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a twin cities south of the river lifestyle journal a twin cities south-of-the-river lifestyle journal


Spring 2012

Finding Love Online Women Nutrition and Exercise Football Wife: Coming of age with the NFL

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ECM Specialty Publications 12180 County Road 11 Burnsville, MN 55337 952-846-2040 Managing Editor Ginny Lee Contributing Writers Jan Thatcher Adams, M.D. Katherine Fossler Tad Johnson Marianne McDonough Laura Murray

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Online Dating: Finding love in all the site places Local psychologists, life coaches, crime prevention police officer, and wedding consultants weigh in on the benefits and risks of online dating and offer some valuable information for anyone plunging into the digital world of dating.



Women’s Nutrition and Exercise: It just got easier If you’re skipping breakfast or huffing at the top of the stairs, you’ll want to read this article. Whether it’s expanding your grocery list, strapping on snowshoes, or signing up for a pole dancing class, we’ll help you find new ways to eat healthy and stay fit.



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Eleven to be honored as 2012 Exceptional Businesswomen The Dakota County Tribune Business Weekly turns the spotlight on local women who know business. The Tribune and the Dakota County Technical College Foundation honor 11 recipients of the 2012 awards.


Focus magazine is a quarterly publication of ECM Specialty Publications.



Fairytales, lumps and bumps, and real life happiness Local author, Dr. Jan Thatcher Adams, shares a very personal account as wife of NFL great, Karl Kassulke. Dr. Adams chronicles the years of the Vikings’ “purple people eaters” and gives us a glimpse into her fairytale romance with a sports celebrity in the 60s, and the behind the scenes nightmare of alcohol, drugs, and infidelities.


Watch for our “summer of fun” Issue coming In May. If you are a parent looking for summer camps or classes for your child, you’ll want to watch for the May edition of FOCUS magazine. You’ll find Information about many south-of-the-river summer camps and classes, Including everything from performing arts to cooking. Whether your child is into karate, ballet, hockey, or dreams about being the next American Idol singer, we’ll help you find the right summer activity.

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A message from the editor major dating sites. In fact, one in five single adults currently is, or has been, in an online relationship. FOCUS magazine looks at the benefits and the risks of online dating and offers some valuable information for anyone considering taking the plunge into the digital world of dating.


hanks for reading this issue of FOCUS magazine which is published quarterly by ECM Specialty Publications. FOCUS magazine is a lifestyle magazine reaching 35,000 readers in the south-of-the-river area. To browse our articles and leave feedback, visit In the February 2012 edition you’ll find an article examining online dating from a woman’s perspective. “Online Dating, finding love in all the site places” delves into the role of matchmaking on the internet. Statistics show that online dating is a worldwide business with an estimated worth exceeding $4 billion. In the United States alone, there were more than 593 million visitors to the

If you’re like many women, finding time to eat healthy and exercise is sometimes at the bottom of our list of priorities. Reading the article, “Women’s Nutrition and Exercise: It just got easier”, will provide some new ideas to help you eat healthy and stay fit. Whether it’s expanding your grocery list to include some new foods, strapping on snowshoes, or signing up for a pole dancing class, you may find the benefits of making nutrition and exercise a regular part of your life might turn out to be more than you expected. Be sure to read the article by the wife of former NFL great, Karl Kassulke. Jan Thatcher Adams, MD shares a very personal account of her extraordinary life. Her book, Football Wife: Coming of Age with the NFL as Mrs. Karl Kassulke, chronicles the years of the Vikings’ “purple people eaters”. Dr. Adams gives us

a glimpse into her fairytale romance with a sports celebrity in the 60s. However, she also reveals how behind the scenes her life became a nightmare of alcohol, drugs and infidelities, eventually ending their marriage. Kassulke was known for his hard-hitting when he played for the Minnesota Vikings and as a result experienced multiple head concussions. Today, we know that repeated head concussions can have devastating effects on the traumatized brain, resulting in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Symptoms can include loss of memory and concentration, confusion, depression, aggression, impulsiveness, and sudden rages. It’s very likely that Kassulke was a victim of CTE. After her divorce, Dr. Adams went on to a 35-year career as a physician, provided humanitarian services all over the world, survived a near-fatal bout with cancer, and now adds author to her resume. To comment on any of our articles, please go to We would appreciate your feedback and opinions on these topics. For information about becoming an advertiser, call 952-846-2040 or email


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Online dating, finding love in all the site places BY MARIANNE MCDONOUGH

America in the Fast Lane When the information highway intersected the 20th century, American culture shifted into a fast lane with no speed limits, roadmaps, or foreseeable exits. No one, not even the inventors, could have imagined the social revolution that accelerated into the next millennium. In 2012, a digital-savvy populace navigates more than 1,000 dating sites as well as a myriad of smart phone dating apps, such as “Picksie,” a GPS-based link for nearby date spots, and “Date Escape,” a fake call and message application that can be selftriggered for a fast exit. There are even dating sites that provide virtual dating experiences, such as lunch at a French café. Others arrange short webcam interviews for their matches, and online ghostwriters have a whole new clientele who need help building membership profiles.

As technology transitions into the role of matchmaking, critics decry the lack of regulation and the danger of sexual predators, e-mail fraud, and fake profiles disguising true marital status, as well as marketing ploys or prostitution. In response, various online services conduct background and marital status checks, and two states, New York and New Jersey, have Internet dating sites legislation. Currently, similar bills are being considered in Michigan, California, Florida, Ohio, and Texas. In March, 2011, sued a convicted felon and sex offender for misrepresenting himself and attempting to gain access to True’s members. So, is online dating a positive tool in a busy world? Or is it a social nightmare fraught with danger? And how, especially, is it working for women?

A “Mixed Bag” Licensed psychologist Linda Lehmann, from Lakeville-based Inner Light Counseling Services, says that online dating is a “mixed bag.” She advises people to “go into it with their eyes wide open and realize that a dating site is really a microcosm of a larger world. What that means is that there are some people just like you who are interested in trying to meet someone, and others who are not. There’s a whole range of people, and you need to understand what you’re entering into.” On the positive side, from personal experience, Lehmann met her husband online. Widowed in her first marriage, and later divorced, she said, “I’ll never get married again. I’m done.” But then she decided to try it out. “I distinctly remember sitting there the day I went online, yelling at the computer, ‘I don’t want to do this!’ I had 5

no confidence in my ability to meet anyone, so I joined for a whole year, figuring that’s what it would take. Four hours later my now husband e-mailed me. Amazingly, he had been on there for three years but had been very unsatisfied, and this was his last day of membership.” They met in 2001 and married in 2004. Lehmann acknowledges that it doesn’t always work that well, but she tells clients, “This is the world we live in now, and a lot of people are meeting online.” If you want to be successful, she suggests careful forethought and preparation:

need to belong. “We tend to let fear guide our thinking, fear of never finding anybody. There’s a whole list of unworthiness items that we carry around with us. And that’s how we end up in relationships that don’t work very well, because our need to belong is greater than what we really need in a relationship.”

How would Thibault coach someone to prepare for online dating? She suggests that people first make a list of the things they want, prioritize them, and not “underestimate the power of possibility. You really can have what you want. Let go of preconceived ideas.” While filling out the profile, she recommends being as honest as

Meeting for the first time • Tell a friend or family member where you’re going, approximately what time you expect to return, and your date’s full, real name.

We tend to let fear guide our thinking, fear of never finding anybody. There’s a whole list of unworthiness items that we carry around with us. And that’s how we end up in relationships that don’t work very well, because our need to belong is greater than what we really need in a relationship. -SANDY THIBAULT

Some experts view online dating with measured caution. In Psychology Today (online), Key Sun, PhD, writes that online dating is a “poor way to find love.” He believes that people exaggerate desirable traits in their profiles and that matching mechanisms, especially category-based selection processes, lack “the basic ingredients for developing real love.” The end result, according to Sun, is an “artificial contact” that fails to produce “meaningful interpersonal interactions.” Online dating, he says, has two major weaknesses. It lacks face-to-face interaction and doesn’t help people heal their emotional baggage and past hurts. Therapeutic Life Coach and Co-director of Inner Light Counseling Services, Sandy Thibault, agrees that people need to reexamine and learn from past relationships. She says that dating in general “boils down to the basics—what do I need and what is it that I have to offer?” One of the pitfalls for women in particular, she says, is the

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• Keep your cell phone on and be reachable. • Don’t disclose your home address. • If you have children, don’t disclose where they go to school. • Refuse requests or manipulation for money. • Use whatever safety measures make you comfortable, whether it’s a can of mace or whistles or even a stun gun, but keep in mind those things can be used against you. If you’re confident and comfortable using them, then do whatever your comfort level dictates.

possible. “If you fluff it up a bit, you’re only going to find out later that the match isn’t right.” • Take time everyday to be quiet. Disconnect with other things so you can connect with yourself. • Stick to your priorities, no matter what. • Always trust your gut. Even though the person in front of you looks like the most attractive person in the world, if your gut says, “something’s wrong,” pay attention.

Red Flags and Common Sense Are there horror stories? Red flags? To answer that question, we asked Lakeville police officer and crime prevention expert, Jessica Swaner, to weigh in on online dating. To her knowledge, there have not been online dating incidents reported in Lakeville. She agrees with Thibault, saying, “Trust your instincts. If you meet somebody who is doing or saying inappropriate things you wouldn’t expect your family or friends or anybody you respect to say or do, or even if he’s just making you uncomfortable and you don’t know why, it’s probably a sign that something’s off.”

If somebody talks about his friends and family, it’s a good sign that he has people involved in his life. -JESSICA SWANER

She says women should approach online meetings, and dating in general, with common sense. For example, don’t meet in a secluded place. Instead, select a familiar public place, preferably somewhere you feel comfortable and safe. Then, if you have an issue, it will be easier to handle. Regarding alcohol intake, Swayner warns, “People get wrapped up in having a good time, having another drink, and then find themselves in situations where they might do things they wouldn’t normally do.” It’s also a good idea, she says, to keep an eye on your drink. Don’t leave it unattended. “I think there are more people who are good decent people than there are bad, but you never know who you’re talking to or dealing with.”

If there’s some way to see your date’s identification, Swaner thinks it would be good to verify that he has given you his real name. Once you have that information, Swaner suggests you go online to the Bureau for Criminal Apprehension and access the link displaying criminal records. Although you may find only a portion of somebody’s history, at least you will see whether or not there’s a criminal record. It’s possible, Swaner says, for people “to get misguided on the Internet, especially if they’ve corresponded with someone for

a month or two. They can get a false sense of security, let their guard down, and end up sharing and doing things they wouldn’t normally do with a stranger.” As for positive signs about a date, Swaner recommends assessing his level of family and community involvement. “If somebody talks about his friends and family, it’s a good sign that he has people involved in his life.” Volunteering, coaching kids’ teams, and career satisfaction indicate an overall stable and balanced lifestyle. 7

Tips for Daters

Before you go online • Be clear about what you want and don’t want. What are the deal breakers for you? • Expect to make some mistakes and view them as part of the learning process. • Take time to look inside yourself. Understand where you are in your life cycle and what you need at this moment. You’ve never been single at this age before.

Intimacy in “41 Characters or Less” Wedding specialist, Kari Warwick, of Bliss Wedding and Event Planning in Lakeville, says that online dating is not as unusual now as it was just a couple of years ago. Although few in number, Warwick says the online couples she has advised found their mates rather quickly and didn’t have to date a lot of others first. She doesn’t cite that as a trend, but it’s possible, she suggests, that the profile process helps “weed out those who wouldn’t be a good fit for you.” The biggest change she notes is that perceptions toward online dating seem to be more accepting and positive than in the past. Mary Kay Bungert, Director of Marriage Formation at All Saints Catholic Church in Lakeville, has worked with engaged couples for 12 years. She says that social media have changed the definition of what constitutes a conversation. People today routinely converse digitally, and, although there are many positive aspects to that, as in the case of military couples, she is concerned about potential negatives. “Couples have a sense of instant communication and a 24/7 accessibility that they see as

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increasing their connection with each other, but challenges come with that.” One inherent difficulty is that people pass on information without expecting a response. They also communicate their feelings via their choice of media as opposed to faceto-face interaction with physical contact and shared affection. One of Bungert’s mentor couples jokes that they’re looking for intimacy, but they want to do it in “41 characters or less.” Bungert uses an inventory for couples to assess 13-15 key areas of marital issues such as money, conflict, and family of origin. She says, “What we don’t know about the Internet is how good a job it does of sorting. Whether you’re alike or different doesn’t drive the success of your marriage. What matters is how well you’ve figured out your similarities and differences, the key areas of married life, and if you have the ability to sustain a relationship with somebody.” Other online relationship concerns, according to Bungert, involve definitions of infidelity and the accessibility of pornography. For example, when people connect with former lovers online or engage in chat rooms, what’s allowed and at what point does emotional infidelity occur? The moral lines are blurred, she says, and “we don’t know the answers yet or the impact on long-term relationships.” Similar questions apply to pornography. Whether online or at church, in a bar, or a political campaign group, Bungert says that how people meet may not be as important as how they proceed afterward and “prepare for the grace and challenges of the relationship.” It’s important to “choose a mode for meeting people that matches your personality.” She concludes,“Ultimately, it all comes down to knowing your values and understanding the significance of your faith and spirituality in the development of your relationships.”

According to Online Dating Magazine, the key to success is to avoid a shopping list mentality. Instead of focusing on categories, examine what the person writes about himself and remember, in the final analysis, true love occurs between two people interacting face to face. The magazine also suggests moving on “fairly quickly” to the first date to avoid building false relationships with a “persona.” Take advantage of chat features, online speed dating, or webcam sessions for interactive, getting-acquainted venues. In any case, be realistic, and don’t worry about rejection. Statistics show that one in twenty inquiries result in a genuine response, and lack of response can occur for a number of reasons, including outdated profiles, lapsed memberships, or loss of interest in the site.

Statistics show: • Online dating is a worldwide business with an estimated worth exceeding $4 billion. • Collectively, in October 2011, major dating sites in the U.S. drew more than 593 million visits. • One in five single adults currently is, or has been, in an online relationship.

Interestingly enough, online dating remains controversial with enthusiastic proponents and critics. The reality is that social media applications continue to explode at a phenomenal rate, limiting reliable current data. Researchers are responding, but in the meantime, people worldwide meet and relate online in exponential numbers, and conventional wisdom hasn’t had time to assess the process. Will long-term benefits be worth the risks? What will relationships look like in ten, twenty, thirty years and beyond? In the future, will chance meetings be as archaic as library card catalogues? Most experts agree it’s too early to know. But love in the 21st century could be quite a ride. Marianne McDonough is a freelance writer and contributor to Focus Magazine.


Women’s nutrition and exercise: It just got easier BY LAURA MURRAY

Eat right and exercise…If this is the root of all the complicated advice on staying healthy, it sure sounds simple enough. But our skipped breakfast and our huffing at the top of the stairs show just how difficult we find those things to fit into our busy schedules.


hether we like it or not, we’ve lost all of our excuses. From pole fitness to fresh recipes, local sources have provided us with a variety of ways for women to stay healthy through nutrition and exercise at every stage of our lives. Maybe being healthy really is as simple, and fun, as it sounds.

Eating right According to Angie Moeding, a registered dietitian at University of Minnesota Medical Centers, Fairview, eating sensibly is a straightforward, overlooked habit we should all make a part of our lifestyle.

“What we eat affects every single cell in our bodies,” she said. When we eat well, we tend to feel well. Moeding recommends the acclaimed DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to anyone wanting to improve her nutrition. The DASH diet, endorsed by the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic, stresses the importance of fruits, vegetables and grains. Likewise, while many fad diets focus on cutting foods out, Moeding takes the opposite approach in her suggestions for healthy eating. Rather than eliminating a

food, she said, “Look at it and think, ‘What can I add to make it more nutritious?’” Some of Moeding’s important additions for a healthy diet: Balance. “The idea of eating healthy all the time can be more of a deterrent than anything else,” Moeding said. Trying to “only” eat healthy foods can lead to deprivation— and overeating of unhealthy options. Variety. “We can get into a rut of eating the same things,” Moeding said. She encourages sampling new foods as well as exchanging old standbys for different tastes and nutrients, such as farrow instead of oatmeal. 9

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keep from grabbing junk during a busy day, it pays to have food with us for on-the-go— try a banana or a bag of almonds.

be: to get into shape, to find a welcoming exercise community, to lose weight or to find a challenging new workout.

Mindfulness. With all of the super-sizing we’re used to, portion-sizing is something to remember, whether at a restaurant or having a snack. Snacks should be filling and satisfying, and Moeding recommends portioning the snack out on a plate or bowl and putting the rest away before eating.

Something for everyone Bodyblast Studio in Eagan is not your typical gym—and that’s how co-owner Teri Dale likes it.

Women also have different nutritional recommendations than the rest of our families. For example, we generally require more calcium and iron and fewer calories than men. Organization. As a new mother, Moeding knows that eating healthfully takes planning. “When you’re making dinner, make double and throw some in the freezer,” she suggested. “Or make lunch for next day since you’re already doing all the prep work.”

Still, don’t feel like you have to run out and buy the latest “superfood,” she said. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are as good (or better) for us as pomegranates. Color. One of the best ways to get variety in our diet is to eat foods of all colors, such as green, purple, yellow and red. “The deeper the food’s color, the more nutrients it has,” Moeding said, adding that each color offers its own benefits. Don’t forget about important white foods like onions and potatoes. Breakfast. Besides speeding up our metabolism, breakfast energizes us for the day ahead and sets us up for eating right all day long.

Taking a half hour each week to plan menus and write grocery lists keeps us on track and in control of healthy meals during a busy week, she said. Websites, such as Pepperclip. com and, can be helpful resources for recipes and groceries. Enjoyment. Food is delicious! Taking the time to slow down and savor what we’re eating is the key to satisfaction and satiety, said Moeding.

Exercise From better skin to a happier disposition to a longer life, it seems as if there’s no end to the benefits that exercise can offer us. A look around the local area shows just how many options are available to help us accomplish whatever our fitness goal may

Water. We don’t need to worry so much about drinking eight glasses a day as much as drinking when we’re thirsty. Otherwise, Moeding said, our metabolism can slow down by 3 percent. Whole grains. Moeding can’t say enough about the importance of whole grains in our diets. Try quinoa, buckwheat, barley, bulgur (cracked wheat), flaxseed and amaranth. Make grains tastier and even more nutritious by adding color, such as avocado or tomatoes. Whole and plant-based foods. As much as possible, we should avoid those processed, packaged foods and eat fresh instead. To

Women are wired to be sexy… When you lose body fat and gain lean muscle, you feel more confident and better about yourself. -THERESA SORENSON

Maybe it’s the poles sprouting from the floor, or maybe it’s the resistance bands hanging down from the ceiling. But for Dale, the difference is all in the goal. “We’re geared toward fitness but also toward doing something fun and creative,” she said. “We’re trying to transform women physically and mentally.” Theresa Sorensen, studio manager at Bodyblast, said a crucial part of that transformation is discovering how to feel sexy. “Women are wired to be sexy,” she said. “When you lose body fat and gain lean muscle, you feel more confident and better about yourself.” Bodyblast welcomes both men and women, but classes such as pole fitness are womenonly.

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From Kettlebells to yoga to Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) to its B-Fit Challenge, Bodyblast gives women a unique workout facility by offering a mix of the traditional and the progressive.

“The fun factor keeps women coming back,” Dale said. Laughing with old and new friends is as much a part of the class as the workout itself. “It doesn’t matter what age you are. You can do classes, you can feel sexy, and you can get results at any age.”

It doesn’t matter what age you are. You can do classes, you can feel sexy, and you can get results at any age. -TERI DALE

All skill levels are welcome to try out a class, Dale said, adding that beginner pole fitness participants begin in tennis shoes before graduating to high heels in the more advanced classes. Registration for several classes, including beginner pole fitness, does not require a membership.

Other local gyms, such as the Minnesota Valley YMCA in Burnsville, also emphasize the importance of exercise at all ages. In addition to its regular fitness classes that include Zumba, Turbo Kick, spinning and water aerobics, the YMCA offers classes especially for adults who are 55-plus. “The body is different at age 61 than it is at age 21,” said Sarah Dickhausen, the active older adult coordinator for the Minnesota Valley YMCA. “But there is no end limit for fitness.” Area YMCA’s have instructors specifically trained in osteoporosis, Type II diabetes and

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other conditions we’re more likely to face as we age. The Minnesota Valley YMCA offers classes such as tai chi and Zumba for older adults, along with aerobics geared toward participants who might have arthritis or joint replacements. The YMCA’s popular cardio circuit class, SilverSneakers, is part of a national incentive program, but members don’t need to be a part of the insurance program to participate. Water exercise is also a great option for all ages, said Lori Rieffer, senior aquatics coordinator at the YMCA. “Water aerobics provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout,” she said, which makes it ideal for staying fit and losing weight without stressing our joints. Arthritis classes are also offered in the YMCA’s warmwater pool. According to Dickhausen, older adult classes improve flexibility, muscle strength and conditioning, and are still a good challenge. A few of the regular participants are in their nineties, which Dickhausen said is especially impressive when compared to the fitness of the younger general public.

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“You really can keep active and keep moving at any age.”

Getting outside Even during a Minnesota winter, exercise doesn’t have to be limited to the gym. The Dakota County Parks Department maintains trails, provides equipment rental and hosts educational classes, making it more fun than ever to play outside. “Our programs really encourage women to get moving and be active outdoors,” said Beth Landahl, manager of park operations and education. Besides providing activities for the whole family, and trails for hiking, biking, inline skating and walking, the parks department also hosts women-specific programming.

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At 2000 acres, the Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan is the largest park in the county system and the location of the visitor’s center and equipment rental. To accommodate an increasing interest in evening activities, the center hosts events like last winter’s Full Moon Snowshoe for women.

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“It’s beautiful to be outdoors snowshoeing under a full moon,” Landahl said. “We want to make that more accessible to people.”

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Look for more information on the parks’ activities, courses and equipment rental on the Dakota County website. Landahl hopes that all ages and skill levels will come outside to enjoy nature, be a little adventurous and get some exercise at the same time. “It’s a great way to get your feet wet and try something out.”

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Whether it’s tasting quinoa, strapping on snowshoes or attending a pole fitness class, trying something new can be empowering. “It’s pretty amazing,” Dale said. “It gets you thinking, ‘What else can I do?’” Laura Murray is a freelance writer and contributer to FOCUS Magazine.

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You’ll find equipment rental and training for winter activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and summer activities such as kayaking and geocaching. After a quick tutorial, why not try out a new seasonal sport like kicksledding or paddleboarding?

The benefits of making nutrition and exercise a regular part of our lives might turn out to be more than we expected—and we may surprise ourselves with discoveries of what we’re capable.


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Pole dancing . . . for fitness? BY KATHERINE FOSSLER

Pole dancing has been featured on Oprah, Tyra Banks and even Martha Stewart (although Martha didn’t actually touch the pole). Pamela Anderson, Tori Spelling and the housewives of every county are touting the benefits of this form of exercise.


ole dance is a total body workout that burns an average of 400 calories per hour. This unique exercise form combines pole spins, exotic movement and aerobic/cardio benefits to create a total firming, toning, strengthening, and empowering workout. Pole dancing is done to upbeat music often in the company of supportive, inspired women, creating the perfect formula for a successful workout week after week . . . with benefits that go beyond just the physical. Pole spins are a type of “survival fitness”. If you don‟t use all of your strength to hold onto the pole, you may fly off so you utilize your full strength each and every time. Spins quickly develop tone and definition in your upper body and core, particularly in the shoulder, oblique and transverse muscles. Exotic movement provides flow and continuity to the dance, creating the overall

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mood of the routine. For example fast, erratic hip circles with wild hair flips will give a routine an entirely different feel than slow, luxurious body waves mixed with pensive pauses. The cardio benefit comes naturally as the spins and exotic movements link together for an hour of continual movement. The external physical benefits of pole dance include increased strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. In addition, the flowing, circular movements done in exotic dance can benefit internal organ systems. Women often experience diminished menstrual and pre-menstrual symptoms including cramps, lower back pain and general anxiety. Your digestive system and your metabolism may both benefit from pole dancing and women often experience increased overall energy and more efficient calorie utilization. Some women report less back pain as range of motion and flexibility

increase due to an increase in blood flow and movement of spinal fluid. Pole dance instructors and the women who attend classes say they also experience a make-over from the inside out. With pole dance as a vehicle, women are able to access their feminine essence. They accept themselves in new, unconditional ways, feeling attractive and confident in a fresh manner that has nothing to do with their external appearance. Pole dancing is definitely starting to find its place in local gyms and fitness centers. Women are finding pole dancing a unique and effective way to get healthier and claim their own sense of femininity. Katherine Fossler is a certified Pole Fitness Instructor and is founder and owner of Lady Katherine located in Eagan.


Resorts open for winter Whether you’re looking for indoor comforts with a wintery landscape view, or a convenient home base near a trail, slope, or ice fishing lake, Minnesota has hundreds of resorts to choose from that are open in winter.


f amenities are a priority, travelers can find resorts with in-room jacuzzis, saunas, spas, restaurants, fireplaces, lakeside or mountain views, and other special features. Some winter resorts are known for the outdoor amenities available right outside the door. You can find resorts near trails for crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and snowmobiling, as well as resorts perched near the state’s prime slopes for downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

Couples on a romantic getaway can find a resort with private, secluded cabins. Family-friendly resorts offer larger suites, and some provide activities like horse-drawn sleigh rides, bonfires with s’mores, and movies to entertain the kids. Over the winter season, Minnesota resorts typically offer their best prices of the year. Look for packages that combine accommodations with dining, ski rental, lift tickets, spa experiences, and other activities. 15

The Lodge at Giants Ridge www.lodgeatgiantsridge The Lodge is an all-suite, full-service resort built in the heart of the Superior National Forest. During the winter, enjoy easy ski-in/ski-out access to the nationally recognized Giants Ridge Ski Area, with it’s 34 downhill runs, terrain park and cross country trails Grand Casino Hotel, RV Resort & Chalets RV Resort & Chalets is open year-round and offers premier Rv’ing near Grand Casino Hinckley. Along with many other amenities, the resort offers 24-hour security, shuttle service to the casino, and much, much more! Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior

Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge offers many fun unique winter activities that families will enjoy. Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowmobiling and Ice Skating are just the beginning of a memorable family winter getaway.

This spectacular Lake Superior resort is a spot “where memories are made!” Combining the best in North Wood’s tradition with contemporary refinement, you’ll find four stunning seasons of relaxation and activity along Lake Superior’s North Shore

Spirit Mountain Villas - Duluth Enjoy the only lodging on top of Spirit Mountain, in a private wooded setting overlooking the city of Duluth. Spirit Mountain Villas is a four-season resort offering beautiful accommodations for your visit to the Duluth, Minnesota area.

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www.KuipersOrthO.cOm 16 Focus Magazine

event Permac Industries CEO Darlene Miller was the featured speaker during the 2011 Dakota County Tribune Exceptional Businesswomen event.

Eleven to be honored as 2012 Exceptional Businesswomen third annual award ceremony in February BY TAD JOHNSON

For the past three years, the Dakota County Tribune Business Weekly has turned the spotlight on women who know business. With the turn of the calendar to a new year, it is time to honor the third class of Dakota County Exceptional Businesswomen, which includes CEOs, successful local business owners, nonprofit leaders and community contributors.


he Tribune and the Dakota County Technical College Foundation selected 11 recipients of the 2012 Exceptional Businesswomen award in December. The women, who will be honored at a Thursday, Feb. 16, breakfast luncheon at the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn in Burnsville, are: Sunny Bhakta, owner of Comfort Inn, Lakeville, and Budget Host Inn, Owatonna;  onnie Braziel, deputy director and chief C operating officer of the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley;

Jamie Dahlen, owner of Holiday Inn, Lakeville, and Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn, Burnsville;  ichele Engdahl, manager, government M and community affairs for Thomson Reuters, Eagan;  Carrie Guarrero, senior vice president and regional manager for Cornerstone Mortgage Company, Burnsville;  hris Holtan, founder, vice president, C consultant for Lancet Software, Burnsville;

 eggy Johnson, community relations P director, Dakota Electric, Farmington;  heila Longie, former president of S Document Destruction, sales representative of Shred Right, which recently acquired Document Destruction, Lakeville;  ona Mehring, founder and CEO of S CaringBridge, Eagan;  erri Shepherd, founder and CEO Xact T Resources Inc., Burnsville; and 17

Theresa Wise, senior vice president and chief information officer Delta Airlines, Eagan.

They were selected based on their contributions to the business and the community.

This is the third year the award has been bestowed.

Past winners of the Exceptional Businesswomen award have been:

“This is an outstanding and impressive group of women,” said Christine Pigsley, associate dean of business entrepreneurship at Dakota County Technical College. “The depth and breadth of their experiences in the business world show the many paths to success. We are very excited to gather these women together for a great event.”

Class of 2010: LaDonna Boyd, Dakota Electric; Marie DeNicola; Mainstream Boutique; Jackie Fritz, Sterling State Bank; Holly Hewitt, Holly’s Centre Stage Dance; Rachel Hollstadt, Hollstadt and Associates; Kathy Klang, Cummings, Keegan and Co.; Beth Krehbiel; Fairview Ridges Hospital; Doris LaMott Hoel, Chateau Lamothe; Maggie Linvill, Linvill Properties; Annette Marquez, The Perfect Occasion; Amy Mayer, BI Consulting Group; Darlene Miller, Permac Industries; Deb Thomas, Partners in Excellence; Julia Thompson, TAGS Gymnastics; and Janelle Waldock, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The group includes women who have risen to the top to help lead international corporations, those who have founded small companies and grown them to serve greater markets and local business owners who have contributed to the community in not only their work but countless volunteer efforts. The women who were considered after an open nomination process in December were selected by a panel of judges from the Dakota County Tribune and the Dakota County Technical College Foundation.

Class of 2011: Mary Ajax, 360 Communities; Jan Beeson, Lily Wellness Inc.; Cheryl Caponi, Caponi Art Park and Learning Center; Jennifer Eisenhuth, Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth Orthodontics; Elaine Grundhauser, One 2 One Marketing Inc.; JuliAnne Jonker, Jonker Portrait Gallery; Nicole Nogosek, Double N

Equestrian Center; Wanda Oland, Rascal’s Apple Valley Bar & Grill; Nancy Quinnell, Hollstadt & Associates; Barbara Toombs, First State Bank of Rosemount; Janie Tutewohl, Janie’s Home Team and Market on Oak; Denise Vogt; Twin Cities Ballet & Ballet Royale MN; and Linda Young, Lucky’s 13 Pub. The award ceremony will include a guest speaker, served breakfast and a chance to mingle with past and present Exceptional Businesswomen. Tickets are $20 per person. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. with the program starting at 8:30 a.m. Tables of eight can be reserved and sponsorship options include ticket packages. For more information about sponsoring the event, contact Mike Jetchick at (952) 894-1111. For more information about the award or a link to purchase tickets, go online at www.ThisweekLive. com and look for a link to the Exceptional Businesswomen page.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHELE ENGDAHL Thomson Reuters congratulates Michele Engdahl on her selection as a 2012 Dakota County Exceptional Businesswoman by the Dakota County Tribune Business Weekly and the Dakota County Technical College.

Thank you for contributions to our industry and the community.

© 2012 Thomson Reuters W-309702/1-12 Thomson Reuters and the Kinesis logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters.

18 Focus Magazine


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book Book About the book and its author Jan Thatcher Adams MD was 17 and a freshman at Drake University when she met the football hero Karl Kassulke. They married just after that school year. Her book, “Football Wife: Coming of Age with the NFL as Mrs. Karl Kassulke”, chronicles an era when celebrities could do no wrong, and America was turbulent with civil rights, women’s lib, and Viet Nam.

Fairy tales, lumps and bumps, and real life happiness BY JAN THATCHER ADAMS, MD


hen I was a child of seventeen, I lived in a fairy tale of my own creation. I could do this because, like most seventeen year olds, I knew everything. I had worked hard to be independent and to excel at academics, music, and sports. In addition, I understood family tragedy and financial struggle, through my own life experience. So what else was there to know about life? The world was safe, bright, and waiting to regale me with all the juicy fun stuff of living. In 1962, as a seventeen-year-old high school graduate in Boone, Iowa, I received a fullride scholarship to Drake University, in Des Moines. I could never otherwise afford this wonderful university. My attendance there would change my life forever. For me, Drake was the opening into the fairy tale chapters of the book of my life. The ground support of these chapters starting at Drake included three jobs that kept me financially afloat while at college. For academics, I carried a double major in music and pre-med. This allowed me to play my cello in the Des Moines Symphony, to sing in a first rate chorus, and to practice on a spectacular, thrilling pipe organ. I found

20 Focus Magazine

the science class work equally intriguing and stimulating. I was “rushed” and joined a top sorority. I dated many amazing and often wealthy young men from all over America. This was all completely heady fairy tale stuff for a small town Iowa girl. And then I met the college football mega hero, senior Karl Kassulke. Besides his legendary football prowess, Karl (nicknamed “cowboy” by the Des Moines Register for his bow legs and rowdy style of play) had a jolly, unique quick laugh and an easy way about him. And he actually wanted to be with me. I couldn’t believe it! In true fairy tale form, we quickly fell in love and got engaged. Before my 18 th birthday, we announced our engagement to our surprised parents. So, at the completion of my freshman year at Drake, at the age of 18, I married my hero, who had already been drafted into the NFL to play pro football. And I absolutely knew he would make it into the pros. I had no idea how few men ever make it from the hundreds who are drafted. Were there any red flags to the illusion of this fairy tale? Of course there were. There was the occasional excessive drinking, the alcoholic genetics, and the groupies. Did I

While Jan completed her schooling, went on to medical school, and had two sons, Karl excelled at pro football with the Minneota Vikings. Karl was known for his ferocious hitting, and multiple concussions piled up. Before long, a good man began to do bad things. A fairy tale marriage unravelled. The book is very current with issues such as alcoholism, co- dependency, drug abuse, cult of celebrity, and epecially Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). After the divorce, Dr. Adams went on to a 35 year career as a family practitioner, providing womb to tomb medical care and delivering over 3,000 babies. She provided humanitarian services all over the world, and was honored with awards and mentioned as one of Minnesota’s notable women. A cancer survivor, Dr. Adams has begun her career as author, long on the back burner. In this guest editorial, she shares a very personal account of her extraordinary life. For more information about her book, please visit

pay any attention? Of course not. Who pays attention when in the middle of unbelievable good energy and fortune? Me, a small town girl suddenly catapulted into the world of celebrity with a man I adored. I was giddy. And of course I was absolutely certain I could easily change Karl’s few destructive habits, because he loved me completely. For the next few years, the fairy tale continued. I went to the University of Minnesota to get a bachelor of science degree and go on to be one of the few women admitted to medical school. I thrived, though just one of fifteen women in a class of 250. Karl played top level pro football for the Minnesota Vikings, at the strong safety position, eventually becoming all pro. These were the salad years of the Vikings, the age of the Purple People Eaters and the first super bowl. We created two wonderful sons, played thousands of games of cribbage, and built our own new home in Burnsville, which was a huge suburb of 5,000 people. Together we became media darlings, because of the unusual combination of the athlete and the scholar. Everybody knew us or wanted to know us, and we knew many of the great entertainment, sports, and political celebrities of the time. The world was our oyster. All doors were open, all possibility shiny. But the darkness of real life was biding time behind the scene. This particular darkness, which eventually destroyed my marriage, was named concussion. About four years ago, a small group of researchers at Boston University began describing the damaged brains of pro football players, and the life effects of this damage. Prior to this, families, players, physicians, and team officials lived in complete denial, never thinking how the many concussions the players received might be

affecting them. As it turns out, repeated concussions can have devastating effects on the traumatized brain. The name of this problem is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It’s symptoms are many, but early on they include memory, concentration, and attention loss: disorientation, confusion, depression, and suicide: dizziness and headaches: poor judgement and lack of insight: and aggression, impulsiveness, and sudden rages. Because the problem is a progressive, chronic brain deterioration, it can progress to health problems that look like Parkinson’s, ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, dementia, and premature death.

Karl’s wild chapters ended with a motorcycle accident a year after our divorce, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, abruptly ending his ten year, all pro football career. -JAN


After every football game, Karl, famed for his ferocious tackling, bragged “ Well, I got my bell rung three times today”. “Getting your bell rung” meant concussion, from mild “seeing stars and momentary confusion” to unconsciousness. It was a badge of honor, a symbol of physical and mental toughness. And unless you wanted to lose your position, the concussed player went right back in the game after each head injury.

And so, as the concussions piled up, this very good man, this devoted husband and father began to do bad things. I did not understand why, and grieved as I saw the man I knew fade into a stranger. The next to the last chapter of this fairy tale began with a late night telephone call from one of Karl’s women groupies. Things went rapidly downhill from this point, with Karl seemingly unaware of the damage his behavior brought to his marriage. Some years later, Karl was at a point where he might forget entire days of his life. Around this time, the last chapter of the fairy tale opened with his sudden, inexplicable rage and lacerating fist blow to my head, and the whole book ended with our divorce. The fairy tale was over. Reality was the title of the next book of my life. But, I was raised to believe that life would be what I made of it, a trite but true saying. So our lives went on in the real world. Karl’s wild chapters ended with a motorcycle accident a year after our divorce, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, abruptly ending his ten year, all pro football career. I moved to Shakopee, and entered an all-consuming life as a mother and busy

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family practitioner. It was a challenging and rewarding time. True to both of us, we still managed to experience life as a rich feast, and we each maintained the best hopes for the other. Karl found meaning through charitable service, his Christian conversion, and his sons. Our sons caused me great joy, and the privilege of being a healer and being present at the deliveries of over 3,000 babies was remarkable. Once both my sons were off to college, I began expanding my charitable service, starting foundations to help kids both locally and internationally. I received awards, such as the KARE 11 Eleven Who Care Award. Eventually I began traveling to Russia and many other trouble spots on the planet with my friend, Dr. Patch Adams (no relation). We were clowning in orphanages, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and on the streets, strong in the knowledge that laughter is a strong healer. I branched out to the amazingly rewarding service of doctoring in unserved places in the world. Of course, through all the joys of these years, trouble also tagged along, because this was real life. That is the nature of life, I learned, and those troubles brought the benefit of valuable lessons to teach me wisdom and better service as a person and as a physician. So, since 2000, I have married my beloved Russian husband, Dmitri( introduced to me by our friend, Patch), travelled the world in service, suffered a collapsed back with two emergency surgeries, approached death from cancer and radiation complications, had two surgeries to shore up a collapsed foot, acquired a pacemaker and wrote a book about my years with Karl. It was while I was suffering near fatal setbacks from the cancer, having lost 100

pounds, that Karl suddenly and unexpectedly died. At his funeral, the long lingering and unresolved questions about what happened to our marriage (for we truly did love each other) were suddenly thrust front and center when another Viking wife told me about CTE. I went home from the funeral to research CTE. To my complete amazement, I saw Karl written

I have survived the cancer, and gone back to work, after nearly four years of recovering. It feels like I never missed a day. What a huge gift to me! -JAN


on every page, and I finally understood that long-ago unfinished chapter. So, that chapter really was closed, in a good way. But, since I was so ill, I had to stop practicing medicine. I missed it terribly, but when people asked why I didn’t practice anymore, I joked – “I finally got it right! I don’t have to practice anymore.” Now I am so blessed and grateful. I have survived the cancer, and gone back to work, after nearly four years of recovering. It feels like I never missed a day. What a huge gift to me! So, what does this real life story mean? Does it have anything to do with all of us? It surely does. Life, as it turns out, is not a fairy tale for anyone. There are many stages, or chapters in each of our lives, some more challenging than others. But if one can hold to the sure belief that happiness is a birthright, and

22 Focus Magazine

can live each day with gratitude, joy, and laughter, even the darkest chapters can be not only navigated, but mined for the lessons they provide. Do I recommend marrying at an early age? No! Do I regret marrying Karl? No! Do I recommend that parents, coaches of all sports, and doctors familiarize themselves with CTE and do everything in their power to protect the precious brains of our young people? Emphatically yes! Right now, concussion prevention is the only known way to prevent CTE, (there are an estimated 300,000-3,000,000 sports related concussions every year) though perhaps allowing a concussion to heal completely may also turn out to be valuable. Time will tell. Would I ever recommend marrying a celebrity? Mamma’s, don’t let your babies marry a celebrity! This isn’t completely fair, of course. There are many solid marriages and wonderful marriage partners among celebrities, but it is a more difficult way to go. Have I learned my lessons about reality versus fairy tale? I would hope so. But, reality can be just as wonderful as a fairy tale, lived with juicy joy and laughter. For the wisdom and truth and knowledge my challenges have taught me, I am deeply grateful. I still feel I have lived the most privileged life imaginable. As for Karl, well, I’m sure wherever he is, he’s laughing, joking, and beating his partners at his beloved game of cribbage. Jan Thatcher Adams, MD is author of the book, “Football Wife: Coming of Age With The NFL as Mrs. Karl Kassulke” and lives in Shakopee, MN

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Focus Spring 2012  

Focus Magazine - spring 2012