[attach]5721[/attach]After moving to Canada from Scotland, Carol McMaster hit the gym as a way of meeting people.
“I went to the gym every night because I had nothing else to do and it was a way to make friends and I just got more and more into it and one day I realized I think I could really do this,” she says.
While she continued working in insurance during the day she trained to become a certified personal trainer during her spare time. In 2000 McMaster decided to leave her job to start training clients from a rented studio space. In 2002, after building up enough customers, she decided to open her own private studio on Bayview Avenue north of Eglinton Avenue called McMaster Fitness.
“I train clients from teenagers to adults to seniors and I offer private sessions or semi private sessions with the clients,” she says, adding she tries to make it as fun as possible. “I can also offer home visits and I do personal training with kickboxing and fitness assessments with fitness programs.”
McMaster, who also offers lifestyle coaching, says the sessions typically include a combination of cardio vascular exercises, weight training, core strengthening and stretching. She tries to customize the programs to suit her clients’ needs, budgets and schedules and rents out her space to other trainers, who run pilates, yoga and martial arts classes.
“I have a passion for fitness and personal development and I do believe in keeping it fun while maintaining a healthy active and balanced lifestyle,” she says. “That’s really what I try to promote for my clients.”
McMaster says she chose to open in the area because she wanted to remain near Leaside since she first started training there and wanted a location that was convenient for her existing client base.
Some of her many career highlights over the last decade, she says, include helping children with juvenile arthritis from SickKids and seeing other clients lower their cholesterol levels and achieve their weight loss goals. Another big part of her life, she says, was working with two young girls from when they were 11 and 13 until they went on to receiving softball scholarships in the United States.
“Just to see them coming in sometimes at six in the morning before school and it was still dark and finishing their workout and it was still dark outside that was really inspiring to see young kids doing that,” she says. “It was fun to see them grow.”
Recently McMaster says she trained two ladies who weren’t runners up to the point where they successfully completed a five kilometer race.
“It was just so great,” she says. “I ran it with them and we came over the finish line and they were crying because they just never thought that they would do it.”
Aside from hopefully completing a 10 kilometer race this year with one of the ladies, she hopes the future holds more of the same.
“I’ve never really looked back,” she says. “I mean it was a big jump to go into it, you know give up your job for this sort of unknown, but I love it so I think when you really enjoy what you do that comes through.”