My mom running a triathlon Remember in elementary school when kids would say, “My dad could beat up your dad”? Well, I’d always snap back, “My mom could beat up your dad.” And no one could one-up that. Just like Katie Austin, the daughter of fitness icon Denise Austin, I know what it feels like to grow up with a mother who is known as a fitness expert. My mom got her masters in Exercise Physiology (who knew that was even a thing?) and is currently a personal trainer, spin instructor, marathon runner, triathlete, Iron Man and “that lady I always see running with all those kids.” (I am the oldest of 6 kids, and yes, my mom has a six-pack.) She runs every morning. And I’m not talking about a just a leisurely jog. I’m talking 7, 8, 9, 10+ miles a day (and that’s when she’s not training for anything). She ran with every single one us at one point or another in the double jogging stroller as toddlers, rain or shine, cold or hot. Wiping our snot and shoving gold fish and juice boxes in our hands so she could get her run in. Running is one of the few things that my mom ever did for herself when we were kids. It was here MomME Time. For Hot Mom Monday this week, we asked some of our Hot Moms how they raise their children with health and wellness in mind. And just yesterday over on DeniseAustin.com, Denise and her daughter, Katie, just published an interview in honor of the Month of Moms and our Get Fit With Mom Giveaway, where they both talked about how growing up mindful of health and fitness has shaped and enhanced their relationship. And I can definitely relate… Mom in a race When I was a little, I used to be embarrassed when teachers would say, “Hey, Stephanie, was that your mom I saw running by the grocery store the other day?” but as I got older, it was pretty cool having a mom that was active, physically fit and wanted us to be, too. Having a sporty mom (and dad) was what propelled me into sports in the first place, right up through the Division I level – it’s helped make me who I am today (goal-oriented, competitive, vocal, outgoing, compassionate, etc). You can tell, Katie feels the same way, when she says, “You only have one mom, so treat her right! To daughters, I know how much your mom can annoy you, but realize how much they care — and this Mother’s Day, show them how much you appreciate it!” Mom, Dad and little sister, college volleyball senior day Denise and Katie Austin Reading about the way Katie talks about Denise is really special. You can tell she doesn’t feel pressured or forced into being active, it’s just a way of life. Having Denise Austin for a mom isn’t always a constant work-out video, it’s real. Our families share lots of healthy commonalities, like sit-down dinners with long family walks afterwards, family vacations with fun activities like swimming and tennis, and lots of sports throughout the year. These are the memories that I will cherish forever, not the stupid stuff you want as a kid like clothes and cars, but the times we spent together as a family, being silly, talking, laughing and playing. I am so grateful to have grown up with a fun, fit and sporty mom. I look forward to the day where i’ll be able to share the things my mom taught me about healthy and wellness with my own family one day. To read the full interview with Denise and Katie, click HERE. And, don’t forget to enter the Get Fit With Mom Giveaway!