Volunteer Spotlight: Coach Dillon Vibes

Dillon Vibes grew up in Connecticut before moving across country to Eugene, Oregon for school in 2014.  He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2018, moved to Portland, and was still trying to decide what he wanted to do professionally. He got a job working the front desk at a gym and quickly fell in love with fitness, eventually teaching group fitness for a year and finally became certified as a personal trainer. Today, Dilllon runs Vibes Training (https://www.vibestraining.com/) where he offers personal training, online training through his Vibes Training App, and outdoor boot camps that specialize in strength training, weight loss, conditioning, distance running, sprints, and more. Dillon is also a professional photographer (https://www.dillonvibes.com/) and spends much of his free time blending his two passions by creating inspiring imagery for sport and fitness brands.  

As his career progressed, he realized that he wanted to offer his knowledge and skills to people who may not have access to resources and would benefit from extra movement and positivity.  “Moving our bodies is one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle”, says Dillon. The desire to share his passion and love of movement lead him to Special Olympics Oregon. After a LinkedIn connection with SOOR CEO, Britt Oase, he was introduced to the SOOR Active team and quickly agreed to host a weekly Zoom fitness class (Fitness with Coach Vibes) for SOOR Active participants.  

He quickly became known for his high-energy class that includes a combination of weighted and bodyweight exercises. He teaches quicker exercises, like jumping jacks and jogging in place, to get his athletes’ heart rates up — and slower exercises, like planks and slow bodyweight squats to increase their strength. His class was a hit from day one!  Athletes Rachel Parsons and Chris Dyer, who attend his class every Wednesday, say that Dillon is “easy to connect with and super outgoing.  He gets us hyped up to work out and we can tell he truly cares about the athletes he works with.” Fitness and movement are at the forefront of every part of Dillon’s life, and he enjoys seeing the athletes embrace those same values, set goals, and enjoy moving their bodies. 

When SOOR launched its Summer Virtual Games, Dylan was one of the first to raise his hands to coach the athletes.  There are days when even he feels tired or low energy, but as soon as he gets into class or is coaching athletes, he feels “amazing and re-energized”.  He is excited to work with more athletes virtually and cannot wait until he can coach for SOOR in person.    

When he thought back to the start of his volunteering experience, Dillon said, “I was excited but a bit nervous to run my first class because I didn’t have any experience working with athletes who have intellectual disabilities. My nerves were calmed right away as athletes welcomed me to the community and helped me navigate me new volunteer role. They helped teach me how to handle certain situations, like modifying exercises for athletes who have mobility challenges or use wheelchairs, and that they are no different than my other clients.”  He encourages anyone who is considering volunteering for SOOR to embrace the nerves and dive in because the results are so rewarding.