This month we are excited to feature Kate Ramatowski for our member spotlight. Kate has been a member of Forward Fitness for several years and while she is a long standing member of the 5AM Club she does mix up her workout times, especially in the summer since she is a teacher, so many of our afternoon members may have had the opportunity to meet her as well. She comes in quietly and puts in a hard workout and leaves quietly so I thought it would be good to let our members get to know a little more about her.
My first question to everyone we spotlight is just to tell us a little bit about yourself. This is what Kate shared, “I grew up in a large family in Florissant, MO. Fun fact, I never actually lived with all of my siblings due to a fairly significant age gap between the older ones and me. Despite that age gap, I am pretty close with all of my siblings and their families. Because I am the youngest of eight (three brothers; four sisters – one of which is NOT fellow FF member, Jessi Reum, for those of you who keep asking), I had interest in trying just about every sport/activity that’s out there. As a young kid, I tumbled, danced, swam, and took tennis lessons. Eventually I played team sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball – the latter two involving select travel teams throughout my middle and high school years). I also was active in Girl Scouts, student council, and music lessons (violin and piano). To this day, I still like busting out my violin on occasion and trying to play some songs by ear. Another passion of mine that was fostered early in school by a great educator was my love for reading and writing, so it’s only fitting that I ended up becoming an English teacher and coach. On my summer breaks, I spend my time outdoors and traveling as much as possible. A good trip for me involves investigating random spots during the journey, spending time in nature, and checking out the local scene (book stores, festivals, museums, restaurants etc).”
When I asked Kate why fitness was so important to her she had this to share. “At the moment, I’m a tennis coach and a fairly competitive pickleball player. I’m also into hiking, climbing, paddleboarding, and sand volleyball, so to continue doing any of these activities well, I need to take care of my body. Additionally, living an active lifestyle is absolutely essential to combating much of the stress associated with the teaching profession. When I eat well and stay active, my mental health is at its best.”
Kate shared this story about how she came to find Forward Fitness, “ I was recovering from abdominal surgery in November of 2018 when I walked by Forward Fitness for the first time. They were running a Small-Business Saturday promotion, so I went in to check it out. I met Suzanne and told her I couldn’t start the trial Fit Camp sessions until my doctor cleared me to do so. She was willing to work with me, and once I started the camps, I was hooked. The cooperative environment, emphasis on goal-setting, and varied workouts really spoke to me.”
We always ask people about any challenges that they have faced on their fitness journey. Kate’s answer is one I think many of us can relate to. “I think my biggest challenge in terms of health and fitness is staying consistent with diet. When my schedule picks up, it can be all too easy to indulge during meals out or to reach for those comfort snacks in the middle of stressful times. I’m most successful in tackling these food-related issues with careful meal prep on Sundays, keeping hydrated, and focusing on mindful eating. On the days when I don’t get it right, it’s important to give myself grace and just reset.”
When asked what has helped her keep fitness a part of her life Kate had this to say. “I love going on adventures and learning new skills. I know being fit is essential to keeping up with all of the activities I enjoy, so I just do it. I also think my childhood experiences with athletics were so positive that I still have a bit of that competitive drive and desire to improve my performance.
Kate had this to share about what accomplishments she is most proud of. “Staying consistent with my jump roping skills during Forward Fitness Summer/Winter Games and finally pressing those 45 lb dumbbells are two gym-related accomplishments I’m proud of. What I’m really excited about is starting my 19th year working in secondary education because I get to teach the two subjects I love most: rhetoric and creative writing. Additionally, I’m the new Head Coach for the Girls Tennis Team at Hazelwood West High School.”
The advice that Kate would give to someone thinking about starting a new fitness routine to their life. “Do it! Keep trying activities until you find the thing that sticks. If you get bored or find yourself in a rut, try something else.”
The last question I always ask people is to share any fun fact that they would like people to know. I often times incorporate this answer in with the getting to know you question. I loved this story so much that I had to keep it as is and Kate even had a picture to go with it. Here is her fun fact story. “My first Forward Fitness experience was actually five months before ever setting foot in the gym. Linda (Fernandez) asked me to sub on Forward Fitness’s softball team. I don’t remember too many details of the actual game itself, but I do remember that while I tried to squeeze in a quick bathroom break mid-inning, I crashed head first into a stall door (dang softball cleats on slippery floors!) and then had to return to the field a bloody freaking mess. If you’re one of the Forward Fam who hooked me up with napkins, ice, bandages, or if you were one of my teammates that night, thanks for being awesome! Feel free to say hello or roast me for this embarrassing moment at any time. Some skin glue and a tetanus shot from the ER at St. Mary’s made me good as new!”