Renee Baker and her daughters, Henley (12 yrs.) and Elsa (7 yrs.), make staying active a fun family affair. “We go swimming and hiking in the summer,” says Renee. “The girls also love to roller skate and rock climb at the recreation center near our home in Grand Prairie, Texas.” And, of course, they run!
“Henley expressed the initial interest to join Beef Team Kids three years ago, motivated by our friend in Houston who had her daughter in the program. I was told a parent had to sign up,” Renee jokes. “So, I’m the walker, Henley is the runner, and younger sister Elsa tags along.”
“Actually, while just a first-grader, Elsa is becoming quite the runner. She finished her last race in 55 minutes, 10 minutes faster than the prior week,” beams Mom.
“Both girls can’t sit still for long, so running is also a great way for them to get their ‘heebie geebies’ out,” Renee laughs. “But, it’s also interesting how they are different. Henley will do math in her head while running to stay on pace while Elsa will talk and talk for 90-percent of the distance — and then I will have to remind her to keep going all the way to the finish.”
Renee says a 5k is the family’s favorite distance. And, since they typically run smaller races, the girls have a good chance of placing in their divisions. “When they start to tire or complain, I remind them how exciting it will be to have their names called out,” she says. “Plus, I also motivate them to never give up, since girls can do anything!”
“The sisters like the Bada** Texas 5k race in Waco,” says Renee, “so they can say a ‘bad word’ for a day and also stay the night in a hotel”. Renee believes in balance and celebrating personal achievements and one of their post-race rituals is to stop by Braum’s for yogurt cones with sprinkles.
The girls have received great nutrition tips from the Beef Team Kids programming and know what a balanced plate should look like. “They like making hamburgers at home in their Beef Loving Texans aprons and cooking supplies picked up over the years,” reports Renee. “Henley loves avocado slices on her burger (she has an avocado-themed room), and Elsa is a fan of berries and corn-on-the-cob on the side.”
Interesting Facts from Renee:
● My husband was stationed in Germany from 1988 to 1992. We met afterward in a German class at Texas State University (previously SWT), then spent a summer at the University of Hanover in Germany before getting married. We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary in May!
● I’m a technical writer for Fannie Mae. I write policies and procedures.
● I used to be a gymnast.
● I know a ton of random music and sports facts if you ever need a ‘Dial-a Friend’ on a gameshow.
● My husband and I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for a few years after college. I’m a huge Braves fan and got to see many playoff games.
Beef Team Memories:
● I have a great memory of a group going to the Unbound Race at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco. This was the first large race during COVID. The mermaids were swimming in a pond. Elsa, who was 5 yrs. at the time, was so excited because she thought they were real. I also remember another time getting together with the group to eat BBQ and catch up at Chappell Hill Deli.
● My favorite race sponsored by Beef Team is the Blue Bell Fun Run. I grew up around Brenham so it is always fun to eat ice cream and go to my old stomping grounds.
● My favorite cuts of beef are Ribeye and Roast. I remember my mom making the best Roast Beef with vegetables.