AF family heads to national fitness finals

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
McConnell's first family to compete in the national Triple Play Fit Family Challenge has progressed to the third and final tier of the national competition.

The Blairs are among the top five out of two hundred families who will travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to compete for the title.

"In this last leg, it's all about keeping up what we have been putting in place all along," said 1st Lt. Scott Blair, 22nd Medical Group resource flight commander. "Healthy eating, keeping physically active and taking more time to do family activities help us build and maintain a strong bond as a unit of four."

Since the contest began in October 2013, families competed by tracking the progress they have made toward a healthier lifestyle on a blog.

The Blair family attributes much of their motivation to the chance of winning a trip to the West Coast. Discovering that their dream was becoming a reality was a nerve-racking experience.

"Braxton (8 year old) fell on the floor, pretending that he passed out," said Heather Blair, Scott's wife," and I screamed because it shocked me. Scott was calm as always, and Paige Alise (10 year old), quietly, without being told, recorded our reactions on video."

The five remaining families will meet for the first time in mid January and will face several challenges during their stay in California.

"When we get there," said Heather, "we will have to compete in a physical obstacle course, a nutritional-jeopardy bowl, and finally, a live talent skit that focuses on the three main principles of the Fit Family Challenge: Mind, Body and Soul."

The Blairs have prepared an a cappella musical performance to bring an element of originality to their skit.

Although the rival families are ultimately competing for the title, Scott said that he already feels as though his family has won.

"The Blairs have made it this far through hard work and from taking the challenge really seriously," said James Jolliff, 22nd Force Support Squadron Youth Center director. "Their example will absolutely influence other McConnell families to challenge their lifestyle and become more engaged in physical activities as a family."

The family is also anticipating an introduction to former olympian Jackie Kersee during the program, along with meeting other families who have endured some of the same challenges and successes as themselves and enjoying a warmer climate on their trip.

"We have been given the opportunity to make memories that only four other families will get to do this year," said Heather. "That in itself is worth winning or losing, no matter what we will go with a smile and represent McConnell, so we are winners all around."