Little Nevada County makes a big impression |

Little Nevada County makes a big impression

The Nevada County Meltdown Challenge and everyone participating in it have made a great impression – in fact, it’s reached 30 million people according to the media. Did we have any idea when we started six weeks ago that this daring idea would capture the imagination of so many people? Even though obesity and lack of fitness is a problem of epidemic proportions?

At the celebration event on Feb. 24, we expect both television and newspaper reporters. Why? Because our collective efforts are producing remarkable results. More than the media attention, we’ve captured the attention and imagination of our neighbors. The program continues to grow – 203 teams representing 1,041 participants who’ve lost 5,637 pounds.

With an average weight of 188 pounds, that’s the equivalent of making 31 participants disappear!

Although the program wasn’t undertaken to attract attention, I appreciate the opportunity to encourage other communities to stand on our shoulders and take the idea to a new level. Last week, during a live interview on ABC-WLS, a Chicago-based radio station covering eight Midwest states, I challenged the 3 million residents of Chicago to put together a team of 30,000. Why not make the leap? And why not have communities competing against each other?

The Meltdown has given us an opportunity to share our community in a new way.

We are sending a message that Nevada County is a fitness-friendly community and a great vacation spot. The world has gotten to see some of the people in our community and they’ve helped us shine.

We are also providing media with names of restaurants that have Meltdown menus, clothing stores that give a discount to participants who have dropped a size or two and want a new look, sporting goods stores discounting equipment for people wearing Meltdown buttons, or bed and breakfasts that have suggested walks for guests (see the Web site for a list). This is truly a community experience and we have so much to be proud of.

The possibilities are endless – it just takes a little imagination.

Businesses who want to be showcased during the next two weeks can e-mail particulars to

For those of you who have been on the sidelines and want to jump in as a participant, it’s not too late. We’ll be adding new team members and creating new teams next Tuesday night. You can be a team of one, or join others. Or you can simply came and enjoy the free lecture. Tuesday’s meeting will cover diets and dieting – something many of us are confused about. Plus, we’ll have the fun of celebrating our latest results.

The greatest joy for me continues to come from the personal conversations and e-mails I receive from participants who report reducing their medications, lowering their cholesterol, improving their balance, or achieving a lifelong dream of losing weight.

At our Tuesday events, we hear the stories of ordinary people who are making remarkable strides in pursuit of health. One by one they take the microphone to tell their story. The rich experience of hearing about our collective progress makes the work and effort more than worthwhile. On top of all of that, it’s a joy to see people making connections, coming together and having fun.

We know that the Meltdown program won’t end Feb. 24. This date simply marks the first step in what will turn out to be a remarkable collective journey. Since “there’s no there there” when it comes to fitness, our goal is not reach a destination but rather to enjoy each and every step.

Note: A 5-minute segment is planned for airing on the “CBS-Early Show,” Channel 13, KOVR, on Monday, Feb. 16, at 7:40 a.m. that will feature the Meltdown in Nevada County. Please note: News-breaking events may pre-empt this time slot.

Carole Carson is a fitness and nutrition advocate from Nevada City. E-mail her at or write her at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.

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