Colin Babb is a people person. When he’s interacting with others he’s in his happy place.
It’s one of the reasons he loves his job at GoodLife Fitness. He’s always got a smile and a fist-bump for anyone entering the club.
“It’s an environment that I love over there. I love the atmosphere. It feels like home,” he said.
His love of people is also why he volunteers delivering Meals on Wheels for Community Care Durham (CCD). He started volunteering in April 2021. He was introduced to CCD through a friend at the gym. Both were interested in pursuing careers in policing and community work was a pre-requisite for the job. Once Colin started volunteering though, he was hooked.
“I know the type of person I am when it comes to meeting and dealing with people,” he said. “In my head I asked myself, why haven’t I been doing this like way before?”
A big reason he’s developed a passion for delivering Meals on Wheels are the people he meets. He’s had the same route for over a year, so he’s developed relationships with clients. One client in particular, he’s quite fond of – he calls her his Centenarian Best Friend. The client is 103 years old and through their conversations, Colin says he’s learned so much.
“I love her man and I kid you not, I feel like every single time I’ve visited this woman I’ve had the opportunity to learn somewhat of a different life lesson from way back when,” Colin said.
Colin said even though she’s second or third on his delivery list, he delivers to his other clients first so he can spend a little extra time chatting with her. One day he asked if he could see some of her old photos. She politely declined.
“She said, I don’t really like looking at them because they bring back so many good memories. That right there touched me,” Colin said.
The client has a couple of friends left who are in their 90s but given she’s lived such a long life, most of her friends and family have passed.
“She’s just here now by herself,” Colin said.
A few weeks passed and one Friday when he dropped off her lunch, she went back into her kitchen and brought out a photo of herself when she graduated Nursing School. She also had pictures of her husband to share. Many stories were told that day.
“I’ve learned a lot from that woman,” Colin said.
He said volunteering is so much more than he thought it would be when he started.
“It’s opened my eyes 100 per cent,” he said.
He said he recommends it to anyone.
When Colin isn’t volunteering, he’s a self-admitted workaholic. If he’s not working at GoodLife Fitness, he’s working out there.
“Work is life for me to be quite honest with you,” he said.
He returned home to Guyana last April for the first time since arriving in Canada 12 years ago. He said once he got back to Canada a month later, he went back to work, and he hasn’t taken a day off since.
Colin said he loves what he does, the people he works with, and the people he meets. And when you feel that way about a job, it’s not really work.
“I go to the gym, home, gym, home, and on Fridays I volunteer,” he said. “It’s what I love to do.”