Let’s Get This Started! Meet the Cram Crew!

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We are so excited to have been selected as a spotlight family for the Charlotte Fit Family Challenge! We look forward to sharing our stories of success as well as challenges over the next eight weeks.

First, let’s introduce our crew! We are a busy family of six, living just outside of Wesley Chapel in Union county.


works for a small biotech company in Charlotte. His work involves travel, sometimes for a week plus at a time, so we always try to maximize his “helping out at home time” when he is home. We, meaning Kathleen (in case that isn’t obvious). He is also a volunteer firefighter with our local station. He keeps active by playing hockey one night a week if his work schedule permits. He also tries to run during his lunch break 3-4 days a week when he is in town. He has just started coaching Kelleen and Breanna’s lacrosse team this season as well.

Kathleen (that’s me) also works full-time. I am an occupational therapist in the school system. I belong to a running group in Uptown Charlotte and meet up with them whenever able on Saturday mornings. I also run with a friend before work three days a week, as long as Chuck is in town. My mind stay’s pretty active with trying to keep the schedules straight and get everyone where they need to be on time. Well, at least that is always the goal – to be on time! Sometimes we have to settle for being “close” to on time. This challenge is about keeping the whole body active though, isn’t it? That is where I will try to focus my efforts over the next eight weeks.

Kelleen, aged ten, is in the fourth grade. She is playing lacrosse this Spring and also does Girls on the Run two days a week. She is currently in training for the Girls on the Run 5k at the end of April.

Breanna is eight years-old and in the third grade. She is also playing lacrosse this Spring. She just missed getting into Girls on the Run this season. The group is very popular and was already full this season. Kelleen got the last spot. (If only Mom had signed up a little bit earlier – oh well). She decided she would still like to run the 5k at the end of the month though, so she has been training with Mom during the week to be sure she is ready.

Regan, the sole boy, is five years old. He will be starting kindergarten in the fall. He is a high energy little guy and rarely sits still. He just started soccer this season and has been having a blast!

Neave, the youngest of our crew is three years-old. She just started soccer this season as well. She has quickly picked up the sport and is driven each game to “score some goals!”.

As you can see, our schedule stays pretty busy. Once Kathleen finishes work and gets all of the kids picked up and home it is usually close to 5:00. The motivation to cook a healthy meal, covering all of the food groups, from scratch, just isn’t always there. Who are we kidding? It’s rarely there! It seems that every once in a while we are able to get back on track and we plan out healthy meals ahead of time to make for each night of the week. Inevitably though, something always comes up that throws us off schedule and we seem to stray from our great laid out plans. Once we are off of our schedule it is so difficult to get started again! It truly needs to be a deliberate and planned out effort. That is why we are so excited to be part of this challenge! For the next eight weeks, the Cram Crew will have access to an awesome panel of experts to guide us and support us along the way. As part of the challenge, we’ve been given access to an amazing team that includes a dietician, a personal trainer, a physician, and a life-balance coach. We are so excited to have their support as we work toward our goals. We will definitely share some of the great tips they each give us over the next eight weeks.

So, what exactly are our goals for this challenge? Good question. Best way to get to get the answer is to ask each member of our family. Here is what they have to say.

Chuck – My goal is to get my kids and me outdoors more. I also want to develop a better attitude toward better nutritional family meal planning.

Kathleen – My goal for this challenge is to come up with a plan that I can stick with to be sure that our meals and snacks are filled with healthy choices. When we are strapped for time, it is so easy to run through a drive through or go out to eat. I know we eat much better when I plan meals and we eat at home. My goal is that I will plan out our meals on Sundays and then stay with the plan all week. I would also like to develop a better system to keep healthy snacks on hand, especially to bring along when we are running between sports and activities. My second goal is to improve our level of fitness as a family. I would like to increase the number of times we exercise as a family to at least three times a week. I know we can do it! Lastly, I have set a personal goal of at least three days of weight training a week in addition to running at least four days a week. I’ve never had a personal trainer or dietician before but have definitely used that excuse on many occasions – “If only I had a personal trainer.” ” If only I had a dietician to help me plan out meals.” Well, those excuses are out during these next eight weeks. It’s game on! 

Kelleen – My goal for this challenge is eating healthier, playing lacrosse better, and overall being more active. I especially want to be healthier when it comes to choosing healthier options for school lunch.

Breanna – My goal is to be more active. I love chocolate cake! My goal is to eat less chocolate cake.

Regan – I want to play a lot of sports. I want to go for a walk or run every night. I want to eat a lot of bananas. Maybe even every day!

Neave – I want to exercise. I think I’ll eat strawberries and carrots and apples.

Well, there you have it!  We look forward to sharing our journey with your throughout this great challenge. The Cram Crew will be blogging each week to update you on how we’re doing with our goals. Be sure to check out our blog every Monday! Each week, each family member will also share their highlight of the week for both healthy eating and fitness. We tend to have some amusing conversation around the dinner table when discussing our daily highlights so be sure to check in with us each Monday!

Be sure to sign up for the family challenge if you haven’t already!  It officially starts for the community in April 15th but sign up is now open! There will be tons of opportunities to win some great prizes and also to take advantage of free fitness classes in the Charlotte area. We’ll see you next Monday to let you know how we’ve been doing in moving toward our goals.

Have a great week! Move just a little more than you had planned and choose the healthier option even when you don’t feel like it!

Be a part of the Fit Family Challenge! Register today for free fitness classes, expert advice and a chance to win prizes while getting healthy as a family.