The 19th Child Remains Fit

How to engage academically and physically

Paul Lamar Hunter

Just use your imagination for a moment and consider how a family of 21 children might stay fit.  As the 19th child of 21 natural children born to his mother (in 21 years), author Paul Lamar Hunter is more than capable of addressing your contemplation. The author of the "No Love, No Charity: The Success Story of the 19th Child" speaks to keeping fit—both academically and physically.


Having grown up in a severely troubled and dysfunctional family of far too many children, I can tell you that the odds are only one-in-21 will keep fit. That one is me. To this day, I am the only one among my 20 siblings to have earned a college degree.

In order to cope with sometimes unbearable family ills as a child, I read lots of books and communicated often with people outside of my family, thus keeping my mind fit with interesting information and wondrous stories.

Often times, my siblings and I visited the Breakthrough Community Center, where, there was a library for anybody's use.  I spent a great deal of time occupying myself by reading library books. Fascinated by the new words that I did not understand, I was eager to seek help to pronounce the words and learn their meanings.  Today, I remain intrigued by learning new things.  Reading remains extremely important to me, and I enjoy sharing learning techniques with children.  I want young people to understand that they can vastly expand their imaginations and become academically fit by reading and using the dictionary for words they don't know.  I encourage kids to seek help and ask questions to better understand that which is not familiar to them.

I've learned over the years that what helps smart people get ahead in life is asking probing questions.  Today, as an adult, I still perform the same learning exercises as when I was young because I want to cultivate my mind and further strengthen my mental capacity.

Developing effective writing skills also contribute greatly to one's advancement.  Growing up, and even as an adult, I was a bit squeamish about putting my thoughts in writing, so I took on the task of learning by asking for and receiving help from people who were skilled in written communications. Believing what Frederick Douglas said, "Without struggle there is no progress,” I worked diligently to learn as much as I could.  The harder I worked at it, the more my skills developed.  Feeling confident that I had become an effective written communicator, I decided to share my story of being the 19th child of 21 born to an extremely flawed mother. I wrote and published my book.

Keeping one's body in healthy and fit condition is equally as important as exercising one's mind.

Growing up, I never saw my parents engage in physical exercise; nor did they promote healthy eating habits in the Hunter family.  We were not encouraged to be healthy and fit.  At about 18 years old, I started to work out in the gym. Needing discipline in my life, I began to go regularly.  Physical exercise came to play a significant role in your life. It reduced my stress as well as contributed to my physical wellness.

I am a person who loves to work out in the gym. I work out every single day. My routine varies. When it comes to my body, I rotate my workout routine throughout the week, and I work different parts of my body.  Working out is an activity that I love. 

Finally, it is important for all children and adults to work out academically and physically. I had heard for many years that human beings were created to be mentally and physically fit.  The mind and body need consistent workout, which is why I make it a conscious effort to stay fit academically and physically. “Stay Fit and Never Quit!”


Learn more about Hunter's unbelievable background and his book at  

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