This column first appeared in The News Reporter on June 20.
We are in the fifth year for Take the Lake, and are rejuvenated every year when people tell us how they were inspired to take on one or more of our Personal Endurance Challenges.
Remember if you will, that we are not a race, and we don’t market Take the Lake to athletic people who regularly run triathlons or marathons. Our goal from
the start has been to inspire the average person to believe in themselves, and to do something they have never done, something they possibly thought they never could do.
Here are a few inspirational stories from some of our participants.
Doug Burrell wrote us; “I've participated in the walk the last four years… my 40th birthday is in June and I wanted to do something physically significant to make myself feel better about being an old man… Yesterday, I ran and completed my first half-marathon… I'm going to continue running because my original goal was to run Take the Lake and I'm going to do that this year.
“It was Take the Lake that inspired me to do something and I'm grateful for that,” Burrell continued. “I feel a lot better about getting older and my health in general. I'm sure others have been inspired in a similar fashion.”
Alyson Bahr wrote; “I never thought I could bike 22 miles. I ended up doing another 5 later in the day along with kayaking 2 hours…”
George Boren, who helped us with insurance last year, wrote; “This event – and I only participated in the run – was one of the best… I am a 48-year-old 'slightly' disabled veteran (82D Airborne Division 10 years) who is also a 15-year cancer survivor and I was proud of finishing the run.”
We have stories of people who have lost nearly 100 pounds so they could Take the Lake, stories of people changing their lifestyles, as a new passion for exercise and fitness changed their lives.
But we only hear these stories from people who have accepted one or more of the Take the Lake PECs, have trained and have given it their best efforts.
Every week, I also hear from people who don’t believe they can walk 15 miles, paddle 14 miles, bike and hike 15 miles or swim four. I understand their doubts, but it is from people like this where the greatest success stories are possible, but only if they try and believe in themselves.
Certainly, there are many people who physically cannot currently achieve one of our four PECs, and there are other events right here in Columbus County they can enjoy.
But there are more people here who can achieve one or more, but only if they want to. Can’t walk 15 miles because you are seriously overweight? This is a great time to lose that weight. Can’t swim four miles because you don’t know how to swim? This is a great time to learn.
Like we said after our last season; completing a Take the Lake PEC makes you believe that “anything is possible.”
You don’t have to do this alone. Friends, family members and coworkers provide the best motivation, assistance and encouragement for most people to achieve anything great, so don’t leave them out.
And while you’re at it, why not motivate, help and encourage your friends, family and coworkers to do something great?
In 2012, six teenage girls here completed all four PECs, and we interviewed them. Watch their inspirational interviews at Takethelake.org in the Sports of all Sorts section of Whiteville.com.
At Takethelake.org, we also have a Fitness Calendar button right on the main page. Click it to see all the runs, walks, bike rides and Zumba classes that we hear about. Start out with the DREAM Walkers on Monday afternoons, then walk a 5k, take a bike ride, and work your way up to 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!