I've been a bit nostalgic these days, looking back over the five years of Take the Lake. I stumbled across a slideshow of our first year in 2009 and was taken by two things; how quickly this community embraced a new fitness event, and how much we have grown since then.
Some say this latest push started with Drop a Ton in 2005 when we all lost more than two tons of weight, but the slideshow also remembers Lee
J. Greer who had started the Labor Day Swim decades earlier, and Grant Egley who started the walk. Then there's the photo of some 40 people who could proudly say that they could swim four miles.
What a feat that was! But then to see people who once thought all they could do was swim now completing the X-TREME! - all four PECs in one day. One of those amazing people is Samantha Lane who at 15 years old last year became our youngest X-TREME!-ist ever.
With dozens of swimmers, nearly 100 paddlers and hundreds of walkers and cyclists, participation was earnest from the start. Groups made their own t-shirts! Residents cheered from their yards, handed us water and snacks, and made exciting posters to motivate us.
We held the Paddle Challenge in the afternoon that year, and the water was rough! But the slower paddlers were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
I see the wonderful Gore family, who motivated, participated and instigated from the start. The McNeill's, who have embraced community fitness as a cause, and so many more people who have insisted that Take the Lake would be a success.
And Julie Stocks, who with her husband, Don, has dedicated much of her life to the Labor Day Swim, and who has recently taken on the role of taking over Take the Lake. It is a lot more work than a sane person can handle, and Julie is much more sane than I am, so she can use your help - please offer when you can!
I see people taking on exciting challenges they once thought impossible, and that is the goal of Take the Lake; to empower people to chase their dreams, to chase them hard, and to chase them down.
Take the Lake belongs to Columbus County, and it belongs to you. Those folks in Wisconsin who think we are the least healthy county in the state have not been here in September. They have not seen us run, cycle, paddle and swim. They have not seen us fight for a healthier community. They have not seen us Take the Lake!
Join in the TTL training fun, and leave a comment!
Take the Lake would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting fitness and good health in our community!
Thank you to our sponsors!
Columbus Regional Healthcare System
The John A. McNeill Family
Carolina Sports Medicine
Council Tool Company
Friends of Rube McCrae Memorial Library
Hill's Food Stores
Southeastern Community College
Baldwin Woods Pharmacy
Dale's Seafood Restaurant
Powell and Powell Law
Sam’s Pit Stop
Special Service Sponsors
Body Shapers Fitness Center
Lake Time Vintiques
The News Reporter
Take a few minutes and reel through the years of Take the Lake, as we review the many themes and posters that have helped make fitness more fun in Columbus County! Click here
After spending several years at the very bottom of the County Health Ranking -- as the least healthy county in all of North Carolina -- we have improved our lifestyles enough to move up to 96, and we are proud to be so healthy!
Look at this!
The Weigh We Were - Photos and stories of people who have lost 100 lbs or more -- incredible and inspiring!
DID YOU KNOW...
that the second-most-popular Boy Scout merit badge in the U.S. is for Swimming? And the ninth-most-popular is Personal Fitness? Yes!
Six girls complete
all four PECs.
Are you ready?
movies -- please!
Visit our Sponsor Page, or Contact us if you would like to be a part of the largest community fitness event in Columbus County!