Meet Katie Kramer, our Mom of the Month! Katie is partner to John and mom to Sara (6) and Leah (20 months). Not only is Katie a phenomenal full time mom but she is also part of the F4MLOU team. Katie joined the team in 2018 as a Strides instructor and has since become F4MLOU's Diversity & Inclusion Advocate.
In addition to attending virtual and in person classes Katie has completed one round of Fit4baby and three rounds of Body Well. When Katie isn't cheering on the village at Strides or Boost this summer you can find her running trails with friends at Run Club!
If you haven't met Katie yet we hope you have the opportunity to meet her soon. She inspires us on a daily basis both in class and in life. Katie has a quiet way of making everyone feel seen, heard and welcomed wherever she goes.
Katie, we are beyond grateful to know you, have you on the team and to call you a friend.
Hometown: Bardwell, KY which is 30 miles from any town most folks have heard about. It’s all the way west in Ky - right before you fall in the Mississippi River. My parents are still crop farmers there and mom’s legal practice consists of serving as the Master Commissioner.
Tell us about your family. John and I have been married for 15(!) years and share our home with our two favorite people. Sara is 6 and would happily tell you that even if you didn’t ask. She loves riding horses and her bike, helping me garden, and being outside. She will begin Kindergarten this fall. Leah is 20 months old and is excellent at making her presence known and strongly prefers to spend her day outside, hopefully swinging or practicing running. John and I met at Centre College and married shortly after. We have had many travel adventures together and lived in Chicago for school and work for 10 years prior to coming back to Kentucky. John continues to work for Northern Trust out of Chicago, but now does this remotely.
Prior to Sara’s arrival - my work was in Higher Education. I interned in Student Affairs at Centre after undergrad, then worked at Dominican University in Chicago after completing my graduate work at the Univ. of Chicago. My work was both in residence life and student involvement. I focused on leadership development and event planning for and with students and also taught a couple of classes. We did everything from recreational to social justice programming. I absolutely loved the work and the students and thought I wouldn’t leave - until I met Sara.
Now I am still educating, researching, event-planning and having meaningful conversations but my audience has shifted. It’s now two tiny humans calling me “mama.” I spend my days encouraging independent play and answering questions, trying to support Sara + Leah’s development with lots of research, continuing to use American Sign Language, and planning adventures.
For the last couple of years, I have taught Stroller Strides. This year, I have started a new role with F4M as the Diversity + Inclusion Advocate. My focus is to help us imagine and create a more truly welcoming and inclusive wellness space. We want F4MLou to be representative of and accessible to the greater Louisville community, made up of so many unique individuals. I am working with a dedicated committee and our team to move us in that direction.
What was your childhood ambition? I was pretty positive I would be a veterinarian. Particularly an equine vet. I was even in 4-H Vet club, visited several vet schools, and volunteered at a vet clinic.
What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood has been a transformation and process of continual growth for me. I am working to acknowledge the truth of holding more than one emotion and feeling at the same time. I can be in awe at the immense love I have for my two girls AND be exhausted. I can be frustrated when they aren’t listening AND feel complete joy when I see them smile or feel those tiny hands slip into mine. Allowing myself to grow in this identity and to be more aware of my own emotions and feelings is also an example for them. As I consider motherhood - I am striving to raise secure, joyful children who experience a full range of emotions, know themselves fully, love and welcome others, and who are committed to social justice. This is both life-giving and incredibly challenging and I am grateful to be doing this alongside so many of you.
What is the furthest you have been away from home? Travel is one of the things that brings me the most joy! I studied abroad three times during undergrad at Centre College. One of those trips was to India. We visited New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mumbai and Kochi. That holds the record for furthest from home at this point!
How did you find FIT4MOM? In 2015, following our stint in Chicago, we moved back to Kentucky. After the move, I was looking for a way to prioritize my health with Sara in tow and was happy to find F4M with the help of Google. I went to my first class on Valentine’s day in a church gym and both Cass and Jess were teaching. For some reason I was surprised (pleasantly!) that everyone was so welcoming and I’ve stuck around since.
How has FIT4MOM changed your life? Fit4mom has had a hugely positive impact on my life - specifically through Stroller Strides and Body Well. I’ve added "working out with a stroller" to the long list of things I thought I would never do before motherhood. However, in this season of life, I am hard-pressed to find something that makes more sense. Truly comprehensive workouts, setting an example for Sara and Leah for a healthy life, no childcare costs while I try to find time to workout, amazing friendships for me and the girls, and a supportive community are the perfect combination.
Favorite exercise. Love a burpee or a get-up sit-up. Also REALLY loving trail running now!
Family wise - I’m incredibly proud of birthing my girls in the way that I hoped. Also - there are tiny, everyday moments when I can figure out what’s going on with my girls when they are having a hard time that make me proud in my role as mama.
On a more individual note - I am still proud of training for and running a marathon in 2007.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. I got my first horse when I was 9 years old and showed Quarter Horses in 4-H and AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) shows until I went to college.
Favorite F4MLOU class. Strides will always have my heart. There is nothing quite like those connections made during such a transformative part of motherhood and the example that is being set for health and supportive relationships is priceless.
Quick 5 with Sara:
How old is mommy?
What is something mom always says to you?
Don’t pick up Leah
What is mom really good at?
What is mom's favorite thing to do?
Be with Leah and me.
What makes you proud of your mom?
No problem for her to think of things SHE has done that make her proud but when asked about something I did: “When she brushes my hair.” Another popular answer was “When she helps me carry things [toys] from room to room.” Ha!