For Julie and Mike Speetzen fitness is a family affair. If you see them in the studio they will always be together (something that started about 15 years ago when Mike convinced Julie to train for a half marathon) and this summer you’ll find their daughter Katelynn joining in the action. Living a healthy lifestyle has been a top priority for these two competitive athletes, but most recently they have found that fitness goes beyond competition. For this busy family of six, fitness now bridges the gap between their hectic schedules and is something that brings their family together.
You have four beautiful girls and are both very active in the community. Tell me a little about yourself.
We moved to Wayzata in 2015 and have three daughters in college and one still at home for another year. We love to travel and explore new places as a family. It’s getting more difficult to get the six of us together, but when we are we love to boat, bike, play tennis and attend sporting events.
You and Mike are so active and set an incredible example of healthy living for your girls. Has fitness always been a priority? And have you encouraged your girls to get involved in fitness/sports?
I started competitive swimming at the age of four. After our girls were born I started playing competitive tennis. Mike played soccer and tennis growing up and was on Purdue’s rowing team. Mike and I have also done Spartan races together and a couple years ago we participated as a family. It was a great bonding experience and a ton of fun. All four of our girls played soccer when they were younger and two played in high school. Another two played tennis in high school and continue to play, and we have an avid snowboarder (she’s in school in Boulder).
Who is the cook in the family and is there a favorite meal?
I’m the cook. I think our favorite family meal is tacos. Usually chicken. With only one daughter at home now I don’t cook as much but when I do we love to barbeque.
What is your favorite season and if you were a beverage in that season what would you be?
I would be summer. I love the long days and being from California and Arizona I love my sunshine. I think I would be sparkling Rose. It’s so refreshing and I love pink! Mike also loves summer because of the long days on the lake and family pool time. He would be a California Cabernet for sure -good all year round.
What brought you to FlyFeet? And how did you convince Mike and Katelynn to join you?
Jenni Greenway asked me to go to a class with her. I kept saying no because I thought that there was no way I could run with Jenni Greenway the Iowa track star! After my first class I was hooked. It was unlike anything I had ever done and running next to Jenni was awesome! She is such a positive influence. After that I went home and told Mike he had to try FlyFeet. We started coming to class together on Saturdays and then added a few evening classes when we could. Now Monday night is FlyFeet night. We workout and then go have salads at Crisp & Green.
Katelynn was super easy to convince. She has always been very athletic and a great runner. She attends school at the University of Alabama, so I sent her some FlyFeet videos from YouTube. She was so excited to get home to try it with us. She was hooked after her first time in the studio. At some point we would love to get all the girls to FlyFeet.
How did Katelynn like her first FlyFeet workout? (Be honest)
She killed it! And she loved it. She’s a lot like me. She loves a challenge and FlyFeet is always a challenge. The best part of her first workout was her next to me saying “come on mom, you got this”.
You and Mike absolutely crush it in the studio. What would you say are your biggest accomplishments so far?
Sprinting. I never thought I could run fast. Running at higher speeds has always intimidated me. I have to say the coaches are amazing and supportive. They always get me out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have been able to get faster without them. Mike feels the exact same way.
It’s a partner workout. Do you choose each other as partners or do you go to opposite sides of the studio?
We are always partners. It’s how we roll. Having Mike by my side gives me confidence. And we might be a little competitive with each other, in a healthy way of course.
If you could create your perfect FlyFeet workout what would it include?
We prefer the sprinting workouts, but seriously would not change a thing. Every class is challenging and rewarding. Oh, and NEVER boring.
Tell me about your best family vacation ever taken and did you stay active or relax?
About three years ago we did a 14 day cruise in Europe. We had college bound kids and a move to Minnesota going on. We needed a good family vacation. We went to Italy, Turkey, France, and Greece. It was amazing. When we were on the boat we did family yoga and hit the gym. And we certainly got in lots of steps every day. The best workouts were off the boat exploring so many places.
The girls might say Disneyland. That’s still one of their favorite places even as adults.