From TV personality to personal trainer

Mar 29, 2015
Ashley Ann Lawrie

Personal trainer Catherine Marion

If Catherine Marion’s face looks familiar, there’s a reason. In the years before she became a personal trainer, she was host of Daytime Ottawa on Rogers Cable 22, host of nationally broadcast The Mom Show, and a recurring guest on the Marilyn Denis Show.

So how did this grade school teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned fashion coordinator and television personality become a personal trainer?

It all began in 2005, when Catherine interviewed a woman who had experienced a dramatic life change after only a few short months working with a personal trainer.

“Her eyes were smiling, she was glowing,” said Catherine. “Just the aura of her, the joy in her, was incredible. Whatever she was emitting, that thing that was floating around her, I needed to find that.”

At the time, Catherine was busy with four kids – four-year-old twins, a six-year-old, and an eight-year-old. With such a busy family and a work schedule to manage, fitness was the last thing on her agenda. But she made the time to start working out with the same personal trainer her guest had used.

She started running, which led to her first marathon. From there, she took up weight training, for the first time in her life.

“It was love at first feel, feeling the weights in my hands and on my back, and the power of my legs when I would lift,” she said.

Catherine then moved into competition, and competed three times in the Figure category.

“The first was my 40th birthday gift to myself,” she said.

Her newfound focus on fitness, as well as healthy eating, left her feeling great and looking even better. It was Marilyn Denis who told Catherine she should become a personal trainer because she could be such an inspiration to other women.

Ottawa Personal trainer Catherine Marion

“I loved TV, because it is such a great way to connect with people,” Catherine said. “I realized that being a personal trainer would be a natural evolution of that, by meeting people face-to-face and helping them achieve so much more than what their minds were letting them believe.”

It was also the perfect way to honour all her coaches had done for her by paying it forward.

How did she come to Free Form Fitness?

Catherine was in the midst of obtaining her personal training certification, but wasn’t sure where she would work. A friend told her that FFF was looking to hire. She reached out to FFF founder Jean-Luc Boissonneault and ended up interviewing with President Ashley Lawrie. By the time she had obtained her certification this past summer, her job was waiting.

“It’s a gym where I am learning, I get along so well with my coworkers,” said Catherine, who, at 45, isn’t afraid to admit she is one of the oldest members of the team. “These kids made me feel that I belonged right away, I learn from them all the time. There is such a great synergy here, it’s a great family.”

She enjoys sharing in her clients’ successes, from the young woman who almost broke into tears when she was finally able to skip for 30 seconds at a time, to the couple who have lost almost 100 pounds together.

“I love it,” Catherine said. “It keeps me on my toes and keeps me inspired to help them reach their goals, because everyone has different goals. I am a people coach. My plan is to make them fall in love with fitness.”

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