Don Canada describes himself as "an average Joe"—one who started being more healthy by walking his dog, worked up to finishing an Ironman race and then founded Be Healthy Lake Travis.
As chairman of the group he formed in November, Canada has brought together a board of directors that includes a registered dietitian, a three-time Olympic swimmer and many others.
"I want to have a group of like-minded individuals that are passionate about health and wellness in this community, and I want to make an impact during the next 10 years," Canada said.
President Elli Overton, who swam for Australia in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, said the Lakeway area is a fairly healthy community, but healthy choices need to be made every day.
"You pick up a magazine, and it [says], 'Lose seven pounds in seven days.' Seven days is not what we're talking about. We're talking about your life," Overton said. "You can't make some choices for a week and think you're going to revolutionize the way you live. I really think that the way to help people make a change is to do it in small steps with community support."
Among the group's long-term goals is to serve as a clearinghouse for people to find healthy activities and information.
"We all have the passion in our hearts to help others in this community," Canada said. "We're not trying to tell people what to do. We're just trying to inspire them and lead by example. We can have a healthy, active community out here for a long time."
Be Healthy Lake Travis, 512-266-4995, www.behealthylaketravis.com