melbourne went into its second lockdown, Faye immediately joined Living Longer Living Stronger online. Faye enjoys the variety of exercises and the way they’re modified to her needs, and she can feel herself getting stronger again.
Faye also enjoys being able to chat with the other participants. One of the highlights of the Living Longer Living Stronger session happens when the exercises are over and the instructor leaves the Zoom ‘room’ open. Everyone who attended the session stays back and chat, much like they used to in face-to-face sessions.
Faye now feels disappointed that she didn’t enjoy Living Longer Living Stronger during the first lockdown. Her advice for anyone who believes that they are too old for technology?
‘We can’t just be waiting! You need someone to teach you, but it is not beyond you. Learning how to go online opens up a whole new world!’
And that knee surgery? A decade later, Faye still hasn’t had to go under the knife!