Owner of Training for Life, Kathy Boose, has been an integral part of the fabric of Collingwood since 1998. Though the Town has changed a great deal since her arrival, what has remained steady is Kathy’s verve for life and commitment to the health and wellbeing of her community. Kathy completed her Recreation and Leisure Studies degree at Brock University the year before moving to Collingwood and has since been putting her expertise to good use. For ten years, she served as the Recreation Manager at Plunge! Aquatic Centre in the Town of the Blue Mountains while working a side hustle as an independent First Aid/CPR trainer and fitness instructor.
After several years of performing this balancing act, a friend of Kathy’s mentioned that she was struggling to find a CPR training course in Town, and Kathy recognized an opportunity to turn her passion project into a full-time job. Her extensive background in aquatics and fitness provided a strong foundation for her to branch out on her own, and so in 2015, she decided to leave her position at Plunge! to become her own boss. She started providing First Aid, CPR, and AED courses, and Home Alone and Babysitter courses on a full-time basis in Collingwood and other locations in Ontario. Kathy chose to name her business “Training for Life,” which cleverly describes the safety courses she provides, as well as her continued foray into the world of fitness and personal training.
Training for Life offers a unique service that brings instruction directly to the client whenever possible. Kathy regularly provides courses for local businesses on-site so that employees do not need to travel to complete their safety training. In doing so, she can eliminate the costs associated with paying for employees to travel. She can also provide site evaluations to ensure that businesses have up-to-date information and the tools required to ensure their employees and customers are safe. Kathy also takes her courses poolside in clients’ backyards to provide instruction and often offers services to groups of teens who are in the process of completing their bronze medallion and/or bronze cross training.
Kathy brings a contagious enthusiasm to her work, and her passion for health is evident. Not only does she provide training to her clients, she also provides a memorable experience. “I think that First Aid and CPR training should be fun, so I try to make sure that I’m always bringing positive energy to my courses and getting everyone involved. We watch funny videos and get up and move around, and I think that people end up enjoying the process,” said Kathy. As a solopreneur, the success of Kathy’s business rests squarely on her shoulders, and she has taken this weight in stride. With more than two decades of experience and an elaborate portfolio of expertise, Kathy has provided an immeasurable service to her clients.
While Kathy was busy finishing her program at Brock University, her husband (then boyfriend) had started hunting for teaching jobs in Ontario, only to stumble upon an opportunity in Collingwood. It didn’t take much for Kathy to be convinced to move with him, and they soon found themselves settling down to start their careers, and soon after, their family. Kathy and her family enjoy spending their days off boating, skiing, biking, hiking, and finding as many other ways to get fresh air into their lungs as possible. This has made Collingwood a natural fit for them, as they can access Georgian Bay and a handful of bike trails and mountains easily and frequently. Living in a community that values health as much as Collingwood has provided Kathy with likeminded individuals and businesses seeking services from Training for Life over the past several years.
Kathy’s previous career provided her with many contacts in the community, but she has often missed the daily connections that come from working for a bigger organization. One of the ways that Kathy has overcome this challenge is through the Small Business Enterprise Centre’s (SBEC) events in Collingwood. “I’ve gone to several of the networking events for women in business that SBEC runs, and I always find it encouraging to connect with people who understand the challenges associated with running your own business. Mostly, it’s just nice to see other people. When you work for a company, you’re constantly celebrating birthdays together and you see each other at lunch, but when you work for yourself, you miss a lot of the connections” explained Kathy. She also attends webinars hosted by SBEC and hopes to reach out for support on her website redevelopment in the future.
Throughout her career, Kathy has continued to seek out educational opportunities to keep up with the latest practices in fitness and lifesaving. She recently started taking courses on mental health first aid and is excited about the potential of expanding her business to include mental health-oriented training in the future. “I believe that providing mental health first aid to the various organizations in our community could bring so many benefits. It is so important for us to know how to respond to our friends and family if mental health crises arise, and I’m hopeful this is something I can provide training for”, said Kathy. Kathy will always be on the hunt for new strategies to continue improving her courses, and it will be interesting to see how she transforms her business over the next several years.
As Training for Life continues to expand its reach, Kathy looks forward to connecting with new clients and supporting their journey towards safe, happy, and healthy lives.
To find more information about Training for Life, you can visit www.trainingforlife.ca
Photo Credits: Dave West Photography