The Quintanas, That's All Folks! But the End Is Really the Beginning

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

Typically, saying goodbye can be depressing, but with all the endorphins flowing through this house, all we can do is feel the good.

Here in our very last week of the Healthy Families Challenge, we find we've accumulated a whole lot of high-powered life lessons that we can appy to anything.

Lesson #1: We have only ourselves to answer to.

David, now nearly 60 pounds lighter, and I, down 10 pounds myself, have already picked days and planned workout routines to keep us on the ball. Not to mention that I will be continuing my Monday-night boot camp class with Michelle Christie at the Doral Vineyard, along with occasional yoga visits to Pranoga, to keep my focus and stress levels where they should be.

And thanks, America, for all your backup over the last eight months! Your holding us accountable every week really helped us stick to our guns. Now we're on our own.

Lesson #2: Change will keep us moving.

Christian, my youngest son, has already found a new rock-climbing class that caught his attention, but that will not stand in the way of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes at American Top Team Doral, which he wholeheartedly plans on continuing.

He's learned that just because he is choosing to add other activities besides skateboarding, doesn't mean that his favorites will be left behind.

quintana family picture

That's a wrap! Credit: Nory Garcia

Lesson #3: Observe, listen and chow down.

As Aaron, my oldest son, prepares for the next running season, he's thankful for the discipline he learned in Jiu Jitsu at ATT Doral: He always gives his all, and never underestimates the competition, in a 5k or anywhere else.

Aaron has also learned from Su-Nui Escobar, our HFC nutritionist (who shares his love of long-distance running), that what you put into your body is the fuel that keeps it going. Aaron knows that, to prepare for a race, he should take care to put good stuff in his tank.

Lesson #4: Confidence gets you everywhere.

Chloe, my youngest child, has learned through her confidence-building exercises at the Little Gym of Doral, that faith in yourself can change your whole outlook. For Chloe, P.E. was always a tough subject in school, but this year she managed to pass with flying colors.

Her new, high-energy Hip Hop class, also taught by Michelle Christie at the Doral Vineyard, is like the kid-confidence power hour. Since she started dancing, Chloe is practically a different child -- miles from that shy and timid girl we once knew.

Lesson #5: Endorphins will make or break you.

Elizabeth, my oldest daughter, learned the hard way that when the body stops moving, it lacks the energy to keep cheery. After a mid-Challenge bummer brought on by a slowly healing broken thumb, she found herself down-and-out.

After worrying whether or not Beth would get her mojo back, we decided to consult with the experts as to why she was so sad. Yup, we went straight to the movie "Legally Blonde." It told us everything we needed to know -- that, as Elle Woods says, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make people happy, and happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't." With Beth's thumb healed up and her getting back into the flow of things (she's loving that Hip-Hop class, too!), her mojo is more than happy once again -- and we all feel a lot safer around her.

Lesson #6: A family that fights together also bonds together.

As I kept explaining throughout HFC, my kids could not be any more different. It was amazing to see the way they teamed up when they all found something they loved doing together. Their Jiu Jitsu classes at ATT Doral have bonded us all in a special way. Those of us who can continue attending -- and those of me who can't -- are so proud to be cheering them on in what is (and possibly might permanently be) my favorite sport.

Personally, I think if people were to take our little lessons and apply them to life, they would be surprised at the fun, yet impacting, difference each and every one could make.

Now, go out and practice what I preach, America. See what positive things the overflow of endorphins will bring to you and your family! We'll be right here, doing it too.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.



Check out how the other families are doing!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.