TOMAHAWK - If you walk into the gym, you'll see a clear divide – women on the treadmills and ellipticals, men in the weight room.
But more women in the Northwoods are crossing over, thanks to a program called StrongWomen.
Marge Hayes considers the program part of her recovery from a stroke she suffered a stroke back in June 2011.
"It affected my vision and my balance primarily," Hayes said. "I was very, very fatigued after the stroke and that meant a lot of sitting in a chair."
But Hayes isn't the type to take a stroke lying down. So she lifted herself up and started lifting weights.
"It's an addiction."
The fix is Hayes's twice-weekly classes with the StrongWomen program through UW-Extension.
Bonnie Rudie started training women in Tomahawk a year and a half ago.
"We started with one class and from there it mushroomed to three classes," Rudie said. "The biggest advertisement was the women, because they're feeling better, they're doing things they couldn't do before. "
"I think our entire neighborhood comes," Hayes said. "Keeping all of these women strong and healthy is good for the community as well."
It's also good for family. Rudie started the class with her own mother in mind.
"My mother was obese and she probably died earlier than she should have. I don't want my kids or my grandkids thinking ‘I wish grandma or mom took care of herself,'" Rudie said. "So I've always been conscious of it, but as I've gotten older, I see that I need to work a little harder at it."
StrongWomen participants find working harder isn't so hard when it's fun.
"I really, really enjoy it," Hayes said. "When there's a break between the sessions, I miss it."
"These women love to come. They get to know each other, they bond with each other," Rudie said. "And when you feel better, your emotions are in better shape, too."
You can register for the fall session of StrongWomen by calling Lincoln County UW-Extension at 715-539-1072.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Just a few years ago, crumbling cement, steps, and seats filled Lac du Flambeau's Indian Bowl. Now, a major reconstruction project is halfway done. It will hopefully give people from all over a chance to learn about Native American culture and traditions once again.
"We increase that sense of pride in our community," said Director of Planning and Development Emerson Coy.
Coy still remembers how the old Indian Bowl used to look like.
"It was used in bad shape before that and it was sad," said Coy.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
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