(804) 741-1599           [email protected]  

Athlete Spotlight: Ronnau Family

Athlete Spotlight: Ronnau Family
December 20, 2019 Michael Harlow

The Ronnau Family are rock stars!  Recently, we caught up with mom (Shelley) and 9-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Julia who work with Coach Erin weekly through private training.  You don’t want to miss this hilarious interview…

Tell us about your journey to endurance sports. How did you get started?

Shelley: I grew up on a 7-mile island, where endurance sports were a way of life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love running, and like most children who grew up in the 80s I spent most of my free time on my bike. My family lived on the southern end of the island while all my friends lived on the northern end, and so I set some of my fastest cycling PRs ever racing across the island to get home in time for curfew.

Emma: What I like about biking is you feel so free when you get the wind in your face and it’s a nice sunny day. That’s what really pushes me.  What I like about running is you’re physically using your legs and it’s always fun to race.

Julia: When you’re out riding your bike it’s easier to use your imagination by yourself and the resources around you, like when me and my friend are out, we pretend we’re super spies and trying to catch a runaway train.


Emma: Julia do you know that you’re not actually a spy? And who is this friend you do it with? Do they know they’re not actually a spy? You should get donuts. Spies have donuts.


Julia: We have a blast while you are busy reading, and we do spy on donuts. They are challenging.


When was your first race? Tell us about it.

Julia: The first time I did a Healthy Kids Running Series race it was fun and easy. The second time I did it I wasn’t ready for the distance, and I learned it’s hard sometimes. I learned I need to prepare and work harder.


Emma: My first race was a Healthy Kids Running Series race. I also did a Short Pump mile, and I got second place. Yay!


Shelley: I felt like everything I did was a race as a kid. I loved racing people and competing.

Emma: Julia, you also did another race, and you got first place. You rocked it. Mommy, I agree everything is a competition.


Julia: Emma, thank you for that very nice comment, and you’re right I did get first place but it took a lot of effort and hard work. And also Emma, you rock all of your races.

Emma: Awwwww, thanks.


What is your greatest accomplishment in the sport?

Julia: Having fun.


Shelley: I was getting ready to humble brag about my personal records (que Springsteen’s ‘Glory Days’), but it’s hard to top that response. Well said Julia.


Emma: Mommy, what’s a “que Springsteen’s Glory Days.”


Shelley: Alexa, play ‘Glory Days’ by Bruce Springsteen.


Emma: Weird. Odd. Disco.


Julia: Wow. So 80s. This is an interesting song.


Shelley: What do you find interesting about it?


Julia: Nothing good.



What is your biggest goal right now?

Julia: Getting stronger with swimming so I don’t have to wear a life jacket as much when I’m out in the ocean.  Swimming makes me happy and it’s so much fun, and when I wear a life jacket I can’t just dive into the waves.


Emma: My biggest goal is getting faster and stronger every time I race. And I want to get better at swimming so I don’t have to wear a life jacket. Life jackets are so itchy.


Shelley: So, has this rendition of Glory Days given you any new life goals?


Emma: Yes … to never listen to this song again.


Shelley: I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that …


What motivates you?

Julia: Losing.  It makes me want to work harder next time.


Emma: Music, friends, and family.


Shelley: All of the above. I also love how connected I feel to nature when I’m running.


Outside of training and racing, what are other important things in your life?

Julia: Family and friends, helping other people.  I’m also thankful that we’re able to afford shelter, food, and clothing. I’m also thankful for love.


Emma: What motivates me is family, friends, how others feel, how I feel, food, shelter, air. Pretty much everything. Life.


Julia: Emma, you talk too much.


Emma: No I don’t, you do.[Twins erupt into some sort of twin language that is indecipherable to others]


Shelley: All those things – and time. Learning, growth.


How has training and racing impacted the rest of your life?

Julia: If I didn’t train and race, I wouldn’t be strong, and I need to be strong to help other people in life.


Emma: It helps me – if I wasn’t training and practicing, I wouldn’t be smart, and if I don’t have goals, there’s no point to anything if I don’t have a goal.


Julia: Classic Emma


Emma: Sly Julia

Shelley: Training and running has been very core to my life and in building my values around hard work, perseverance, and teamwork.  And like Julia, it’s important to me to leverage that to help others achieve things they didn’t know were possible. It’s what gives me the most joy.


Why did you choose to train with Endorphin Fitness?

Shelley: Like all busy families, I’m always trying to find the time for us all to balance having a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Coach Erin suggested a great way for the three of us to get a workout at the same time that helps us all meet our individual training goals while still being together as a family. Erin trains with the twins in the wave pool, while I do a quick strength work-out that she wrote out for me. I’m able to pop my head into the wave pool room to cheer them on if they’re trying to go for a new goal, and they like to laugh at me attempt to do bear crawls. The twins also liked Erin’s idea of a family workout much better than my suggestion that we practice multiplication tables while going on a run.


What do you love most about training with Endorphin Fitness?

Julia and Emma: Our coach!

Shelley: Agree – Erin has made it really fun for the girls and is also helping them to see that they can push themselves harder than they thought.


Anything you would like to add?

Emma: I hope Erin does not play Glory Days during our training sessions.


Julia: Seriously, Erin, you do not want to play that.


Shelley: Thank you to Coach Erin and Endorphin for helping my girls learn important life lessons. I hope everyone has a great holiday!

Get training tips, inspiration, and promos delivered weekly!

Sign Up