first_imgAll of Donegal will be tuning in to support the Ryans from Kilmacrennan in the final of Ireland’s Fittest Family – and their mother Maria couldn’t be more proud.This Sunday, father Danny Ryan (44), and his eldest children Alanna (16), Jordan (17), and Keane (22) face one more round of gruelling physical and mental challenges in their bid to win €15,000 and this year’s title.Former boxing champion Danny leads the clan through the battles, but there’s a lady off camera who has done just as much to raise the winning team. Donegal Woman talked to mother Maria Ryan to see what life has been like since her family entered Ireland’s Fittest Family, and how being the mum of such an active family involves a lot of taxiing… and a lot of laundry!Each challenge has taken the Ryan team to a different place around Ireland. Maria was able to go along to the last three as the numbers of people on the sets narrowed down.“I would never have felt scared watching them do the challenges. I just wanted them to do well. The atmosphere in the car was brilliant coming home from the events, and we were just so happy to get to the next round each week,” said Maria. Between mud runs, bog swims and Hanging Tough challenges over water, the tasks were messy affairs. The red Ryan uniform was often invisible beneath muck at the end of the episodes. As Donegal Woman found out, it’s the mammy that has to do the washing!“I’m sick of the washing! After the events and when they were out training I’d be handed the black bags at the end of the day. There have been a lot of hot washes!”The Ryan family washing line!The location of each challenge would be kept secret until a few days before recording, so the Ryans had to be trained to tackle anything. “We spent a lot of time during the summer practicing for events and always trying to think about what could come up.”Maria is just as into fitness as the rest of the brood. “Horse riding and snorkeling are my things. I go horse-riding with my friends a couple of times a week, and myself and Danny would often go cycling through Glenveagh.”“We’ve always been an active family. We were never ones to be sitting around watching TV.”Between training, school and classes, Maria is the family taxi driver. “I am the taxi,” she laughs, “It’s so busy running them all to training, school and classes. It’s been busy even before they were entered into Ireland’s Fittest Family. Every evening someone needs to go somewhere. We have a good background of friends and family around us who help out with sharing lifts too.” “My time is when the kids are at school. I like to look after my chickens and two dogs and I always use my time to do something active.”Seeing her family reach the final of the show makes Maria a very proud mammy. “Every time I turn on the TV now I see the advert for the final. It’s hard to believe that that’s my family. I’m just so proud.”“No matter what the result, to get to the final it’s amazing and there are so many strong families taking part.”Good luck Team Ryan! Read the full interview here on DonegalWoman.ie. Maria Ryan cheers on her fit family before the grand final was last modified: December 16th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ireland’s Fittest FamilyRTERyanTVlast_img read more