Founder and Chief Happiness Officer
Cat Smiley is an acclaimed master trainer and passionate outdoor athlete. She has specialized in body transformations for over 15 years, and is the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. Committed to living a balanced life, her work is a reflection of her values. Several months per year (when the retreat is closed) she travels to global destinations on the look-out for humanitarian projects to get involved in. She also manages her office team both in Whistler and remotely; this season (2017) she plans to ski almost everyday before work. When you call our office, you can ask to speak with Cat – especially in the afternoons and evenings. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the person who may possibly change your life!
Cat grew up in the farmlands of New Zealand, immigrating to Canada in 1993 to pursue her athletic dreams of becoming a professional skier. She achieved this goal, competing internationally for 12 years in various freestyle disciplines with top 5 results in World Cup, X Games and Nationals. She became a personal trainer in 2001, named as Canadian Trainer of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007 by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA). This garnered some exciting media coverage and television opportunity, leading to work in the film industry.
From there, she launched Canada’s first and longest running fitness boot camp – The Original Boot Camp – which was said to have pioneered the nations hottest fitness trend. She was named by industry peers as the ‘Top 10 Boot Camp Instructors In The World’ in 2012, the only female on the list. The Original Boot Camp was franchised in 2007 as a progressive 8 week program. Classes were offered throughout the day in towns in the Sea to Sky region.
Cat Smiley co-authored and produced certifications for fitness instructors through the International Sports Science Association, and launched a popular book and DVD series on boot camp fitness. She has been extensively featured in both national and international publications, such as Oxygen Magazine, Readers Digest, Fitness and MSN – in addition to regular guest appearances on cable TV.
Cat Smiley was selected into the final 12 trainer selection in NBC’s Biggest Loser auditions. This fueled her passion to work with extreme body transformations. Armed with a couple of celebrity endorsements for her personal training services and her reputation as an industry expert, people began traveling to Whistler to work with her.
Before she knew it, Whistler Fitness Vacations was born!
The journey to success has been anything but smooth for Cat. Dividing her time between living in Whistler and Vancouver, she was partially homeless, living in her car. Studying for her personal trainer certification from cafes around the city, she knew she wanted to be a fitness trainer in Canada. But the old story; can’t get a job without a certification, and can’t get a certification without a job.
Working part-time as a fitness model, she eventually was hired (at one of the cities most image-consious clubs) as a gym attendant. She also competed during that time in physique events, attempting to build her brand. Eventually that led to nutritional consulting, introducing her to some great people who later became case studies for her certification requirements. Her dream of being a trainer began to unfold… she became qualified and employed – with a six-week wait list!
This made her feel ready to move back to Whistler, where she launched Canada’s first and longest running fitness boot camp. The Original Boot Camp was branded as Navy SEAL inspired training, with a no-excuses coach pushing personal limits. It ran for 13 years on one of Whistler’s most beautiful beaches, focusing on extreme fitness for highly athletic individuals.
Awards and Recognition’s
National Ski Team, 1995-2009
- Cat Smiley was one of the principal cast members in the reality series Whistler Stories, airing nationally in USA and Canada in 2003.
- Her kick ass workouts are trademarked in USA and Canada.
- Journalism has always been Cat’s academic passion, and for 10 years she was nationally syndicated as a bi-weekly fitness columnist to over 300 community newspapers across Canada.
- She has broken 22 bones, had 9 hospitalized concussions and 3 knee operations.
- Her passion for travel has taken her to over 30 countries
- Smiley is really her last name and Cat is for Catherine. She was born in 1974 in England.
- She has written two books – The Original Boot Camp and most recently, The Planet Friendly Diet; available in major bookstores across North America (New Society).
Cat has been an inspiration to many. When you work with Cat, you feel like you’re working with a professional who not only knows her stuff, but can also relate to you. It is her empathy that drives you to push yourself, yet her toughness that makes you believe that you will be able to do it. Cat’s remarkable journey – combined with her unique New Zealand personality – makes the coaching experience at Whistler Fitness Vacations more memorable on a soulful level, than what you may experience at other wellness retreats. It is her passion to live her best life makes many of our customers want to do the same. She puts her heart into every customers fitness journey, which frequently results in ‘ah-ha moments’ and dramatic lifestyle transformations.