Between raising five daughters, managing their busy careers as a TV news anchor and a personal trainer, and actively enjoying the outdoors during their time off, Randy and Kami Meier define the adage “work hard, play hard.” When they play, their favorite place to get away from it all is right here in the St. Croix Valley.
Randy Meier, who in 2010 returned to the Twin Cities airwaves as news anchor for the KMSP-TV FOX-9 news team, is proud to call the St. Croix Valley his home. Originally from Wisconsin, the Meiers have lived in Minnesota off and on since the early 1990s. After first settling in Woodbury, the couple eventually decided to move to nearby Afton, where they fell in love with its rural setting.
“As we got older, and our girls grew up, we wanted more privacy. I remember driving around in Afton with Kami before we ever bought a house, saying this area is so pretty,” Randy says. “And subsequently, we always felt like this part of the Twin Cities was home for us.”
Despite Randy’s 38-mile commute to work at the KMSP-TV studio in Eden Prairie, he says, “The benefit we get from living here far outweighs that drive every day. Our lives are on this side of town.”
The Meiers, college sweethearts who have been married for 30 years, are passionate about getting outside and enjoying their community. “We have something for every season. In the summertime, we do a lot of road biking,” says Randy, who is also an avid bow hunter.
Kami has worked in the exercise industry for 30 years. “It’s easy to stay fit if you find something you enjoy,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like you are sledging along on a treadmill when you’re outside enjoying nature.” For her family, that means a wide variety of activities, including kayaking and paddle boarding at their cabin.
With their mutual enthusiasm for staying active, it’s no surprise that Randy and Kami’s daughters share their love for the outdoors. “I remember packing those little girls up and taking them out to Afton Alps—sitting there, putting on their ski boots, having four sets of skis under my arms, bringing them to ski lessons. That was just part of our life and our culture,” Randy says. “That resulted in the days when we could all jump in the car and head to Colorado and ski as a family.”
“We also had an incredible luge run on our property in Afton when the girls were growing up,” Kami adds. “We spent a lot of time out there, just being outside as much as we could.”
“As I think about our girls now, every single one of them embraces the outdoors in all seasons,” Randy says.
The Meiers also enjoys a good, old-fashioned family competition. Each summer, they hold a family triathlon at their Wisconsin cabin. The event includes Kami’s parents, who are in their 80s, all the way down to their 5-year-old niece. “Swim to the dock, then you run up the hill and touch the person’s hand who has to bike, and it’s about 6–10 miles, and then you touch the person who runs, and they go up and back, and the first person to cross the finish line wins,” Kami explains. “We’ve modified it over the years.”
Randy and Kami are now adjusting to a new stage of life as their daughters build their lives outside of the family home. “Not so long ago, we couldn’t go out to dinner without a phone call, which is fine and natural. But those days are gone,” Kami says.
“Now, because the girls are in college and out of college, our time as a couple has adjusted in terms of something as simple as the topics we talk about,” Randy adds.
“We’ve been married for 30 years, and I think we’ve developed independent personalities and lifestyles, but we still have the core as a couple, too,” Kami says. “I think we are lucky that way, to strike a balance between the two.”
Randy agrees, saying, “Because of our lifestyle, we just feel like you have to get out there and embrace life and do things. Once I go to work, once that 1:30 editorial meeting starts, my day is clocked, really, down to the second, until 10:35. Our business is intense and competitive and you can lose yourself in that very quickly—and a lot of people do. But I’m lucky in that my personality allows me not to get stressed out by it. All of the things we do outside of work are really to create that life balance.”
Between work, play and relaxation, Randy also spends time remodeling their Afton home. “I have what I call ‘projects.’ Between this house and the cabin, I’ve spent time remodeling, and I enjoy it,” he says.
“Sometimes he gets so focused on a project he doesn’t slow down and enjoy it,” Kami says with a laugh. “So my job, as I see it, is to make sure he gets outside so we can go on the boat, a bike ride or take a walk.”
Randy says he isn’t inspired to stay fit because he appears on television.
Although the couple don’t work out together, Kami does share exercise tips from time to time to help Randy improve his workouts.
Their favorite type of exercise is anything that involves adventure and the outdoors. “It keeps me young,” says Kami who, along with Randy and one of their daughters, recently mountain biked in the Rockies. Their next goal is to whitewater raft on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
The Meiers also enjoy cooking and eating healthy. “Everything in moderation,” Kami says. “I always told my kids that if you put bad gas in a car, it’s not going to run well. If you don’t put good food in your body, it’s not going to run well, either.”
While Kami enjoys cooking at home, the couple’s favorite local spot to enjoy a splurge is Barkers in Hudson, Wis. Their favorite menu item? “Tuna steak sandwich, medium rare, Tuscan-style, with French fries and a side of blue cheese,” Kami says.
Now that the days are getting longer and the weather is warming up, the Meiers are looking forward to getting back into their favorite summer activities.
“We enjoy summer the way it should be enjoyed,” Randy says. “It’s pretty rare for us to take a long vacation outside of Minnesota or Wisconsin. We do most of our vacationing at our cabin or right here in the St. Croix Valley.”