Motivational Mom of the Month - Karen Kusterer

How is it already September!? Hope everyone has had a good week so far getting back into the swing of school again! Take a midday break and welcome this month’s Motivation Mom, Karen!

How did you find FIT4MOM Richmond and how long have you been a part of our village?

A good friend and I did Stroller Strides with our first children (9 years ago!) and loved it! It helped get us back in shape and gave a structure to those days when you don’t know which end is up and are still finding your way. I did 2 Body Back sessions a few years ago after having my twins (now 6 years old). I hit a total wall with fitness and decided to go back to what had always worked best for me and that I enjoyed the most.

What do you love most about being part of this community?

I’ve been a part of this community at so many different stages; from my least fit after my twins were born to my running days when I felt my most fit and strong. Regardless of my stage, the support has always been constant and the tone of the classes has remained the same. There is zero competition or judgment, but we also value each other’s time and know we want to make the most out of the precious hour we have carved out for ourselves.

Who are you a mom to?

I am mom to Mac, 9, and Joe and Sam, 6. All three attend Short Pump Elementary School in fourth and first grades.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My kids make us laugh every single day, which definitely helps balance out the tears and the frustration. The problem is that they know they are funny, which usually gets them into more trouble!

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?

I’m a teacher, so it often feels like I am fighting one hundred duck sized horses on a daily basis. No big deal as long as they are potty trained.

How do you stay fit when you’re not working out with FIT4MOM?

When I get the chance, I love to walk in Deep Run Park near my home. My husband is a saint and just hauled a treadmill home for me that we are keeping in the garage. I’m hoping once school starts I’ll be able to get into a good routine between those options!

How do you practice self-care?

Walking is a great chance for me to take a break. I’ve also been known to arrive to Body Back at Libbie Mill a good hour early and read before class when I need to sneak away!

Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Richmond?

I grew up in Stratford, Connnecticut and graduated from the University of Richmond in 1997. I decided to stay here after I graduated and taught at Cool Spring Elementary School in Hanover County before staying home with my kids. I now teach the three’s class at All Saints Preschool and have loved keeping my professional skills sharp while having some flexibility for my family.

How did becoming a mother change you?

My husband and I both lost our fathers when we were in our twenties, and those losses have really elevated the value we place on our childhood memories. As I have become a mother, I have become keenly aware that words matter; I can recall conversations I had with my dad years ago and play them back in my mind with a smile. I know I can’t be a perfect mom every day and be in a great mood every day, but I try hard to make memories for my kids that they can look back on years later and have no doubt they were loved.

What is the last great book or television series you’ve read/watched?

I recently joined a book club and have tried hard to make reading a priority again. I’m so glad that I did, because I’ve read so many awesome books this summer. Some of my favorites have been The Great Alone, Searching for Sylvie Lee and City of Girls. On TV I’m a sucker for Schitt’s Creek.

How did you meet your husband?

We met at a rehearsal dinner after-party. A good friend from California was in town for a wedding where I wasn’t a guest, but I wanted to be able to catch up with her, so I crashed the party. Mutual friends introduced us and we were married 5 years later in 2008.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a journalist as a kid; my favorite gift from my husband was a delivery subscription to the New York Times!

If your five-year-old self suddenly found themselves inhabiting your current body, what would she do first?

She’d probably be excited that she has old lady reading glasses, because I once faked an eye exam because I wanted glasses so badly.

Karen, you are my spirit sister! Sneaking away somewhere early to sit and read...Wanting glasses...loving FIT4MOM!! I see where your kids get their sense of humor :) Also, any tips for potty training boys??