Fargo Monthly March 2023

Page 1

Dr. Sue MathIson Throat/Nose/Ear Health Dr. noah Chelliah Heart/Cardiac Health Menley Denham Brain Health DR. Philip Johnson Joint Health amanda Simmers Muscle Health tessa Simmers Muscle Health Dr. Chris Dockter Spine/Back Health
MARCH 2023
dr. John Bassett Gut Health Ryan Bothun Feet Health

Sponsored Content: Beverage Insider: 5 must try RTDs

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Think Global; Act Local


5 Hot Upcoming Events

Explosive Entertainment

Walking Phoenix: Pursuing the American Dream


Finding Your Inner Strength

Where Are They Now? An Interview with Payton Otterdahl


Neo Moves 2 Doors Down, Revealing Big Community Project


5 Things to Eat & Drink


Editor's Choice: Sam's Favorite YA Book

Releases of 2022

Need Local Date Ideas This Month?


Meet the Maker: Solsaa


Successful Advice: Lauryn Schneider


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March 2023 Volume 13 / Issue 3



Everything is connected, right? That's how I look at things, at least. The same goes for health. This month, I talked to nine different professionals in their field to see if that assumption was right. I found that yes, it seems as if everything in our bodies is connected (duh), but even more so than I assumed. What was particularly interesting, however, was how they recommended you care for, and even provide preventative care for, different areas in our body—and they were pretty simple things. Walking; you wouldn't believe how many times walking was mentioned in conversation with the professionals. Drinking water was another highly, highly recommended thing to add to your routine. Most of the time, these small steps you can do now help to

preserve yourself for the future. It's interesting to me that with all of the frequent and ever-changing 'health hacks' that surround us constantly, professionals almost always recommend going back to the basics.

So, that's what I am going to do this month. There will always be a new fad or trend going on, always something new to try—and, of course, those are fun and eventful and sometimes a trial-and-error-type situation before you find success, but there's nothing wrong with sticking to the basics and refreshing yourself with the simplicity of what you know. Find comfort in your personal routine, rest in what you know works and find peace in the unremarkable, ordinary everyday.




Bison Illustrated is your number one source for all of the behind-the-scenes action inside the North Dakota State University Athletic Department.



Twitter: @bisonmag

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Fargo INC! is our very successful business magazine which covers all things business in the Fargo-Moorhead area.



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Future Farmer is our farming publication which brings great tech-focused content to readers across North Dakota and Minnesota.



You may already be familiar with our Faces of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo publication which we publish once per year in order to highlight the faces behind all of the great businesses in the community.

Are you overwhelmed trying to plan for your big day? You're not alone. We've done our best to provide all types of local resources, expert guidance, destressing tips and everything in between. Your wedding day is one of the mos important days of your life. Hopefully, this issue will help you prepare for that day so it's all about you.

Former Owner of My Best Friend's Closet
New Owner of My Best Friend's Closet

Play therapy allows children to express themselves freely without restrictions and in a safe space. Play is how kids rehearse for life. By exploring feelings through play, kids learn to overcome obstacles while enjoying personal satisfaction and having fun. Children can learn life skills and express their imagination while using the room.”


Founded in 1977, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center (RACC) is the only crisis center in the FargoMoorhead area, and offers a comprehensive array of crisis intervention and prevention services in Minnesota and North Dakota. Thousands of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse find themselves at their door for many important needs, from counseling and criminal justice advocacy to child therapy services, medical advocacy and more.

RACC has relied on volunteers since its inception—which is how they became acquainted with Meredith Haugen. Meredith was an avid volunteer who generously shared her time and talents with RACC until her death in 2007. Her family found it fitting that memorials honoring their daughter be used to support a cause that she loved and in 2008, the Meredith Haugen Play Therapy Room opened its doors for children who were victims of abuse and violence.

Activity in the therapy room addresses cognitive, behavioral and emotional issues that kids and teens may be experiencing and allows opportunities to explore thought-provoking questions. Kids want to feel safe when they talk to someone about what happened. Roleplay, sand tray and other types of art develop ways for children to express their traumatic experiences and promote a new sense of courage and trust.

Kids want to feel safe when they talk to someone about what happened. Roleplay, sand tray and other types of art develop ways for children to express their traumatic experiences and promote a new sense of courage and trust." - Rachelle

Meredith Haugen had a Child Psychology degree and was dedicated to serving children in abusive situations, specifically children who were victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.


My Best Friend's Closet's previous owner and Meredith’s mother, Glenda Haugen, began hosting the Fabulous Fashion and Friends event to provide ongoing support to child services at RACC. “I am grateful that this sunny room is available to the children in our community. Little kids who have experienced violence and/or abuse rely on this safe place and its specialized therapists for help and direction. I’m honored that Jennifer Fischer, the new owner of MBFC continues to support the children who rely on RACC.”

Over 6,000 children have relied on RACC since the room opened. From educational therapy toys, games and apps, RACC strives to offer children the very best care that they need. But they can't achieve this alone; to continue to make this happen, support is needed in order to provide updated technology and care that the kids can utilize for healing as well as beneficial training for RACC therapists to attend.

Children deserve to live free of abuse and violence, tragically that’s not always the case. That's why RACC and My Best Friend's Closet are making a change—and you can help too!

This Fabulous Fashion & Friends event supports critical services that protect a child from additional abuse and longlasting trauma.

My Best Friend’s Closet and RACC are excited to host their annual Fabulous Fashion & Friends event on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Avalon Events Center!

Join us for a dinner, short program, silent auction and fashion show.

Avalon Event Center

2525 9th Ave S Fargo

April 27, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.

Check-in & Pre-Party

For tickets, scan the QR code

Role-play, like this play courtroom, help children safely navigate and process scenarios they might experience in real life. RACC also offers walk-in services and a 24-hour hotline
Emotion cards help children express their feelings without always having to use words.

This month, we’re taking a look at health in its entirety; head to toe. As you may have heard, your body’s health is dependent on many things. You may not even realize that some parts of your body have an effect on other parts. With the help of some of the area’s finest, we’re going to break down different parts of your body—head, mind, heart, gut, spine and back, muscle, joint, and foot—and learn about each one and how they can affect others! Also, learn some of these professionals' top picks from around the FM area to keep themselves and their patients healthy! Let’s hear from our professionals this month, starting at the top!


Disclaimer: The information in this magazine is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use or reliance on any information in this magazine is at your own risk, and we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. All information is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information in the magazine.



"A healthy head, face and neck are so important! It is what defines us as a person—the command center of our senses— hearing, balance, smell, taste and vision, and our communication."



"Wear ear protection when hunting, mowing the lawn or rocking out at a concert. Be careful of your fancy earbuds and headphones at home, the digital sound is high quality and you may not realize that you are getting into the hearing-damage zone. Wear sunglasses daily to protect your vision long-term, you will look so much cooler, too! Minimize exposure to fumes, pollution, dust and molds—your airway and your sense of smell will thank you. If you've suffered a loss of smell from a viral infection, you should try olfactory retraining with essential oils to stimulate improvement. Preserve your balance by staying active."





"Our facial muscles and our vocal muscles are the only muscles that convey emotions. There are so many interrelated components in ENT, [such] as shelter to the brain, eyes and cervical spine; a gateway to eating, breathing and sleeping; and as our frame for beauty and expression. The majority of visits to the doctor involve a process that is within my complicated specialty. I love helping people connect the dots to feel happier, healthier and more beautiful."


"It takes about 7-10 days for nasal congestion and drainage to become a sinus infection, which might need an antibiotic."

"During the first week to 10 days, it is usually a viral infection and antibiotics won't help. Try saline rinses, mucous thinners like guaifenesin and if your nose is really plugged, try Afrin nose spray (use for 3 days only or your nose gets addicted), also get lots of rest and chicken noodle soup."

"Ear wax only needs to be removed if it is causing discomfort or blocking the view of the eardrum and we really need to see it. Q-tips can push the wax down deeper in the ear canal so they should be avoided. White vinegar or rubbing alcohol can be used as ear drops to soften and emulsify the ear wax and they will self-clean. These two liquids can also take care of itchy ears. And if you have the misfortune of having a bug crawl in your ear canal, drown it with one of these drops. Then come over so we can get the wet bug out of your ear canal, under the microscope."



“Our community is a veritable treasure chest of opportunities for healthy living and connection.”

• Check out the local business, Heartland Hearing Professionals They offer a variety of hearing services, including custom earmolds/ earplugs for protection. Dr. Mathison recommends the hunting hearing protection earplugs, they also offer music, swimming, sleep, motorsport, surf, occupational and more types of ear protection!

• "I love Power Plate Meals for lunch at the office, and always have a stash of nuts and my new favorite Humm Probiotic Sparkling Soda. And… maybe a little chocolate."


“emedicine.medscape.com is a safe place to search for more in-depth medical information."

"I also love the apps Calm and Headspace."

These apps offer guided meditation sessions and more, download them onto your phone from the app store!

“ SNORELAB is a great app to check how much you snore and how LOUD!”

Dr. Susan Mathison Medical Doctor (MD) is triple board certified and specializes in otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) which includes Facial Plastic Surgery, Sinus Surgery, Ear Surgery, Allergy Diagnosis and Relief, and Sleep Medicine and Surgery. She is highly decorated with accomplishments from her years studying and very active in the community of health as well as the local FM community; receiving awards like Fargo Moorhead Top Doctor, the Dakota Medical Foundation Star Award and more, and serving on a variety of boards like Dakota Medical Foundation (current), Choice Bank (current), Plains Art Museum (former), Ronald McDonald House (former) and much more.


Food allergies and food sensitivities are different.

"Allergies are antibody-mediated, think throat swelling or hives related to foods like peanuts, oranges, tree nuts, milk or egg. Some foods might be triggers for conditions like migraine. Food sensitivities mean that your body doesn't digest certain foods well. An example might be dairy sensitivity which might send you to the bathroom if you dare enjoy an ice cream cone. An elimination-challenge diet, like Whole 30, can help you discover which foods work best for your body."





“Our entire world is in our brain, and our brain is also responsible for all of our body and all of our autonomic body responses—all the automatic things; our heart rate, our GI tract, all of those things that we [may not] take for granted, but don't necessarily pay attention to because they just happen for us."



Healing with Hyperbarics, and specifically, one of Menley's research topics surrounds treating concussions with hyperbaric care. Currently, most continue to treat concussions with a wait-andsee approach. "JAMA is the Journal of American Medical Association… They published a review of nearly 1000 patients with concussions. And after two weeks, they found that 76% of people still had an incomplete recovery. And after six months, it was 56%. More than 56% still had symptoms. So, this whole idea of ‘let's wait and see,’ and [saying that] conditions get better in about 10 days [with] no stimulation—it’s not working for us, we've got to find something else… That just again reiterates the whole importance of the brain and how it really is something we need to prioritize and take good care of."


“You're laying, you're watching TV, you're breathing. Compared to so many other things that we do in the medical world, it's a really easy treatment.”


"A lot of times what we see when that [brain] is injured, is how dysregulated all of that can be. You can have GI tract issues, a racing heart rate, etc.”


Hyperbaric treatment has been used for concussion and long-term COVID care. “One of our sayings here is, ‘No new normal.’ Whether it's a concussion, COVID or pain, there shouldn't be a new normal that you just have to accept, we should try to figure out how to get you back to you in the quickest way possible.”



Hyperbaric care works to heal the brain. How it works : In a pressurized chamber, you breath in 100% oxygen (the air you normally breathe is around 20% oxygen). The pressure increase & oxygenated air inside the chamber can speed up the healing of damaged tissue and decrease swelling and inflammation by 20-30%.

MenlEy Denham, Clinic Director at Healing with Hyperbarics

Menley has been the Clinic Director at Healing with Hyperbarics for two years but has been surrounded by the world of hyperbaric care for many years. Her mother opened the first Healing with Hyperbarics Clinic in Chicago, and as soon as Menley could get started there, she did. Later, she moved to Fargo, obtained her Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Hyperbaric Technician certifications (which are required to work at this clinic), and began at the Fargo location. She does work in the chamber, but she also focuses on research.

HYPERBARIC TREATMENT, offered at Healing with Hyperbarics, can be used as a treatment for many different things regarding the body. Menley specializes in how hyperbaric treatment can restore and heal the brain, which in hand, can treat the rest of the body!


Healing with Hyperbarics is launching a blog on their website! This blog will keep you up to date on current information and education on hyperbaric care. One of the goals of the blog is to make sure that the science is written in a way that someone outside of the medical world can follow! Check out healingwithhyperbarics.com!


The RightEye test is used more for general wellness, something Menley recommends anyone to try at the clinic.

"We have used the RightEye to test kids in elementary schools, sports teams, employees as part of an employee wellness program and more! It is quick (around 5 minutes) and easy to take—and it gives great insight into the functional dynamic vision. This means that we can look at how the brain and eyes are communicating and whether there is inflammation in the brain or not!"

The BrainScope, also done at the clinic, helps diagnose a concussion in someone who suspects one.

Lagom Wellness Clinic

"Dr. Tonya Loken provides a holistic approach to wellness and her clinic offers many great services for overall health, with an emphasis on naturopathic care. As our body and mind are all connected, she takes symptoms from the body and connects them to hormonal imbalances, which could be happening in the brain. Her holistic approach is exactly what we need in healthcare!"



Dr. Chelliah is a strong proponent of a plant-based diet and encourages people to add spices like turmeric, cayenne pepper, cardamon, fenugreek, saffron, black pepper, cinnamon and cloves to their diet for their many health benefits. Learn more about these benefits and the reasoning behind Dr. Chelliah's animal-product-free diet in his lecture at 'Akron Adventist Dr. Chelliah' on YouTube!


“Heart Health is very important because more people die from heart disease than all other causes.”


• “More women die from heart disease than the next 10 causes combined!”

Dr. Chelliah recommends beans from Fargo Fresh Groceries , a local grocery store that sells Indian, Nepali, Middle Eastern, African & Asian Groceries! Shop in-store or order by phone. You’ll also find an Indian street food snack bar inside, featuring popular dishes you’d find at food trucks and vendors in India!

• “Fish and chicken are more dangerous than any other animal products.”


• Exercise for an hour a day.


• Eat 2 cups of cooked beans daily.

• Eat 2 cups of dark greens daily.

• Avoid all animal products.

• Sleep 7 hours each night.


• Exercises daily.

• Avoids all animal products.

• Consume 2 cups of dark greens daily.

• Drinks 1 gallon of water daily, preferably alkaline water.

“The least expensive alkaline water is available at Sam's Club in Fargo.”
it out at fargofresh.com *SEE DISCLAIMER ON PAGE 18

of North Dakota

Dr. Chelliah is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He received the Teacher of the Year award five times at the University of North Dakota and he currently provides cardiology care at the Heart Institute of North Dakota.

“I have been practicing cardiology in North Dakota longer than any other cardiologist in North Dakota! Although I am board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology, I am a strong believer in reversing heart disease and diabetes with lifestyle modification and not with drugs.”

Dr. Chelliah has a book coming out soon! He coauthored, "Practical Veganism" which will be out soon and can be purchased from Sentia Publishing!


• Check out otterhealth.us for Dr. Chelliah's recipes!

• “Listen to my weekly Otter Health show at keqqradio.com [where] I answer questions from the audience.” You can also tune in live at 5 p.m. on Mondays on KEQQ radio at 88.3 FM in Grand Forks!



“Gut health affects gas and bloating, bowel movement frequency, heartburn, immunity and weight.”



"In general, the bacteria of the gut are actually good for us and critical to maintaining good health. The more diverse the bacterial populations the better. When these 'good bacteria' are reduced in number, it is more likely bacteria that cause disease can proliferate/increase in number."

Q: What are some things that you personally do for your Gut Health?

A: Personally, I do some exercise nearly every day of the week. I'm a member of the Sanford Family Wellness Center, YMCA, and a men's exercise group known as F3 that is free of charge, open to all men, held outdoors, and peer-led. F3 is excellent for reducing stress and improving sleep schedules.

The F3 program is newer to the local community, but has been gaining traction across the US since 2011. According to their website, “The three Fs stand for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith—the last of which is defined as simply a belief in something bigger than oneself.” The organization offers scheduled training, year-round. Learn more at f3fargo.wordpress.com or at facebook.com/f3fargo


Bacteria Battle!

“Foods high in sugar, processed foods and alcohol can increase bad bacteria. It is possible to change your gut bacteria with prebiotic and probiotic foods including yogurt, fermented foods, whole grains and a diet with significant fiber.”

Dr. John T.

Medical Director of Hepatology, Staff Gastroenterology, Sanford Health, Fargo, ND

Dr. John Bassett is an MD, Board Certified Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Transplant Hepatology. He has 25 years of experience as a physician with subspecialty training in gastroenterology.


• "You have more bacteria in your body than you have cells."

• "The majority of those bacteria and the diversity of the bacteria influence physical and mental health."


Gut health can be improved by:

• Eating a balanced diet with significant amounts of fruits and vegetables.

• Improved sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with obesity.

• Increased exercise. Dr. Bassett recommends 150 minutes (or 2 1/2 hours) per week.

• Stress management. Invest in friends/family and find the best way for you to manage!

• Mood is closely associated with digestive health, especially irritable bowel syndrome. Seek professional help if needed for depression/anxiety etc.



“Much of the research coming out over the last few decades has indicated that regular exercise is one of the best things each of us can do for our own health. It helps maintain our heart, lungs and muscles and also reduces the risk of everything from cancer to osteoporosis to depression and reduces the effects of arthritis…"



"Unfortunately, so many people struggle with joint pain in their back, hips and knees and feel that they can't walk or run like they used to. Shoulder and wrist pain keep them from lifting weights to keep themselves strong or participate in the hobbies they enjoy. Neck pain and weakness contribute to headaches that make performing regular daily tasks nearly impossible for some and just less fun for the rest. I enjoy helping people find ways to get back to the movement and activities they have been missing out on."



"Pain is your body telling you something needs to change. Masking pain is no different than putting tape over the check engine light on your dashboard. That is why we use the "Pain Stop Light" in our clinic. There is a time and place for medications, but currently, as a country, we overuse them too early when small changes to how we move and eat could make a massive difference. We all too commonly wait until there is actually joint damage. Healthcare workers from various fields that I work with seem to all agree that you should try movement, exercise and diet changes first, medications second and surgery as a last resort. Often that isn't what happens. Too many of us don't get to try lifestyle changes until after a catastrophic injury or organ failure and I'd like that to change."



"Many people think they will have pain forever when they are told they have wear and tear changes in their spine. The truth of the matter is that if you have been doing something in your lifestyle that caused these changes like lifting with poor form, sitting for excessive periods of time or exercising in ways that hurt and cause you pain, then you can change your behavior and your pain. You can learn to take care of these issues with a little bit of exercise and lifestyle changes similar to how you can learn to take care of a car. In most cases, you can do it on your own, but just like a car, there are people like me that can help you take care of your spine if you're not sure what to do yet or are not able to do this comfortably yet."



• Use it or lose it!

"If you don't move a joint through a full and pain-free joint range of motion daily, your body may not maintain the ability to do so. If you don't exercise, your muscles get smaller. If you don't move your joints, they get stiffer."

• Ideally, practice body movements 3-5 days per week to get better at them, i.e. to build strength or flexibility.

"Practicing daily sometimes gets you even better results, but some people need more recovery time. 1-2 times per week will probably maintain a movement, but you might not get any better at it. Less than weekly and you might start getting rusty. The same rule applies to exercise, playing a musical instrument or performing any other skill-base activity."

• Perfect is the enemy of better. "No matter where you are right now, you can still get better! It's like bowling. You don't have to get a strike every time to play the game. You can put a few points on the board and still have fun. Currently, I train to be a good dad. I want to be able to play with my kids on the playground, get down on the floor or in the dirt with them and carry them if they're hurt. Figure out what you want to do and then match your exercise to those goals."

DR. Chris Dockter, DC, CCEP - Dr./ chiropractor/ owner at Venture Chiropractic

Dr. Chris Dockter is a Doctor of Chiropractic & Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner, he has been practicing chiropractics for 14 years, graduating from Northwestern Health Sciences University with honors in 2009. In addition to his doctorate work, he has additional certifications to give him a variety of education and experience.


"In addition to the multiple qualified chiropractors we have at Venture Chiropractic, I have many skilled colleagues in the area that can help with your musculoskeletal health. Be sure they address your concerns and help teach you how to improve with them and on your own. Avoid anything that sounds like a gimmick or a sales pitch because that's usually what those are. Personal trainers are also a great investment!"

Dr. Dockter recommends:

• Sara, from Nine Four Coaching - A mindful and physical personal training service.

• Jason, from Natal Training Systems - A personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, MMA fighter and boot camp/group fitness instructor.

• MPX Training - A fitness center that offers personal training, corporate amd women’s selfdefense training, nutritional consultations and more; founded by Mariah Prussia.

"There are too many good ones in our area to name them all here!"


• The Blog on Venturechiro.com

• “The Gift of Injury” by Stu McGill and Brian Carroll

• “Rebuilding Milo” by Aaron Horschig and Kevin Sonthana

VENTURE CHIROPRACTIC 701-730-3867 /venturechiro /VentureChiropractic 29




“Muscles are essential! They play a critical role in our bodies by keeping us alive and allowing us to interact with our world. Muscles are important for movement, stability, posture and many other functions. Strong, healthy muscles are critical for our overall health and wellness.”



"It is very important that you fuel your body adequately with enough calories that include [the right amount of] protein, carbs and fat. Protein is the key nutrient to help recover and build those muscles. Carbs are your number one fuel source that will give you lasting energy during your workouts and fats help support hormone levels. Trendy diets can be appealing because they promise quick results, but they are restrictive in caloric intake and do more harm than good on your metabolism and they could cause you to lose lean muscle mass because of inadequate energy (food). How much one should eat depends on each person individually and depends on their goals, daily energy output and dieting history. In my Ditch the Diet program, we help each client individually figure out exactly how much they should be eating each day. It is not a one-size-fits-all plan and takes some deeper digging to get more accurate numbers."



"We understand that most people have jobs, families, school and many other responsibilities and time can be hard to come by some days. Doing more so always better in this situation. As a matter of fact, rest days are a very important part of building lean muscle. You can see significant improvement in your lean muscle mass just by doing a strength training program for 20-30 minute sessions, 2-4x/week. These strength training programs can be done at a gym or at home. No matter where you train, it is best to push yourself mentally and physically with a shorter program than trying to pile on many exercises with a longer program."


• "Power Plate Meals of Fargo inspires change by making healthy eating accessible for everyone, one meal at a time. I purchase a lot of my lunches from Power Plate Meals because I know each meal is made with high-quality ingredients and flavor. Plus each meal has a great deal of protein in them to help reach your daily protein goals."



"Research shows that keeping your muscles strong as you age can lower your risk of falls, fractures and disability. Loss of strength may also limit mobility and prevent you from living independently. Strong, healthy muscles help you live an active life and work to support your skeletal system. When muscle mass decreases, fat mass increases which could put you at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.”

Dynasty Performance Training owner Cole Jirk has developed the gym's training principles though his own thoughts, his experience playing for NDSU football where he worked with one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the country, Jim Kramer, and from his time training at ETS Performance in Minneapolis, MN!

• "Dynasty Performance Training and Owner/Trainer Cole Jirik can help you develop and execute a personalized, effective strength training program in a top-of-the-line facility."

• "Swanson Health Products Retail Store offers the best selection of vitamins and supplements plus an excellent variety of organic and natural products."

• "Kota Botanics is a premium CBD wellness brand and marketplace in Fargo, ND and Shakopee, MN that focuses on providing the highest quality and the most effective CBD and other wellness products to improve their customers' well-being such as inflammation, pain, stress and sleep. Kota Botanics owner, Vivian, has a wealth of knowledge and will help you find the best product to suit your needs."


Amanda Simmers, Nutrition Coach, Owner of Inspire Fitness and Nutrition; Tessa Simmers, RD, Nutrition Coach

Sister-in-law duo, Amanda and Tessa, share a passion for nutrition and exercise. Amanda graduated from NDSU with an education degree. After working as a preschool director for 14 years, she went back to school for personal training and nutrition coaching. She started the company almost 10 years ago, and Tessa joined her as a nutrition coach in January 2023. Tessa graduated from NDSU with a degree in food & nutrition and is currently a Registered Dietitian living in Fargo.


• Outdoor trails in Fargo that have exercise equipment! fargoparks.com/taxonomy/ term/68

• Online calculator to figure out daily caloric needs. tdeecalculator.net

• Recipes to help feed your family and hit your fitness goals. macrofriendlyfood.com

• Easy everyday recipes the whole family loves!


Make sure to follow Amanda & Tessa online for more tips and to try out the program!

| amandasimmers.com






“The musculoskeletal system invigorates or keeps the other systems healthy."



"[You can think of] the musculoskeletal system as a communication tower. It's like the main structural support and all the little wires are all the other systems that help make everything else work properly."


"Specific exercises are needed to improve the overall strength and flexibility one needs to remain active. Everyday activity and work are often not enough to reach that goal."





“People come in with shoulder pain… We say ‘we need to work on this exercise.’ The first thing out of their mouth oftentimes is, ‘well, I use my arms a lot at work,’ and I say, ‘but that's why you're here.'"




Dr. Johnson explained that people often think arthritis only happens in your older years, but it can happen as early as 30s or 40s. “The primary [care] there is, are simple little things like weight reduction, activity modification from high impact activities and occasional use of antiinflammatories."

This is located at the Touchmark Retirement Home in south Fargo. They have a great facility, offering adult water exercise classes and more. They are open to the public, by way of monthly membership or guest passes—which can be bought 1 at a time or in a pack of 10!


Dr. Johnson will recommend low-impact activity for someone who visits him in need of help, or for someone who just can’t move like they used to. A great way to get that movement in is in a pool!

He recommends three facilities:

• Family Wellness


• Touchmark Health & Fitness Club

Dr. Johnson's biggest piece of advice for someone looking for an exercise facility— go somewhere convenient. You are far more likely to follow through with your routine and goals if going to a place is easy to schedule in and not out of your way! Luckily, there are tons of different workout facilities around the FM area!


Dr. Phil Johnson, MD & Orthopedic Surgeon, has been in practice since 1991. Returning to Fargo after schooling, he spent the next couple of decades working with local athletics, including West Fargo High School, Concordia College, FargoMoorhead RedHawks; and the since-disbanded local professional athletic teams, including the FargoMoorhead Beez and the FargoMoorhead Fever. He also practiced orthopedic care locally. In addition, for the last 22 years, he has been the team physician for USA Hockey, along with Dr. Mike Stewart, and has spent 17 years with the United States men's national junior ice hockey team.

In 2018, Dr. Johnson was the team doctor for the US hockey team at the Olympics! At the end of this year, he will be retiring from his position as a physician, but will continue work with the International Ice Hockey Federation, where he will do medical supervision at the tournaments!

Q. You recommend daily walking for joint health. Where do you recommend going?

A: The favorite place I have is my frontage road and out in front of my townhouse. I'll go in all types of weather. In fact, you actually expend more calories in cold weather, which is a benefit for you. I don't think it matters so much where you walk… I would say the safest is to go out in the country.




“The feet are our primary base of support and the platform through which we perform most of our movements. The function, control and strength of your feet and your ankles can impact the joints up the chain of your body such as the knees, hips, back, etc., as they compensate for any dysfunctions below."


"The feet are far more important than people tend to realize, as aches and pains that are present elsewhere in the body can be caused by issues in the feet."


• "Many foot problems are caused by footwear."

• "Dysfunctional feet can lead to pain elsewhere in the body."

• "Feet can be trained, strengthened and made more resilient, just like any other part of the body!"




"Caving in of the feet can cause the knees to compensate and change their alignment, which in turn can affect the hips, which could potentially affect back pain. We like to look at the body as an interconnected system instead of focusing on one piece of that system."


• "Gradually spending more time barefoot will strengthen your feet."

• "Toe spacers can be a great tool for relieving pain or recovering your toe alignment after being cramped in tight footwear. They feel great after wearing ski boots all day!"

• "Perform some basic foot stretches: fingers in between your toes for toe splay, stretch toes in dorsiflexion (up), stretch toes in plantar flexion (down)."

• "Do not overwork your feet. Train them gradually like any other part of the body. Tired is okay, pain is bad, and you need recovery."



“The vast majority [of these tips] can be practiced at home with zero equipment, which is the beauty of working on your foot health. If you need a place to walk or move around beyond the home, go outdoors or to the gym.”

Ryan owns Apex Fitness, located in Moorhead. Although Ryan says just about any space will do for your exercise, you could try out Apex! Here's what he likes about it:

• Has the basics for being active: treadmills, bikes, free weights, resistance machines and more.

• Also has special tools and equipment designed for better movement beyond the typical equipment, an example of this is the Kabuki Strength barbells, which are designed to be more ergonomic than standard barbells.

• 24/7 facility is kept clean and is meant for beginners through competitive lifters alike. Plus, for any competitive lifters out there, they have a set of competition-approved calibrated plates!

If you're interested and want to try out what Ryan suggested here, head to bearfoot. store/collections/ footwear to get yourself a pair of functional footwear!


Ryan Bothun, Co-Founder of Bearfoot Shoes

Bearfoot Shoes, Ryan’s co-founded local company, specializes in promoting proper foot function to help people move better through functional footwear and other foot health products. The Bearfoot team has expertise in biomechanics, injury prevention, rehabilitation and physical fitness. World-renowned biomechanist, coach and inventor, Chris Duffin, co-founded the company along with Ryan. Chris' approach was developed as he worked with some of the top medical professionals in the field!

Q. What are some things you personally do for your Foot Health?

A: I personally train the function and strength of my feet constantly by wearing minimalist footwear. Minimalist shoes are essentially shoes that have removed any artificial supports, artificial cushioning, etc., and have a very wide toebox, so that your feet can function as naturally as possible.

@bearfootshoes on Instagram & check out the blogs at bearfoot.store

Find resources with Podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan at CorrectToes.com or @myfootfunction on Instagram.

Interested in a whole-body approach to body mechanics, rehab and training? Ryan recommends Kabuki Strength, another company founded by Chris Duffin. Find them @kabukistrength on Instagram and at store.kabukistrength.net.

I am also a huge proponent of physical exercise in general, and I pair this with my foot health by occasionally performing movements that challenge my balance and my control over my feet. Examples include single-leg exercises such as lunges... occasionally balancing on different objects or beams while barefoot, and doing simple things like sitting as deep as possible into a bodyweight squat and trying to reclaim ankle mobility.


Have you Met Julia Schott?

Meet Julia Schott (she/her), a Vista Member for AmeriCorps, assigned to Cultural Diversity Resources (CDR) and the members of the Multicultural Alliance as their Communications Manager since January 2021.

Julia, pronounced "Hooleah", was born and raised in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and moved to a rural small town in North Dakota in December 2007. She missed the diversity she had grown up accustomed to, so she eventually made the move to live in Fargo in 2009. In 2012, she moved back to the rural small town—to try again. However, small-town life was very difficult for her after spending most of her adult life in Santo Domingo (a city with over 2 million people). As a self-proclaimed social butterfly, the quiet life was definitely not right for her. So she came back to Fargo-Moorhead to stay a second time, for good, and has been a North Fargo resident since 2015. She is a mother to three amazing girls—Lara (15), Emma (10) and Tania (6). She is bilingual, with Spanish as her first language.

She has more than 10 years of experience as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher in her home country, and over 6 years of experience as a Spanish Interpreter in the FM area, working in hospitals, schools and the court system, along with being a translator for different businesses. Her work as an interpreter made her interested in participating in helping and being an advocate for those without a voice, so working for a nonprofit in town was the next logical step. She also writes articles about her life and experiences as an immigrant from a small country, and a neurodiverse mother with ADHD for a local virtual magazine, Fargo Mom.

Her background is in the arts, with a degree in Design that includes a minor in Photography, but she's always enjoyed working with people the best. She's responsible for the web and mobile sites for CDR and their partners, and their Social Media communications. Every Thursday, she writes a cultural blog post on CDR’s website. She's also a board member for Kondial Kel International, a nonprofit focused on bettering the lives of women around the world through education and community-related activities.

Her job at CDR gives her the privilege to tell others about the wonderful work these amazing people do every day, so they can continue working for the community and introduce them to other amazing people. Then, together, they can make this area a more inclusive and diverse place to live, so newcomers and people of color, like herself, can also feel as much at home living here as she has grown to feel these past years.

The FM area is fortunate to have Julia and her family love this community and call it their beloved home.

Until we meet again:

Stay Warm! Cyusa

Where do you call home?

That is a difficult question to answer for me. I was born in the Dominican Republic, two blocks or so from the Atlantic Ocean, in a small town named Puerto Plata. After graduating high school, I moved to the capital, Santo Domingo. For most of my adult life, the DR was my home. But now, when I’m abroad and I think of home, what comes to mind is not the beach or the palm trees and almond groves of my hometown—what I miss is the prairie. Fargo is the place I call home, against all odds and despite being 2,500 miles from everything and everyone I grew up with. When I’m away, I long to come back home—to the Red River Valley.

What's the story behind your passion for giving to your community?

I grew up watching my family help others. It is what you’re supposed to do. You're supposed to use your privilege to serve others. They had friends from all walks of life, literally. I grew up in a very diverse household—something that shaped who I am as a person now. I had the joy and the good fortune of experiencing real inclusivity and diversity firsthand, something I took for granted until I realized my upbringing was not quite as normal as other people’s. As an adult, I wanted to follow their example and leave the world a bit better than I found it. I hope I can do that while bringing joy to the people I meet and also being an example of all that to my own girls.

What was your life like before moving to Fargo?

I had quite an unusual childhood. My dad was a very popular public personality in my home country, which made people look at his children as curiosities. I grew up with my grandmother and moved to the capital when I graduated high school. There, I started in communications but ended up changing my major after a couple of years to design. A few months after graduating, I met who would become the father of my children, and after another couple of years, I married and moved to the mountains there. He brought me to North Dakota 15 years ago. I arrived


in winter with a couple suitcases, a baby and a stray dog. My youngest two children were born here and Fargo became my home in the process. We had three wonderful girls that are my pride and joy and who we are raising together as friends as we are divorced now. I think it’s interesting that I ended up working in communications again. My college advisor was right after all—I should have continued my studies. I also recently got diagnosed with ADHD, so I’m navigating how to be true to myself and my neurodiversity. Life has been good to me; I’ve met many dear friends in this place.

What are some misconceptions about people from the Caribbean Islands?

Something I hear frequently is that people from the Caribbean don’t have the same work ethic as people in the US. Nothing is further from the truth. Most people I know are hardworking and dedicated. The difference is that what we call selfcare here is just normal life there. This desire to spend time in leisure is sometimes misconstrued as a lack of desire to work.

Another misconception has to do with the idea that we all live in huts and that most are uneducated and in abject poverty. That is true for some, but not all Dominicans. I lived most of my life in a city of two million people, and all the people I grew up with are very well-educated and speak at least two languages. My country is so much more than just rum, cigars, tourism and poverty.

What are some of the activities you wish there were in the FM area?

I love to eat, so I’m always happy when I see people opening restaurants and bringing their culinary culture to the area. I also love to dance, being Dominican, but right now, the only places to do so are more class-oriented. There’s a lot of structure and counting which is nothing like the dancing I grew up with. I wish there was a place I could go just to dance without a class.

On a more serious note, I’d like more basic financial classes for

newcomers, BIPOC and anyone else who would need them. We at the Cultural Diversity Resources (CDR) are starting to address this last concern, and I’ve seen others in town do so as well, but they are still very limited. We are offering a class in July on credit control and management, free for the public, at the Moorhead Public Library. For more information on this and future classes, check our website culturaldiversityresources.org.

As a community leader, what is the next problem you are trying to solve?

I have the privilege of working with an amazing team that deeply cares for this community. Each one of them focuses on different problems depending on who they serve. What we’ve seen as a group is the need to educate adults on how to manage their finances, limited as they are, because if you don’t have a plan, you waste valuable resources and often end up with a lot of debt. Some of us have never used credit cards or had any sort of education on how to budget, the importance of saving for the future or even how to plan for healthy, cheap and easy meals within our means.

So, we’ve set out to start connecting with people in the area that will offer their time and expertise to educate others no matter their ethnicity or how long they’ve been here. We want people that come to our office to not only find the help they need, but also to be able to overcome their financial problems and become organized which, ultimately, will allow them to build wealth of their own.

What is your vision for 2030 for the Fargo-Moorhead community?

The way I see it, there are a lot of good things in store for us in the next few years. More people will integrate into the fabric of our community, and it will become even more diverse and vibrant. I also think we will see more participation of BIPOC leaders in politics and in all aspects in the community and the rest of the country, both male and female. I think there will be more professionals of color in our schools and hospitals as well.

The arts are the lifeblood of our community. The arts are what support the uniqueness of the people here, it represents love, culture, identity and more. Entertainment often fuels that art, an event to bring people together to share experiences, explore unknown territory and learn, sometimes more about themselves than the topic! Here are a few Arts & Entertainment-related events coming up that will keep our city's heart pumping.


Pedal Tours of Fargo

This spring, get outside for a tour of our beloved Fargo area! Fargo Pedal Tours will offer pedal-powered tours, focusing on some of the most historic and memorable aspects of our community. The trolley will also make a few stops in downtown Fargo for refreshments along the way! To learn more and stay tuned for a launch date, check out fargopedaltours.com

Special Olympics North Dakota's Special Olympics Jump for joy as the Polar Plunge returns on Saturday, March 25! With a variety of fun contests (Youngest Plunger, Most Money Raised, Best Belly Flop, etc.), it's going to be a cold and crazy time. Is the cold water not for you? Come support our community as others take the plunge!

Fargo Film Festival

The annual Fargo Film Festival returns March 21-25! This year, the Fargo Theatre is offering a wide range of films and special discussion-based events. For more information and further details on films, discussions and more, head to fargofilmfestival.org

A Rambunctious, Good Time Timebomb Pro Wrestling is BACK at the Sanctuary Events Center on Thursday, March 16! Featuring AEW (All Elite Wrestling) stars Christopher Daniels, Bryce Remsburg and Colt Cabana, this event is sure to be a night to remember!

Hop on Down to the Fargo Air Museum

Get ready for an egg-stra special event at the Fargo Air Museum on Sunday, March 26! The Easter Bunny Fly-In will offer plenty of fun opportunities for all ages, including the fly-in, an easter egg hunt, a coloring contest and more!


Lil Wayne

When: Thursday, April 6 at 8 p.m. Where: SCHEELS Arena

"I've been a huge fan of Lil Wayne since my middle school days. Although I won't be able to attend, I think it's so cool Mr. Carter is coming to town."

Easter Bunny Fly-In

When: Thursday, March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Fargo Air Museum

Get ready for an egg-stra special event at the Fargo Air Museum! The Easter Bunny Fly-In will offer plenty of fun opportunities for all ages, including the fly-in, an easter egg hunt, a coloring contest and more!

PRCA Championship Rodeo

When: Friday, March 24Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. Where: FARGODOME

Growing up going to many rodeos, I know they're always a blast for the whole family, and the PRCA Championship Rodeo will be perfect for all ages, offering a wide variety of events!

Finnish Sauna Festival

When: Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Plains Art Museum

Experience thermal bathing like never before! The Finnish Sauna Festival, hosted by the Plains Art Museum, offers over 30 time slots to try a traditional wood-fired barrel sauna. Each session can host up to six people in this one-of-a-kind experience— children are welcome!


Jasper Hotel’s March Musicians InResidence: The North Skies

When: Thursday Evenings in March from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Where: Jasper Hotel

Don't miss out on Jasper Hotel's latest in-residence musician! The North Skies is an instrumental duo that's sure to set the tone for an unforgettable night out on the town in downtown Fargo.

Harwood Prairie Playhouse presents Murder Gone Wrong – An Alfred Hitchcock Spoof

When: Saturday, March 25 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Dawson HallBonanzaville

"I love old whodunits and I can't wait to check out this live spoof production!"

Fargo Film Festival

When: Tuesday, March 21 - Saturday, March 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Fargo Theatre

The annual Fargo Film Festival is back! This year, the Fargo Theatre is offering a wide range of films and special discussionbased events. For more information and movie details, head to fargofilmfestival.org

Voices of Vision 2023

When: Thursday, April 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: The SHAC (Sanford Health Athletic Complex)

"This year's Voices of Vision presenter is Marcus Luttrell, a decorated United States Navy SEAL. I'm really looking forward to hearing his story and taking away some inspiration from the event."

Good For Nothing

When: Friday, March 24Saturday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Prairie Den

Special Olympics North Dakota's Polar Plunge

When: Saturday, March 25 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Essentia Health Plaza at The Lights

Jump for joy as the Polar Plunge returns! With a variety of fun contests (Youngest Plunger, Most Money Raised, Best Belly Flop, etc.), it's going to be a cold and crazy time. Is the cold water not for you? Come support our community as others take the plunge!

"I've always been one for giving back to the community in any way possible—especially through nonprofits. Good For Nothing is a great 24-hour event that motivates the community to support one another with marketing services." Sam






After years of playing and promoting punk rock music at various venues in Fargo and the surrounding area, Grand Forks resident Eric Morrison decided it was time for a change. Morrison started his wrestling promotion with no-ring shows in the Aquarium in Downtown Fargo, and through the years, the crowd has grown so much that they now host events at the Sanctuary Events Center. Even with no background in writing, Morrison has and continues to create storylines that keep the

Speedball Mike Bailey gets a kick in during his match with Kevin Ku at the “Violence is Forever” event, October 2022

Humble Beginnings

In 2018, after taking some time off from promoting tours for local bands and performing as a musician, Eric Morrison needed to figure out what to do next for himself. He had been a fan of wrestling for years, and with Fully Loaded Wrestling (another local wrestling company) closing it’s doors in 2018, he knew what he wanted to do. Since he enjoyed wrestling so much, he began his mission to start an independent professional wrestling promotion in town. While he was sure about his plan, it wasn’t as easy one to bring to life.

“We started off super bare bones because the first shows were noring shows,” Morrison said of the promotions early beginnings. “We [did] them at the Aquarium before, with guys in the open.”

Soon, Morrison was planning more shows and building a brand, and the business was born. The name, Timebomb Pro Wrestling, was inspired by an old Japanese wrestling promotion called Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW).

Did you know? Deathmatches are pro wrestling matches in which there is an extra element of danger added, like barbed-wire ropes, glass, thumbtacks, nails or fire, among other things!

“They'd have explosives around the ring. They were just like fireworks,” he explained. “[They’d] have 15 minutes to wrestle and then at the end of the match, a timer went off for the ‘bomb’ to blow up and the wrestlers were trying to get each other out of the ring.”

These matches, Morrison explained, were called “Time Bomb” matches—a version of deathmatches. The FMW Time Bomb matches were what originally got Morrison into wrestling, so he decided to start selling bootleg FMW shirts under the name Timebomb USA. When he started running wrestling events, the name slowly transitioned to what it is now, and it stuck even though he didn’t intend for it to.

Independent professional wrestling like Timebomb Pro Wrestling is quite similar to big-name professional wrestling promotions like World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) or All Elite Wrestling (AEW), however, Morrison explains that they have less rules because North Dakota doesn’t regulate professional wrestling.

“For the most part, you're on your own with pro wrestling… you [have to] regulate yourself and make sure that you're doing things [right],” Morrison explained. “So I always try to make sure that I have somebody—not necessarily a doctor, but somebody who could stitch or glue somebody up.”

Additionally, because all of the wrestlers are basically “freelancers” rather than contracted like they are in bigger wrestling companies, Morrison can hire new wrestlers all the time for one or two matches, which keeps things fresh for those who frequently come to events.

A ring match is your typical professional wrestling match with standard elevated square ring, where opponents keep the fight inside the ring for the most part and audience members sit near the ring. A no-ring match is a match where there is no official ring, and the audience members crowd around the wrestlers as they fight.

Moving From The Aquarium to Sanctuary

Not even two years after Morrison started Timebomb Pro Wrestling, COVID hit. Because the shows had previously had no rings and massive, packed-together crowds, the company had to rethink how to continue events. Having to find a new strategy, Morrison transitioned to have a ring and seating. He hosted a smaller event at the Riverhaven Events Center in Moorhead, and the people at Riverhaven helped him get in contact with what would become his current venue. Their next

Dominic Garrini inside the steel cage at the “Violence is Forever” event, October 2022

event was held at Sanctuary Events Center, and the rest is history.

When Timebomb moved to the Sanctuary, attendance did die down for a bit. While it was easy for the wrestlers to transition to having a ring, it was harder for the audience.

“When we moved over to Sanctuary, it was a hard process, because people were so used to the no-ring stuff,” Morrison explained. “So, there were a couple of rough shows that were getting around 75-100 people.”

Did you know? In professional wrestling, the bad guys are called “heels” and the good guys are called “faces.”

But after a few shows, the attendees have gotten used to the new setup and attendance has grown again. Morrison estimated that they’re averaging about 250 people at each show, which he says is a good number right now. However, he does want to keep growing and have more and more people at each show. His goal is to grow the business as organically as possible, earning devoted audience members who keep coming back for more. He added that the venue, Sanctuary Events Center, is a huge draw for crowds.

“[People] actually want to come to the shows. They want to experience the venue because it's such a cool place for wrestling,” he said.

On Storylines

Even if you’re not a fan of wrestling, or if you’ve never been to a match, Timebomb Pro is something energetic that anyone can enjoy. The typical show consists of several matches and a main event. Usually, the goal is to win by pinfall—keeping the

opponent’s shoulders on the mat for a three-count—or submission—when the opponent “taps out,” or gives up. Similar to large promotions like WWE, Morrison creates storylines with his wrestlers to keep the audience engaged and invested in the matches. But Morrison doesn’t create the stories on his own.

“I'll come up with something and then I'll pitch it to the [wrestler] that I have the idea for, and we'll bounce stuff off of each other,” he explained. “If they want to change something up, I'll hear them out. Most of the time, I'll let them do whatever they want to do, because they're the ones who are doing it. I don't want to tell them how to make the other person bleed or anything.”

Though he has no background in creative writing, Morrison is able to create storylines that people love because of his lifelong love of wrestling. When he’s stuck and can’t

think of a storyline, he often watches old episodes of professional wrestling to inspire him.

“If there's [a storyline] that I want to do that I'm not 100% sure on, I'll just watch an episode of ECW from the 90s and see what they did… I don't want to blatantly rip off everything. But sometimes if I'm stuck, I’ll pull from that,” he adds.

And because the Timebomb Pro shows are 21+ shows, they’re able to do more extreme storylines. As Morrison put it, “it can be a lot more violent and bloody” than the average pro wrestling event, since kids are not allowed at these shows.

Morrison also adds that they often bring wrestlers in for only a couple

Connor Hopkins flies off the top rope at the “Damaged Goods” event, August 2022

F1RST Wrestling, which hosts its shows at First Avenue in Minneapolis, is an inclusive wrestling promotion that even hosts Pride wrestling events!

specific nor are matchups),” he said. “While we do deal with heckling from the occasional jerk, we won’t change to fit the comfort zone of a typical North Dakota crowd and I think that makes our actual fans feel a lot more comfortable where they are.”

Morrison holds his promotion to the highest of standards to ensure that they remain the top wrestling promotion in North Dakota.

Did you know? Professional wrestling as we know it has its origins in the 19th century—over 200 years ago!

shows “somebody can come to a show [and they’ve] never watched wrestling before, and be cautious about it. And at the end of the show, they love it, even if they had no idea who any of the people are.”

Timebomb Pro is a place where anyone can enjoy wrestling.

Support Timebomb Pro Wrestling

Morrison is always looking to bring more new faces to the audiences of Timebomb Pro’s shows. Bring a friend to the next Timebomb Pro event, “Here to Stay,” at the Sanctuary Events Center, Thursday, March 16th at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at timebombpro.com

shows and that can make the storylines more interesting and unique, as well.

“You can bring in a bad guy for three shows to work with one of your good guys. And then as soon as that program is over, you'll never see that bad guy again,” he explained. “It adds mystique. You know that some people are special and that you're not going to see them again. It makes people want to see them and be there for those three shows.”

Standing Out From the Crowd

Timebomb Pro’s storylines are not the only thing that sets them apart from other wrestling in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Morrison prides himself on running a diverse and inclusive wrestling promotions.

“Our shows feature people of color and LGBTQ+ talent, and our female talent are treated as equal as the male talent (championships are not gender

“The main person that helps me out in what I do is Arik Cannon. He runs a company in Minnesota called F1RST Wrestling. And F1RST Wrestling has

Watch for more upcoming shows on their Facebook page, facebook.com/ timebombpro

| timebombpro.com

The Frontman JAH-C locks in Kidd Bandit at the “Exit Light” event, April 2022

WALKING PHOENIX Pursuing The American Dream

Walking Phoenix is an up-and-coming band that rose to prominence in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Their new album, American Dreams, represents a culmination of the band’s origins and time spent together crafting an original sound. I sat down with the band’s four members to discuss their origins, memorable performances, creative process and upcoming plans.

Photos Courtesy of Camille

The idea for Walking Phoenix first began as a desire between Jaeden Alverson and Evan Wood, friends since high school, to collaborate musically. They wanted to incorporate their “dream drummer,” Dan Schuster, who was enthusiastic about the idea. On the lookout for a fourth member to play bass, they reached out to Tor Kjartansson. As the band put it, he was the final piece to the puzzle of bringing the concept to life.

It took nearly two years of work and dedication put towards their first album, American Dreams, to bring it to life in the quality they wanted to deliver. Despite the grueling two years of effort as a band, select songs ('Listen' and 'Gasoline', among others) were written as far back as 2016 and 2017, according to Jaeden.

Nowadays, the group is getting together roughly once a week to continue creating new music and pursuing their passion. For the band, their time together and creative process has been an evolution, both in terms of welcoming new ideas and concepts.

“For the first album, American Dreams, most of those songs were ideas that I had before. Then, everybody put their two cents in and we moved forward from there. We’re all bringing ideas in now and it makes it so much more dynamic. Everybody’s incorporating their own ideas and adding their own parts to them,” Jaeden said.

“Honestly, the new music that we're working on now is twice as complicated and in-depth as the first album, and I think that shows progress. We’re focused on making things super consistent from a composition standpoint and syncing up with each other. We've been focusing a lot more on working cohesively and growing as a band. It’s one of the hardest parts, but also one of the most interesting parts. We’re really digging in and seeing how we can make this surgically perfect.”

Meet the band

Evan Wood

Evan Wood is a guitarist hailing from Oxford, England and was raised in Houston, Texas, where he developed his love for blues and jazz. He moved to Fargo, North Dakota 10 years ago, where he started playing guitar at age 11.

Evan studied music at North Dakota State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music. Other than playing music and performing professionally, he still finds time to teach others and spend quality time with his wife, Erin Ehlis-Wood.

Evan can be seen playing his one-of-a-kind custom Gruber Guitar, "Lucy," a telecaster built with an alder body and raised center (reminiscent of the traditional firebird), honing two mini-humbucker pickups and a single coil in the bridge. When he isn't playing "Lucy," he plays his modified Epiphone Les Paul Custom, "Mary."

Jaeden Alverson

Jaeden Alverson is a vocalist and rhythm guitar player from Fargo, ND. He started writing music in his early childhood and began his solo music career in early high school, playing small shows at coffee shops and eventually playing at large venues such as the Fargo Theatre and The Hub (now Avalon

He took vocal lessons from his mother starting at a young age and picked up the guitar as a way to begin the writing/composing process. He now plays a modified Fender Telecaster and an Ibanez JTK-1 Jet King guitar.

When he's not writing or performing for Walking Phoenix, Jaeden is an avid soccer fan and loves to spend time with his family and dogs. He is married to his lovely wife Camille Alverson, a local artist from the Fargo-Moorhead area, and is a proud father to Roman Bjørn Kol.


Meet the band

Tor Kjartansson is a multi-instrumental musician from Moorhead, Minnesota, having learned thirteen instruments so far with an emphasis on bass, violin, mandolin and tuba. He is currently studying at Concordia College in Moorhead for bass performance. At 20 years old, Tor's life revolves around music in all aspects: performing, composing, teaching and learning. Being a self-taught bass player for over nine years, Tor has started taking lessons at Concordia with Doug Neill to continue improving his craft.

Tor was inspired to take up bass guitar by his uncle Bruce, who played with the Fargo-based band, Mike and the Monsters. His primary bass is a 1978 Music Man Stingray, which was bought by his father, Brian, and used by his uncle Bruce for some time. The lineage of that particular bass is what makes it one of his favorite instruments to play.

Tor Kjartansson Dan Schuster

Dan Schuster is Walking Phoenix's drummer. He has over 15 years of experience in both live performances as well as studio recording settings. His versatility has allowed him to play in groups whose genres range from pop and indie rock to jazz and worship music. While his main job with Walking Phoenix is to lay down the beat, he also plays a key role in arranging and writing instrumental parts for their songs.

When not rehearsing or performing with Walking Phoenix, Dan spends his time working with a wealth management firm in Fargo, offering guidance to individuals and families. He is married to the love of his life, Fate, and the two of them live in Fargo. You can often find them outdoors at a park riding their bikes.


Check out the band’s debut album, out now on all major streaming platforms!

While the group is constantly working to grow musically, the members are comfortable with their current position. As an independent act, they’re not clamoring to get signed by a record label anytime soon.

“It's one of those things where we probably won’t unless it’s the perfect opportunity. Our goal, first and foremost, is to make the music and do things our way. If we can find success in doing that, then get discovered along the way and it ends up being a great deal, we're not gonna turn that down immediately, but we’d obviously discuss it first,” the band agreed.

With their debut album available now on all major platforms, the group is expanding their collaborative efforts in upcoming musical endeavors.

“My brother, Chris, is a very talented musician who took a liking to production in college, but still plays a lot of instruments very well. When we did our first project, we mentioned the idea of doing some music together down the road. He has a house that he built himself with a little home studio space in his basement,” Dan said.

“Around the time we talked to him, he really started investing in the equipment, the room and everything needed to do production well. It was a perfect opportunity for us to be able to get a recording out of it, as well as for him to be able to get some skin in the game with recording. We’re currently working on some music with him in the studio, and there's definitely more music to come from Walking Phoenix.”


A Q&A WITH Walking phoenix


EVAN: I always grew up with music in the house, as my dad loved music in the 60s when he was growing up. I originally wanted to play drums, but I picked up the guitar instead because I didn't have rhythm. I picked that up when I was 11 years old and have been playing ever since.

TOR: My uncle was always playing music around me, and I picked up bass around seventh grade. I also do bass performances at Concordia College.

DAN: I always grew up listening to music in the house, since my dad was a big 80s/90s classic rock guy. I started playing trumpet when I was around 9 or 10. A few years later, I took a liking to the drums when I was around 14. Now, I play regularly with these guys, as well as at my church. I play mainly drums, but I also play a little bit of piano.

JAEDEN: I come from a fairly musical family. I was very vocal-oriented and started taking vocal lessons from my mom when I was four or five. I got my first guitar when I was five or six. I started to write songs when I was probably about six or seven and didn't get into playing rhythm guitar and chords until I was in middle school. It wasn't really until this band that I wanted to get better at guitar. Vocals are definitely my passion and the thing that I’ve focused on my entire life.


DAN: It was at the Red River market in the parking lot on a rainy day; September 12, 2020, to be exact. They put a tent over the small stage and we couldn’t lean out too far or else we’d get the equipment soaked.

JAEDEN: It was one of the few times that COVID helped us, as it allowed us to lock ourselves away for a while. We got the chance to do rough recordings, listen back and rehearse a bit before the performance, which is why it wasn't

a total disaster. It definitely wasn’t the perfect first show, but it was a lot better than it could have been. It also helps that there were plenty of people there despite the rain.


JAEDEN: I was told once by someone that my lyrics were good, but he thought that I could do better. I loved the criticism and took it as a challenge to write something deeper, leading to Where Lovers Go To Die.

DAN: Everyone in the band plays a very different role, in my eyes. Jaeden is very good at writing lyrics and melodies. Tor is really good at writing arrangements and delivering the sounds that we should be hearing throughout the piece. I try to sync up the rhythm with the drums. It's interesting how every person plays a different role in the writing process. Where Lovers Go To Die was so wellwritten, both lyrically and melodically.

When we recorded it, we knew that it had to be perfect. That song took us the most takes because we did seven or eight full takes to make sure every part was dialed in and that the drums were really supporting Jaeden’s voice and Evan's electric guitar work.


JAEDEN: We're at the VFW pretty regularly as one of our mainstay working gigs. We like a fun bar show every once in a while, along with the Red River Market, but we’re also focusing on playing more dedicated music venues as a billed act. We’re currently lining up a gig at Seventh Street Entry at First Avenue in Minneapolis.

DAN: It's booking season right now, so there aren’t a lot of dates we can necessarily confirm. However, there are a lot of conversations going on between Walking Phoenix and bookers.


A Core Memory

When recording the final song for American Dreams, 'Where Lovers Go To Die', the group realized that every track was complete and all of the instrumentals were laid. They were all very, very excited!


DAN: I've come to realize over the last three or so years that the FargoMoorhead area has always had an underground music scene. It's not like people are trying to hide it. It's just been small and you had to know the right people to be in that music scene. Unless you knew what was actually happening in the hardcore or jazz scenes, I don't think people realize the type of music and variety that this area has to offer. In general, Fargo-Moorhead has a really awesome music scene. Even if there aren't crowds of 5,000 people coming to go see a local act, there are some phenomenal local artists in town. If I could share a message with anyone, it would be to pay attention to the music that's happening in this area because you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

EVAN: There's so much great music in places that you wouldn’t expect at

first thought. Anywhere from Red River Market events to Dempsey's nights to local coffee shops to Swing Barrel Brewing in Moorhead. All these different places have great music, and it means a lot to any artist for someone to come to the show. In a town like this, even if you show up for just a little bit to show support, it means a lot to every artist, not just us, for people to go out and support local music of all genres.

JAEDEN: That's the cool thing about this scene too. We just played for a rap show, which was super fun. It was a different scene and experience for us. The cool thing about the Fargo music scene, though, is that it overlaps. You’ll see bands like us playing with heavier bands, rap, jazz or artists just doing their own thing. There's so much intermixing and mingling and everybody's trying to support each other as musicians.

Support Walking Phoenix | walkingphoenixofficial.com | @WalkingPhoenixOfficial | @WalkingPhoenix | @WalkingPhoenixOfficial | Walking Phoenix Official

Whether you are a local sports fanatic or an everyday Joe looking for a little fun or fitness, here are a couple of the things happening in the community.


48 Years of Freddie Prinze

Fun fact, on Saturday, February 25 2023, the annual Freddie Prinze Memorial Dart Tournament was held in Fargo, marking the 48th year of the event.

Triple OT Thriller!

Congrats to the Fargo SouthShanley Bruins who defeated the Grand Forks Red River Roughriders in triple overtime to earn their first boy's state hockey title as a co-op. Senior forward John Lang potted the gamewinning goal as the Bruins claimed their third overall state hockey title with the first two coming with them being a stand-alone program.

Congratulations to MSUM Women's Basketball Player Peyton Boom Boom was named the NSIC senior of the year this past month.


Through trials and tribulation,

Cathryn Costello brings Fargo its newest Pilates studio.

Did you know?

The Mark Morris Dance Group has received outstanding praise from worldfamous cellist Yo-Yo Ma!

eveloped in the 1920s, Pilates is one of the most widely practiced physical disciplines in the world. Its creation was part of an attempt to alleviate ill health through exercising. Similar to yoga, Pilates develops strength, fitness and flexibility. However, what differentiates Pilates is that it has a heightened focus on core strength. Furthering this mission of stabilization in Fargo is Cathryn Costello, who aims to connect people with their bodies and help them understand how to move safely.

Cathryn Costello has been finding new ways to move her body since she was a child. At the age of five, she started dancing in Seattle, WA. Just a few short years later, at the age of eight, she was getting paid for her dancing—something she continued to pursue professionally throughout her formative years and into adulthood.

"I knew that's what I wanted to do very young because I was

around adults who were doing it,” Costello said.

By the time she was 17, she was only going to "regular school" part-time as she was devoting the majority of her day to dance. She continued to dance through her school years, and then at the age of 20, she moved to New York City—a professional dancer’s dream. She landed a job with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Cathryn Costello is passionate about bringing Pilates to the F-M community!

you know?

Joseph Pilates developed his exercise techniques and methods while being held in an internment camp during World War I.

"It was everything I was prepared for it to be, and it was hard. It was grueling. People talk about hustle now, but those were 18-hour days and you couldn't hold a steady job because you had to go to class, which you had to pay for all yourself, you had to go to rehearsals, and you had to be available for performances,” she recalled. “You have no life."

needed someone to practice with. She started taking free lessons, sparking her initial interest in Pilates.

"We did private lessons on the reformer machine when I was 15, and I just fell in love. Nothing felt like it and it was so good for cross-training for dance. I spent about six months doing this and when I came back to dance, my instructors told me I had fixed most of the problems that they were going to have me work on," Costello said.

In the dance industry, it is quite common for people to get injured. Costello was no exception. Because she did not have a “typical” dancer’s body, she often had to work extra hard to do the moves that other dancers could do more naturally.

"I had to do a lot of contortions to make the pretty pictures look the same and I think I really taxed myself with that. But, you do what you have to do to get the job done.”

Due to this strain on her body, as well as having to wear pointe shoes, Costello ended up developing Achilles tendonitis at just 15 years old.

"I had to stop dancing because of it for about three months which is detrimental at that caliber of dancing, it's way too long,” Costello explained.

When she was out with tendonitis, she found out that one of her friend’s mom was training to be a Pilates teacher and

It wasn’t until around 15 years later that she considered becoming a Pilates instructor herself.

Trying to make a living through dance in New York City, the most expensive city in the country, is not easy. For Costello, this was no exception.

"I hit a point where I had no days off and I wasn't making any money and I had an injury. I had no quality of life,” she said.

Luckily, her roommate was able to help her line up a job that paid enough to increase her quality of life.

"My roommate was a personal assistant to a rich couple that lived in New York City and the husband started a new job and needed an assistant. So, she hooked me up. I started working for him, but the company ended up hiring me. Eventually, I worked

Costello shows one of our editors, Brady, how the reformer machine works. The reformer machine, seen here, helps target specific muscles for strengthening. Did

Did you know?

The original Pilates machine was referred to as the "magic circle."

my way up through the company and by the end, I did everything but programming,” Costello explained.

She was thriving at Redshift Technologies Inc. However, she wasn’t happy there.

“I hated it, but it paid really well. Well enough that I could live by myself in New York City which was a big deal,” she said.

Then, on a ski trip with her family, Costello’s life trajectory changed. She ruptured her ACL.

"I knew it right away when it happened. They had to bundle me up to ski me down the mountain because I was so high up. And as they were skiing me down, I could only see the trees going by and the beautiful gorgeous sky and I thought, 'This is better than any day at the office. Shit, I should get a different job.'"

Did you know? Women are anywhere from two to ten times more likely to injure their ACL than men.

Of course, after her accident, she rehabbed with Pilates.

"And I've never had any issues since then," she added.

on the degree slowed—though she still took time to do Pilates. She even opened her first Pilates studio, Precision Pilates Studio, in Wahpeton during this time.

In 2017, tragedy struck when Cathryn’s husband died in a plane crash; she was suddenly a single parent to two young children, running a small business and had to figure out how to take care of everything—including herself—on her own.

After her revelation, she began working as a Pilates instructor so she could return to school to become a physical therapist. Costello knew she wanted to help people, so she started her journey by taking her prerequisites at NDSCS. Then, she started having children, and progress

The idea for theStudio was hatched after she spent the next several years reaching out for the support she needed for her health; mentally, physically and spiritually. When COVID hit she closed her Wahpeton studio, and decided to focus on creating her dream, theStudio. theStudio, which opened in 2022, blends Pilates and physical therapy principles like they often do with physiotherapy in places like Canada.

"The way I see it, Pilates is the missing step between Physical Therapy and going back to your normal exercise routine, except I

Costello demonstrates the correct way to do an exercise.
"I really love teaching people how to move their bodies in a new, safe way. That means being very clear about where your body should be in space and what you should be feeling. I love giving them that information because, once you get that down, you can do anything."

theStudio’s space has large windows that allow for a lot of natural lighting— so you can get your daily dose of vitamin D!

don't have to deal with insurance and I have so much more time with my clients,” she added.

Her hope is to reach as many people as possible by making Pilates accessible for people of all levels of athletic ability.

"This is pretty accessible for anybody. The biggest barrier is getting up the stairs to the studio," Costello laughed.

Did you know? Studies show that more than 50 percent of all dancers are injured each year.

Costello doesn’t want to stop at only offering Pilates, though. Her ultimate goal is to be able to offer a whole wellness collective through theStudio.

“You would come to theStudio and you [would] get a massage, your acupuncture, your workout, your infrared sauna and your chiropractor in a one-stop shop. I can only fix one part of you, but you’re a whole being, and you have so many other things going on. What’s happening with your sleep and your nutrition, it all is wrapped up in that,” Costello explained. As part of her long-term plan, theStudio would offer a way for all of your wellness

team to consult with one another. “We need a place where we can sit down at a table, all the practitioners, and talk to each other and say, ‘this is what I see going on with so-and-so. What do you see?’ ‘When I was doing acupuncture, I noticed that this was happening.’ What do we do about that? And how do we help you?” she said.

Costello believes that with the community’s support, she can make her dream of helping people holistically a reality.

Cathryn Costello’s dream of turning theStudio into a wellness collective is already becoming a reality by providing an in-house massage therapist, wellness and nutritional coaching, personal training and ongoing classes and workshops.

Learn more about Cathryn Costello’s Pilates studio, theStudio:

14 1/2 8th St S, 2nd Floor Fargo, ND 58103

(701) 866-5743

| info@thestudio.health

| thestudio.health

| /thestudio.health



Where are they now ?

An Interview with Payton Otterdahl

A sneak preview of next month's "Where are they now?"

Bison Illustrated issue

Payton Otterdahl is perhaps the greatest athlete to ever compete at NDSU, regardless of sport. By the time he left Fargo, Otterdahl was a six-time summit league champion, a two-time national champion and the NCAA record holder for the indoor shotput.

His greatness hasn't stopped since leaving the green and gold. Since graduating in 2019, Otterdahl has been competing full-time as a professional shotputter and has claimed first-place finishes at six meets. However, his most important placing so far was a thirdplace finish at the Olympic Trials which qualified him for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. At the Olympics, Otterdahl finished 10th.

In this exclusive Bison Illustrated interview, we spoke with Otterdahl over the phone from his home in Lincoln, Nebraska where he trains with former NDSU Throws Coach and current University of Nebraska Head Track &

Field Coach Justin St. Clair. We spoke with him about his rehab from his hip labrum surgery, his training, coaching young athletes and more!

How is the recovery going after surgery?

I had the surgery in September, and the rehab has been going really, really well. I'm doing full training now. There are still a few things that I'm easing back into. I still have some lack of mobility in the hip. However, for the most part, I can do everything throwing-wise.

What was the rehab process like for you?

It was challenging. It was challenging feeling like I was kind of falling behind a lot of the people I train with and a lot of the people I've competed with, like my brothers who are still training. But, I knew I had to focus on getting healthy first because last year was very difficult to train. It was quite painful on my hips. That was really taking away a lot

Payton Otterdahl competing at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR, one of the premier track & field events in the United States.


In the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Payton Otterdahl finished 10th with a throw of 20.32 meters.

of what I was able to do. Being able to train pain-free will be worth it in the end. And so far, it's been great.

What is the timeline for when that recovery is supposed to be fully completed?

The doctors told me that I'll be able to compete in May. I'll be competitionready, but they said that I'll be about 90% by then. They said that I won't be 100% healed until I'm over a year out from the surgery.

We spoke with your brother Trevor, who is still at NDSU, and he had the same surgery. Are the hip issues hereditary?

Yes, they say it is hereditary. They say that you get it from your mother's side. Our mom didn't do college athletics, so I don't think it ever got to the point for her where she had to get surgery, but I would bet that she does have the hip impingements that led to the surgery.

With all three of you brothers competing in the throws at a very high level, was this a family sport? How did you get into throwing?

We came from a basketball family. Both our grandpa and our uncle played in college. We started basketball at a really young age, but my parents always kept us busy with sports and activities year-round. They just put us in every sport that you could be in as a kid and one of the activities they put us in was track. Once I was in middle school, I learned pretty quickly that I don't like to run. So, I took up throwing and it just came naturally to me. I was winning meets in middle school, throwing the shotput and the discus. Once I got to high school, my brothers

saw that I was having success in it and they wanted to have that success, too. So, they just kind of followed in my footsteps a little bit.

Was that your main thing in high school? Was it the sport you enjoyed the most?

It was my main thing because it was what I was best at, but my favorite sport in high school was actually wrestling. But I was better at track & field and I knew I could go further in it, so I stuck with it.

How often are you competing now as a postcollegiate athlete?

I think I do somewhere around 15 meets a year as a pro. This year, I had to take off all of the indoor season because of surgery, but I'll only be a little bit late to start the outdoor season. It usually starts at the beginning of April. And I know my doctors told me May was when I could return to competition, but I think I'm pretty ahead of schedule here. I'm hoping to open up with the Drake Relays. NDSU is usually there and Nebraska will be there, it's close to home and a lot of our family will be there. So, I really want to make that my opener.

What has life been like living in Lincoln?

It's not too different from Fargo. It's a similar-sized town. It's kind of isolated and surrounded by rural communities just like Fargo is. I'd say the biggest difference that I've noticed is it's just much warmer here. We still get all four seasons down here, but when you guys get negative temperatures, we're in the 20s, sometimes higher. It has been great not having to live in the tundra of Fargo.


to focus more on the high school and younger ages since there aren't many towns that have two universities that we can both coach at.

What are you spending your time doing when you're not training?

When the weather's good, and there's no snow on the ground, we like to frisbee golf and sometimes play regular golf too, but I'm terrible at it. So, I prefer the Frisbee kind.

One thing that's kind of unique about me is that I have a ton of pets—probably more than anyone you've ever met. I have seven snakes, four geckos, a lizard, a frog and a dog. That's usually what I'm doing in my free time at home. It relaxes me. I like building their enclosures and making them look really good. That's what I'm into.

down here, which was last August, it really seemed to pick up. There are a lot of kids that throw down here who are looking for additional coaching. Most of the time when I'm coaching, people have approached me for it. I didn't reach out to see if anyone was interested in coaching. Everyone I'm coaching down here has come to me through word of mouth. I don't promote it.

Has it been pretty rewarding?

Yeah, it's fun. Seeing the kids when they throw a personal best, they get so happy and I know all about that feeling. It's just great to see. That's what's nice about track & field is that there aren't limits to how high they can take it. The tape measure is basically endless. As long as they can keep improving, they can keep getting moments like that.

Payton Otterdahl and his girlfriend Maddy Nilles, the current Throws Coach at the University of Nebraska, strike a pose for Bison Illustrated in 2020.

Do you have any sort of side job?

I coach high school and middle school kids. I work with kids from all over. We had a camp recently where kids were coming from just outside of Kansas City which is about a three-hour drive. I do some private lessons as well and I have kids coming from all over Nebraska, some driving two hours twice a week.

Do you see yourself mainly coaching once you retire from your professional career?

Yeah, I can see myself doing that. My girlfriend, Maddy Nilles, was also an (NDSU alumna and thrower) and she's the current Throws Coach at the University of Nebraska. She will be coaching university athletes and I think that that'll be her main career. So, I'd like

Is that something that you've picked up since graduation?

No, that's something I've been into my whole life. Now, I just have money for it. When I was a kid, I would go and catch anything I could outside. Now I don't catch things from the wild anymore, I just buy them at pet stores.

What did you have while you were in college?

I had a couple of geckos and, in my senior year, I had two snakes.

Do you have a favorite pet?

My dog. I know it's funny that I have all those, but my dog is the only one that I let sleep in bed with me. My American bully, "Dooby" gets most of my attention.

How long have you been coaching now?

It pretty much started when I graduated. I didn't do much coaching when I was up in Fargo. There just didn't seem to be as big of a demand for it. But I did a little bit of it, and then, once I got

Are there any big meets that you are looking forward to this year?

The big one is the World Athletics Championships. That will be in Budapest, Hungary in August. I have to qualify for that at the USA championships at the

Did You Know?

Otterdahl is one of seven former Bison to have competed on the Olympic stage. The others are:

Brad Rheingans (1976, Montreal, Greco-Roman heavyweight, USA)

John Morgan (1988, Seoul, GrecoRoman middleweight, USA)

Janet Cobbs (1992, Barcelona, volleyball, USA)

Tamara Brudy (1996, Atlanta, 4x400m relay, Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Amanda Smock (2012, London, triple jump, USA)

Erin Teschuk (2016, Rio, 3000m steeplechase, Canada)

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

beginning of July. To do that, I have to place top-four there in the shotput. It's basically as big as the Olympics, but it's only for track & field.

Then the next year, it's the Olympic Games in Paris, obviously. To get to that, I need to take the top three at the Olympic Trials again.

Who do you have working with you? Do you have a strength coach and a nutritionist and whatnot?

Well, my coach programs my strength training and then I just follow it. I don't really have like a team, necessarily. USA Track & Field has nutritionists and sports psychologists available that I've talked to before. As far as locally, I have my coach and my training partners and then I do go to a chiropractor pretty regularly. It's not very big, but we get the job done.

What do you do for active recovery? Do you do yoga or anything like that?

I do yoga occasionally. I take Wednesdays and weekends off from training. I don't train those days, but I do go out and do something active. I don't like to just lay around all day. That will make me feel pretty sluggish. I like to go out and get the sweat going a little bit. I'll do yoga, take my dog for a walk or go and play with him. I also like playing frisbee golf. Basically, I do things that get me moving but won't tire me out.

What does a regular week of training look like for you?

We train pretty late in the day. We usually train at about 3 p.m. That's kind of late. So, by the time training starts, you've got two to three meals in. We get there at about 2:30 p.m. and warm up. Once, we are warmed up, we train—we throw first and then lift after. By the time that's done, we're getting home at around 7:15 p.m., eating another two times before the end of the day and relaxing. I go to bed pretty late, usually around midnight or 1 a.m. Then, it's the same thing the next day.

Do you have any other personal plans in the works? Any trips or anything like that?

It's a little early to tell. My offseason is so short. In a regular year, usually, it's only whatever's left of September by the time I'm done competing through October, maybe and then by November I'm for sure training again. When I'm not rehabbing, I usually have a month and a half off in a year. When I'm training, I don't like to travel too much. In March, I'm going to go train in Arkansas with the current shotput world record holder, Ryan Crouser. He and I are good friends. I'll be going down there for a week to train with him and pick his brain. He's really big into fishing, as am I being from Minnesota, so we're going to do a lot of fishing down there as well.

I do like to travel when I have the time though. I usually go on vacation with my girlfriend. I have some high school friends that I'm still close with as well. My family has two cabins in northern Minnesota and those are usually my go-to spots. But now that I live in Nebraska, we're relatively close to Denver. It's only a seven-hour drive. We'll go to Denver at least once a year and do some hiking in

Be on the lookout for the "Where are they now?" issue of Bison Illustrated, which is set to hit stands in mid-April!

the surrounding mountains. We like to go to national parks if we can.

Is there anything we haven't talked about that you'd like to say to the readers of Bison Illustrated?

I just want to thank Bison nation for keeping up with me. You know, I miss Fargo. I miss the people of Fargo more than anything—I don't miss the cold. I do miss the people in the town and want to thank them for their continued support.

Otterdahl competing for NDSU in 2018.
Photo by Nate Barrett


neo interior design studio on the move

Design duo Michael Betlock and Haley Kaspari have moved neo interior design studio into a new, larger studio two doors down from their previous suite at the 25th Street Market. For more info, contact neo: 701-936-2009 or visit neointeriordesignstudio.com

Now open! Hebron Brick has a new home in West Fargo

The sleek, new state-of-the-art showroom has officially opened just off I-94 in West Fargo. The new showroom boasts the very best in brick and fireplace offerings, as well as their latest trending products, wood-grain-styled metal siding. You can visit the new showroom at 901 Christianson Drive, West Fargo. Hebron's previous Main Avenue location is now permanently closed.

Junkyard Brewing to open new location in West Fargo

Moorhead's Junkyard Brewing recently revealed plans to open a second location in West Fargo, taking over the old Bell Bank building on Sheyenne Street. Renovations in the building will begin later this month, expecting an opening in late 2023.

The Red River Valley is constantly blooming with new architecture, trend-setting designs and industryleading artists to help bring your home and living spaces to life. From the hottest new design trends to the newest spaces in town, consider this your local beat for all things home and living.




Springtime is always a refreshing time to look back on the year before and note all of the newness and growth, and for Fargo-Moorhead, we've seen a lot. I remember a time when Broadway Square didn't exist, or when the RDO Tower hadn't yet graced the Fargo skyline. Yet year after year, Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow into a cozy Midwestern metropolis, and new opportunities for unique, inspiring design bring a sort of call to action for so many architects and interior designers.

Michael Betlock and Haley

Kaspari of neo interior design are a part of that group of that group of creative masterminds, helping drive Fargo-Moorhead forward as a beautiful place to explore. In fact, their 2022 went so well, they moved two doors down into a (new) new office space, to provide the space for a larger color and sample library and better serve their growing clientele. I had the privilege of sitting down and learning more about some of the unique projects they're working on, both here and abroad.

As a Moorhead resident myself, it's been really exciting to hear about a lot of the new design and infrastructure coming to this charming little city. For anyone following along on the planned initiatives Moorhead seeks to bring to the community. Maybe you've heard about the Community Center/Regional Library that the City of Moorhead is planning, or maybe you're looking forward to the Downtown Moorhead initiative to get more young people out into the community and enjoy our unique culture. All I can say is living in Moorhead is about to get even better, no matter your age.


Sanders Flats is an active adult 55+ community coming soon to Moorhead. The community will reside at 1601 S Eighth St, immediately south of Eventide’s Moorhead campus—and construction has already begun!

Sanders Flats offers an additional choice of an active adult 55+ community, so today’s seniors can enjoy a secure building with beautiful apartments and a competitive price point in a great location.

As Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow, neo works carefully to make sure the small-town home feel doesn't get lost along the way. "We took care and paid attention to detail when selecting the finishes for these spaces,"

Betlock said. "Our biggest goal was to make sure the individual units felt like home to the residents and that we helped create environments that felt like they'd support the lifestyle and activities of the people who live there."

While making each unit feel like home, neo also put their special flavor into the overall design, incorporating elements that are very "on-brand" for neo's style. "We specifically loved the incorporation of the geometric wall covering at the entrance of each resident's door," Betlock said. "It was a fun way to break up the long corridors and add some visual interest."


"As masters in commercial design, neo is at the forefront of upcoming and lasting design trends that will serve the community for years to come. They've always had a go-bold-or-go-home approach, so I always look forward to their insight."

Here's What's In:

• Color and bold large-scale patterns.

• Eclectic and unexpected elements.

• Mixed metals. Pairing golds, silvers and powder-coated metals is a great way to bring metallic sheens and textures to your space. You no longer have to worry about "matching" what is existing.

• Utilizing common materials in unexpected ways.

• Custom wall coverings and flooring. When a client hears "custom" they automatically assume "expensive." The truth is many of neo's manufacturers offer custom options with no minimum-order requirements which opens up a real opportunity for us to create something truly unique for their clients.

What's out?

Following the pack. Creating spaces that suit the vision and the needs of each individual client is what neo feels is most important. What works for some, may not necessarily work for all!




To further help accentuate the homey feel, neo wanted to evoke moods of soft tones, reminiscent of nature and the Midwest while also feeling fresh and modern. Although they love every aspect of the design process, the areas they geeked out on the most were the resident common areas. "It allowed us to think about how this community might use these spaces and how we could best support those activities through intentional design and specification," the design duo said. "We wanted this to feel like a welcoming and vibrant place to live."

When completed, Sanders Flats will offer 46 apartments with a variety of one, two and three-bedroom layouts. Amenities will include a large community room, a wellness room, common areas and underground parking. The plan also includes a skyway, which will connect the building to The Linden, Eventide’s senior living apartment building to the north.


How would you summarize your 2022?

2022 provided many learning opportunities for neo! Not only did we get into the groove of working as a team, but we also took on the task of gaining further knowledge of materials and products that we use in our designs on a daily basis. We took pride in learning from the pros on the installation of everything from flooring and wall covering to light fixtures and toilets (please, don't call us to install your toilet).

What are you looking forward to most in 2023? Are

there any current or ongoing projects right now that you can tease?

We are looking forward to growing our presence in the Fargo-Moorhead community as well as wrapping up a few of the larger projects we have been working on for the last several years. Aside from the single project in this article, we are also in the design development phase of a fullbuilding remodel for a financial institution in Crookston, MN. We also have multiple projects on the horizon in partnership with various local property management groups.

What are you really digging right now that you hope to see implemented more into commercial design?

neo has always been a fan of mixing patterns, textures and shapes. Our opinion is that nothing is "off-limits." We especially enjoy taking a look back at historical design periods and implementing many different ideas in one space. We would definitely support bringing that vintage oversized Victorian chandelier into your modern office lobby! Haley is partial to "oversized. moody botanicals" and I have always had an affinity for "men's suiting patterns." If you have the opportunity to visit the new neo studio, you will see how both of these elements can play together in one space.

The Fargo metro population has surpassed 250K; Fargo isn't the little guy anymore... there's a lot of regional influence and impact this city has...how is that playing

a role in your work as commercial designers?

We believe the growth in Fargo lends itself to bigger and bolder design. We have a real opportunity to put ourselves out there in competition with some of the more established metro areas as a leader in forward-thinking design. We have been following many of the projects that are in the works in our area and are excited to see our community continue to grow.

The project is expected to be completed by early spring of 2024. For more information on Sanders Flats, visit eventide. org/eventide-moorhead/ sanders-flats-apartments or call 218-291-2200.

For more info about neo ids, visit neointeriordesignstudio. com or follow @neo_ids on Instagram to keep up with their latest projects.



Get Tappin' at West Acres

Your shopping experience just got way more exciting with West Acres' newest addition—Crafty Taps! Coming this month, the self-pour tap wall is inside the food court with eight taps featuring a variety of beers and wines. There is a 21+ area to relax and sip to prep or cap your shopping experience!

More to Yak!

The beloved Nepali and Indian cuisine establishment, Himalayan Yak, has officially opened its doors to a second location! Located at 1109 38th St S, Fargo, between Osaka Sushi & Hibachi and Fargo Inn & Suites along I-29, you can now enjoy your favorite dishes in a new environment! Check it out!

Did You Know?

With only a $15 membership fee once a year, you can be part of the “UnCorked Club” at Cork 'N Cleaver! Every Thursday, enjoy a wine tasting and appetizers along with folk, jazz, blues, contemporary and rock performances from local musicians. Check out fargocork.com for more details!

In Sweden, the word 'fika' translates to a coffee and cake break, but in Swedish culture, some consider it to be more of an essential concept: a time to take a break and share a little something with friends. So take a break with us friends, and read up on all of the latest food and drink buzz in the Fargo-Moorhead area. You might just find a new favorite fika spot.



Although you’d never know it from the photos (or the flavor), this month all of our picks are gluten-free. There are quite a few places in the FM area that offer delicious gluten-free dishes, among other modifications like dairy-free, nut-free, vegan and more! If you’re interested in learning more about the different dining options offered around the area, stay tuned for a future issue of Fargo Monthly, where we’ll take a look at that and much more. For now, enjoy these gluten-free selections!

Gluten-Free Mac ‘n Cheese

Gluten-free doesn’t mean avoiding comfort foods. Head to Mahana Fresh to try their new Happy MAC! This gluten-free mac ‘n cheese is cheesy and can be enjoyed by itself or served as the perfect base for any veggies and protein! Build your gluten-free mac ‘n cheese dream!

Mahana Fresh



Flyin’ east

If you’re looking for something savory, crunchy and with a ton of flavor, head to Brew Bird. The Flyin’ East chicken sandwich is crispy, dipped in a gochujang glaze, layered with napa slaw, topped with watermelon radish and house aioli and served with seasoned waffle fries (yes, these are gluten-free too!). Make sure to ask for a gluten-free bun and you’re set!

Brew Bird


Strawberry Kombucha Coconut Mojito

If you’re not visiting Wild Terra for the drinks, you could be going just for the vibes, and if you’re up for it—both! Next time you head there, try their Strawberry Coconut Mojito Kombucha. This tap drink is crisp and fizzy, with a start of tartness at first sip then followed by a fruity-coconut sweetness after. The taste will remind you of being about 30 degrees warmer than you are now, so head over soon!

Wild Terra



Gluten-Free pizza


Whether you’re craving a cheesy takeouttype of slice or a unique and bold bite, Blaze Pizza has it! They have tons of options when it comes to pies already designed to perfection, but here is a build-your-own creation featuring gluten-free crust (which is also vegan!), garlic pesto sauce, shredded mozzarella and goat cheese, with layers of spinach, green bell peppers, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, roasted garlic and fresh basil, and finally drizzled in olive oil and a balsamic glaze and sprinkled with oregano! Build your dreamiest gluten-free masterpiece!



Carrot Cake Cupcake

Never forget dessert again at Mehl’s Gluten-Free Bakery! This gluten-free bakery and deli has tons of different desserts, including a variety of cupcakes. This Carrot Cake Cupcake is sweet, soft and delicious. Many of their items are and can be made dairyfree, vegan, soy-free and sugar-free too! Stop by for a sweet surprise to see what seasonal and weekly specials they have going on!


Mehl’s Gluten-Free Bakery
Blaze Pizza
11inch 73



Kick off the month of April with an Easter celebration at the Happy Easter Craft & Vendor Fair held at Bonanzaville! From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 1, enjoy door prizes, pictures with an Easter backdrop, food, shopping and fun! Bring the whole family for an egg-cellent day, and don't forget to bring your easter basket!

Lights, Camera, Action—CUT!

Your kids can join in on the fun with Code Ninjas Camp: Stop Motion Animation! Participants (or, Ninjas) will get to experiment with video production using Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, paper cutouts and more in independent and collaborative team projects. Learn more about this opportunity at codeninjas.com/locations

That Bunny has Some Hops!

Make your family's Easter extra special and watch the Easter Bunny Fly-In at the Fargo Air Museum! Celebrate the day with an easter egg hunt, coloring contest and photos with the Pix Squad, plus explore all the museum has to offer. Check out our inside look at the Fargo Air Museum at fargomonthly.com/alook-inside-fargo-air-museum/

We know at Fargo Monthly that raising a family is no easy task. That's why we keep our eyes peeled for useful information and resources to help you in your day to day.


Editor’s Choice

Sam’s Favorite YA Book Releases of 2022

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Just because you’re an adult, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy young adult stories we were all teenagers once! As an avid Young Adult reader, and someone who writes Young Adult stories on the side, I find the genre to be a great escape from the troubles of adulthood. They’re also great at helping you understand your own emotions as a teenager and put words to the feelings of change you’re going through at that time of your life. Young adult fiction is a great escape for teens and adults alike, so I compiled a list of my favorite Young Adult releases of 2022 to help you decide what to read next!

“Hotel Magnifique” follows 17-year-old Jani as she discovers the secrets of a mysterious traveling hotel and tries to rescue her younger sister from the nefarious maître d'hôtel. This book was one of my most anticipated new releases of 2022, and it did not disappoint! It had spooky elements, magic and a great romance story, too.

Part of the charm of the book was that magic was used through specific magical objects, which reminded me of one of my favorite TV mini-series from years ago called "The Lost Room" starring Minnesota native Peter Krause. In the series, the main character uses magical objects to find his daughter, who had disappeared through a magic door. The author of "Hotel Magnifique" is currently a Minnesota resident, too, so there are a ton of regional connections, which made me even more excited to read it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a bit of magic.

Only a Monster (Monsters #1) by Vanessa Len

“Only a Monster” is about 16-year-old Joan, who discovers she is from a long line of monsters—people who steal time from humans’ lives in order to time travel. When she discovers her monster lineage, she also discovers that her crush, Nick, is from a line of monster hunters—determined to kill all the monsters in his path.

This book was one of my favorites of the year because of the constant moral dilemmas Joan faced. She wants to save her family, but she also feels guilty every time she takes time from a human. When the monster is the hero of the story, it adds layers of intrigue because it feels weird to root for someone who should probably be the villain. It teaches the reader a lot about how to identify your morals, and how to be okay with your identity even if it isn’t what others want or what you expected. This book is a great read for anyone who enjoys a good anti-hero.


Belladonna (Belladonna #1)

“Belladonna” was my favorite spooky season read and is a perfect book to get in the mood for Halloween. It follows Signa, a girl who has always been surrounded by death yet cannot die. When Signa’s current guardian dies, she is sent to live with her last living relatives who are still in mourning from a recent death in the family. But when Signa arrives at their estate, she quickly realizes that her aunt’s passing was not an accident. With the help of a mysterious stable boy and Death himself, she slowly uncovers the culprit behind her aunt’s murder.

I loved this book because of how oddly sweet the character of Death is. As a young adult book, I think it teaches a lot of great lessons about how to think about death and how to cope with those around you passing away. It’s really hard to understand the process of dying when you’re young, but this book changed my perspective even as an adult. It’s a great, but often dark read.

Youngbloods (Impostors #4)

The finale of the “Impostors” series, a sequel to the “Uglies” series, “Youngbloods” brought back a couple of the main characters of “Uglies” and tied everything together beautifully. For those of you who have not heard of the “Uglies” series, it takes place in a distant future where people get compulsory cosmetic surgery to become a “pretty” when they turn 16 years old. The original series overturns this societal norm, and the sequel series instead revolves around a set of twin sisters, one of whom was raised to be a combat-ready body double for the other. The series follows the twins as they try to break free from the impossible hold their father has on them in order to forge their own, new paths.

As someone who read the “Uglies” series as a teen, I was ecstatic when I found out there was a sequel series. Scott Westerfeld’s books meant so much to me as a kid, and the fact that current teens could experience the “Uglies” world for the first time today because of the "Impostors" series made me even more excited. “Uglies” and “Impostors” hold great messages about not conforming to what everyone else wants of you, and do a great job highlighting the modern teen experience—with social media-like technology consuming their lives—mixed with future tech like hoverboards and surveillance dust. “Youngbloods” did a great job of wrapping up the series, but still left room for more stories if Westerfeld decides to write more. If you pick up this series, start with “Uglies,” then work your way to this one! It’s great for anyone who likes sci-fi series like “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games.”


A Little Bit Country by Brian D.

“A Little Bit Country” is a great contemporary romance about a boy who wants to be a country music star and another boy who wants nothing to do with country music. Emmett wants to be a gay country star, so he auditions to work at an amusement park for his favorite country music artist Wanda Jean Stubbs and lands the gig! When he moves to Tennessee, he meets Luke, who wants nothing to do with country music or Wanda Jean Stubbs. But when Luke quits his factory job and needs to find a new one, he ends up working at the same amusement park as Emmett. Slowly but surely, the two fall in love.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was more than a little awkward at times, which perfectly sums up the teenage romance experience. Emmett and Luke had to navigate family troubles outside of their relationship, too, which made it more compelling—it wasn’t only about them, it was also about their families. This was a wholesome book, and I would highly recommend it if you need a light read without a lot of drama.

Well, That Was Unexpected

I didn’t pick “Well, That Was Unexpected” out on my own—I received it in a book box I am subscribed to—but it ended up being one of my favorite YA reads of the year! The book follows Sharlot, who is dragged unwillingly to her mother’s native country Indonesia, and George, the only male heir to one of the wealthiest families in Indonesia. After their parents catfish each other, Sharlot and George end up fakedating to appease their parents. But when they start to have feelings for each other, the guilt about lying to each other almost ruins everything.

This book was perfectly cringe-worthy and absolutely filled with teenage angst. I hadn’t read a book that so perfectly portrayed the teenage experience in a long while, and I think I laughed out loud about a hundred times throughout the book. This contemporary rom-com is so funny, and also really immerses the reader in Indonesian culture. It brings another culture into perspective from both a native’s perspective and an outsider’s perspective, which not a lot of books—especially YA books—do. If you need a good laugh, this book is definitely for you.


Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy

“Lord of the Fly Fest” is exactly what it sounds like—a mix between “Lord of the Flies” and the failure of the music festival, Fyre Fest. Rafi, a teen podcaster, gets tickets to Fly Fest to get the exclusive story on musician River Stone’s tragic past. However, Fly Fest turns out to be a scam, there is no food and not enough tents for everyone, and no one knows how to get off the island. As the island slowly descends into chaos, it seems Rafi is the only one who still cares to find a way off the island.

While this book did have its serious and thriller-like moments, it was mostly funny due to the ridiculousness of it all. The fact that none of the celebrities and influencers seemed to understand that they’d been scammed (or were in complete denial) was frustrating at times, but it also led to a lot of hilarious situations. I expected it to be more gruesome because of the connection with “Lord of the Flies,” but it wasn’t that bad at all. This book would be perfect for people who wondered what it would be like to be at Fyre Fest.

Never Coming Home

“Never Coming Home” was another trapped-on-an-island book, but this one is much scarier. When ten teen influencers get invited to a private island getaway, they expect to be in for a real treat. When they arrive, the island is run-down, and they assume someone will be back to get them soon—it must have been a mistake. But as the influencers start getting killed off one by one, it is clear that someone has something else planned for them.

I was lucky enough to get a free copy of this book, and I was so excited to read it. Each chapter followed a different influencer, and all of the characters seem equally guilty, which makes the ending more ambiguous. While they hinted at it, the ending was ambiguous and open-ended, which gives the reader a chance to get imaginative in figuring out what really happened. Though this book was a murder mystery, it is categorized as YA, so it isn’t too gruesome. It’s a perfect read for fans of “Only Murders in the Building” or “Fargo.”


Need local date ideasmonth?this

Check out this list of possibilities!

Congratulations! You've managed to snag a night out! No diapers, no crying (hopefully) and no dinosaur- shaped chicken nuggets for you tonight! Here are a couple of options for things you can do out on the town.

A Gamer’s Date


Fargo’s favorite family entertainment center is a family-friendly date-night venue. You can grab a bite to eat, then spend the evening bowling, playing laser tag or even virtual-reality arcade games. Let’s just hope that your date likes games as much as you do!

Suite Shots

If you and your date bonded over your love of athletics, Suite Shots might be the place for you! With indoor and outdoor options, this high-tech golf facility lets you hit the course even in the middle of winter.

Pixeled Brewing

(Beer & Arcade Games)

Are you a child of the 80s? Or maybe just a huge fan of Stranger Things? Pixeled Brewing is the place for you and your date. The brewery offers a plethora of functional old-school arcade games along with their delicious brews, sure to make you nostalgic for the good ol’ days.


3485 Jacks Way S, Fargo

Suite Shots

3400 James Way S, Fargo

Pixeled Brewing

1100 NP Ave N Suite 101, Fargo

Other Options: Replay Games

109 Broadway N, Fargo

Fargo Escape Room 2220 Main Ave E, West Fargo

Puzzled Escape Rooms

3301 University Dr S, Fargo

Rough Cut Social

1100 Northern Pacific Ave Suite 102, Fargo

United States Axe 4265 45th St S, Fargo

Fargo Billiards and Gastropub

3234 43rd St S, Fargo

Moorhead Billiards

701 Center Ave, Moorhead

Tactical Action Gaming 1702 4th Ave NW Suite G, West Fargo


The Traditional Date

Dinner Dates

If the classic dinner date is more your style, Fargo offers a ton of fine-dining establishments to romance your date with. Make a reservation, and maybe catch a movie afterwards at the historic Fargo Theater.

Coffee Shops

Sometimes the pressure of a dinner date is too much—especially if it’s your first date. Fargo-Moorhead’s independent coffee shops offer an atmosphere that would allow you to chat without the pressure of a fancy dinner. Dress comfortably and share a Love-a-Latte from Beans (or another of your favorite drinks) with your date.

Restaurants to Try: 46 North Pints & Provisions 635 2nd Ave N, Fargo

Maxwells 1380 9th St E, West Fargo

Prairie Kitchen 701 N University Dr, Fargo

Mezzaluna 309 Roberts St N, Fargo

Rustica Eatery & Tavern 315 Main Ave, Moorhead

Doolittles Woodfire Grill 2112 25th St SW, Fargo

Porter Creek Hardwood Grill 1555 44th St S, Fargo

Cork’n Cleaver 3301 S University Dr, Fargo

Coffee Shops to Try: Young Blood Coffee 623 2nd Ave N, Fargo

Beans Coffee Bar 5675 26th Ave S Suite 100, Fargo 2550 S University Dr, Fargo

Twenty Below Coffee Co. 14 Roberts St N, Fargo 600 8th St S, Moorhead

Atomic Coffee 222 Broadway N Suie 100, Fargo

Moxie Java 3902 13th Ave South, Fargo 3150 Sheyenne St, West Fargo

Red River Coffee Co. 2600 52nd Ave S, Fargo


Take in the Arts

Plains Art Museum

& Rourke Art Museum

Dive into Fargo-Moorhead’s art scene with your date and check out one of the art museums in the area. The Plains Art Museum and the Rourke Art Museum offer a combination of local and global art that is sure to impress your date! Plus, head to canvas. plainsart.org/classes to try some art out yourself!

Live Theater

There’s nothing like seeing a live theater performance when the actors worked so hard to put the show together. See a show at one of Fargo’s live theaters with your partner, and experience the actors bringing a story to life.


Plains Art Museum 704 1st Ave N, Fargo

Rourke Art Museum 521 Main Ave, Moorhead

Bonanzaville/Cass County

Historical Society

1351 Main Ave W, West Fargo

Hjemkomst Center

202 1st Ave N, Moorhead

Fargo Air Museum 1609 19th Ave N, Fargo


Theatre B

215 10th St N, Moorhead

Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre

202 1st Ave N, Moorhead

Concordia Theatre 901 8th St S, Moorhead

Minnesota State University

Moorhead Theatre

1104 7th Ave S, Moorhead

North Dakota State University Theatre

1340 Administration Ave, Fargo


If You Don’t Have a Babysitter, Try These Date Ideas!

Red River Zoo

Explore Fargo’s Red River Zoo with your date when the animals are most active! The Red River Zoo specializes in coldclimate species, which means that you’ll likely get to see them out and energized in the winter. You can even relax in their heated log cabin and watch the wolves play when the temperatures get too chilly. And, if you’re the kind of person who splurges on date nights, you can pay to have an up-close, hands-on encounter with a red panda or a porcupine. Who wouldn’t want to pet a red panda?

Space Aliens

For a family-friendly arcade experience, try taking a trip to Space Aliens with your

kids. Have a meal, then send your kids off to the arcade so you and your date can have some time together.


Date Ideas:

Red River Zoo

4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo

Space Aliens 1840 45th St S, Fargo

Sky Zone 940 40th St S, Fargo

Skate City 3302 Interstate Blvd S

Clues and Keys Family Escape Rooms 3120 25th St S Suite V, Fargo


Getaway Dates

Grand Forks, ND

Take a short trip away from home and visit Grand Forks, ND. You may want to take in a University of North Dakota hockey game, go ice-skating in the town square or see a movie at the River Cinema with your date.

Bemidji, MN

Feeling extra adventurous? A quick trip to Bemidji is sure to be fun. You can take your date to the Paul Bunyan statue for a photoshoot, the Watermark Art Center to appreciate some local art, or even the Buena Vista Ski Area for some cross-country skiing!

Grand Forks Locations of Note:

Ralph Englestad Arena (UND Hockey)

One Ralph Engelstad Arena Dr, Grand Forks

Town Square

1 S 3rd St, Grand Forks

River Cinema

211 Demers Ave Suite 4, East Grand Forks

Bemidji Locations of Note:

Paul Bunyan Statue

300 Bemidji Ave N, Bemidji

Watermark Art Center

505 Bemidji Ave N, Bemidji

Buena Vista Ski Area

19600 Irvine Ave NW, Bemidji


Business is always booming in our region. Here are just a few of the happening that you should know about.


Bottle Barn Off Broadway

The new Bottle Barn liquor outlet has recently opened within the Kesler building at 618 2nd Ave N in downtown Fargo! The location is expected to bring increased spending activity and foot traffic to the area!

Marcus Luttrell coming to Chamber 'Voices of Vision' event

Decorated Navy SEAL, motivational speaker and author Marcus Luttrell will be this year's keynote speaker for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce’s Voices of Vision event. During this event, he's expected to talk about his story of being a leader, team member and much more.

Junkyard Brewing Crossing The River

The final plans are being submitted and taken into consideration for the popular Moorhead craft brewery, Junkyard Brewing Company, to expand into a second location in West Fargo. While still quite a ways away from launching the second location, it's expected to have quite an effect on the FMWF area.

ND Workforce Innovation Grants

The Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the North Dakota Workforce Innovation Grant! For those interested, the application deadline is March 24, so get those submissions in while you have time! To learn more, head to commerce.nd.gov/workforce/ workforce-programs/workforceinnovation-grant

The Noble Hare

This spring, a new spot for cocktails and conversations is coming to West Fargo. Targeted toward an older, more refined crowd, The Noble Hare is expected to open around April at 344 Sheyenne St




Get ready for a burst of color and texture

Bridget SOLSAA!

We are obsessed with the entire vibe of what she creates. You’ll find Bridget in APT Studios at West Acres and a part of Unglued: Craft Fest March 10-11.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2017 after graduating college in my hometown, Aberdeen, SD, and since then, have been working my way into the local art scene. I graduated with a BA in Fine Art with an emphasis in painting and an interest in graphic design. I have been known to enjoy a good ol' craft from time to time, like crochet, quilting, cross stitch and many other things, and have dabbled in mixed media working with craft supplies and turning them into fine art pieces. Before I started tufting, I was really into collecting found photography (kodachrome slides, yearbook photos, etc.) and making cross stitches and large-scale pom pom portraits. Let’s just say I have a thing for fiber.

By Ashley Morken, Unglued
Photos Provided By Ashley Morken

Describe what type of products you make under SOLSAA.

I make tufted rugs, and other tufted goods such as wall hangings, mirrors and mug rugs.

Tell us how you got started with a handmade business?

I have always been hands on when creating, and what better than making my own handmade products.

Where do you get your inspiration for what you create?

I'm a real sucker for vintage. I don't know what it is about novelty, but I absolutely love it! Some days, I randomly get an idea and just go with it. There was also a solid month where I couldn't stop seeing bananas, and thought "does the universe want me to make a banana rug?" and so I went with it. As far as my other designs, I enjoy playful, fun and iconic imagery like a smiley face or a magic eight ball.

What is your personal favorite item you've crafted up so far?

I'd have to say it's a good toss up between my most recent triple rainbow rug or the orange marble rug.

What is something people might find surprising about working tufted rugs?

Every once in a while I will get a passerby at my studio, and they sometimes say "WOW! This new craft is fantastic!" Little do they know that many retail stores today currently sell tufted items! It's hard to believe because they look so well made, but a majority of rugs, pillows and other items are tufted either by hand or with the use of a tufting gun in other countries.

What is one craft you haven't really dabbled in yet that you want to try someday?

Oh, I have been wanting to find a chain stitch sewing machine for quite some time and would love to learn how to use one to make patches. I have also been interested in getting a knitting machine, but we'll see how that goes!

What is something you've enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?

The process gets me every time. No matter how complicated the design is, I'm always down to tuft.

What is the most challenging thing?

Oh man, marketing, marketing, marketing. I am also not that business savvy, and that in itself is sort of a struggle.

What is a word that best describes you? Silly.

What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?

Girl, take a business class.

Where can people find your work?

My studio space is located in West Acres Mall at Aptitude Creative Studios in Fargo, ND. As for the interwebs, you can find me on Instagram, TikTok or my website below!

Website/social to keep in touch:

Website: bridgetsolsaa.com

Instagram: @bridget.solsaa

TikTok: @b.solsaa

Owner of Gatherings

auryn Schneider began her entrepreneurial journey in 2016 as an Associate and Assistant Manager at Maurices. For two years, she grew within the company and decided to pursue a degree at NDSU in apparel, retail merchandising and design, while minoring in business administration and entrepreneurship.

When Schneider moved to Fargo in 2018, she “fell in love with the downtown Fargo community and its support and love for small businesses.” This love for Fargo has grown into Gatherings Collective, a storefront that combines the sustainability and affordability of a thrift store with the experience and service of a boutique for a unique, one-of-a-kind shopping experience for the customer

“I became a passionate advocate for shopping locally and spending more time downtown," Schneider said. "I also loved that my program taught a lot about the impact of the fashion industry on sustainability movements and what the future looks like if we continue to create and consume in the same way we have been. They encouraged us to be forward thinkers and innovators within the field to solve sustainability problems and make changes for the better in the industry." Schneider said.

2018-2020: Associate of Apparel and Gift at the NDSU Bookstore

“I got the chance to work directly under the collegiate apparel buyer and get an in-depth background of what it’s like to be an apparel buyer. I acted as her assistant and learned more from her than anyone! She brought me to buying appointments and even allowed me to take over parts of appointments to plan parts of the lines. She taught me a lot about target markets and back-office tasks like paperwork and profit margins. I also was given the opportunity to assist in managing a team of employees, sales and merchandising for our off-site sales at NDSU football games. Lastly, I was given free rein in visual merchandising on the sales floor, which gave me a lot of creative freedom to create displays that helped drive sales, which led to my passion for merchandising.”

2019-2021: Associate and Business Intern at Primp Boutique in Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I started off working as an associate during my first summer and was able to intern at their studio office in Northeast Minneapolis during my second summer to see the behindthe-scenes operations of a small fashion business chain. I assisted in operational efficiency, inventory management, order packaging, marketing and more. I was able to be incredibly hands-on with the team at the studio and learn a lot from the incredible women who worked there.”

2020-2021: Business Intern and Marketing Manager for Shirts From Fargo

“At Shirts From Fargo, I did a competitive analysis of other

businesses in the area that worked in the same industry, worked to manage client projects and eventually became the overall marketing manager! I did a lot of website work, email marketing, photography and client communication.”

2021-2022: Associate

at O’Day Cache and Proper

“I decided to take a step back and take on an in-store associate role at these local businesses. This gave me the opportunity to reconnect with customers face-to-face and hone my selling techniques. I was able to do visual merchandising again and have lower responsibility outside of my shifts, which allowed me to start my own business online.”

August 2021: Online Thrift Store

“While still working two other part-time jobs, I stored secondhand clothes, took photos and listed them on my own website, which I designed. In February and March of 2022, I hosted a pop-up shop in downtown Fargo on weekends to get my name out there and make more sales.”

March 2022: Gatherings Collective

“Last year, I dove headfirst into becoming a business owner by going full-time with my own business. All I had was a dream, which I turned into a 50+ page business plan. My passion for what I was doing sold my idea to the right people and secured me a small business loan, which I used to open my storefront in downtown Fargo.”

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Lauryn Schneider’s Tips for Success

Ask for help!

This is really hard because 99% of the time I have no idea what I need help with. The simple act of saying “I need help” and then talking through where you’re at with someone will give you the clarity you need to keep going.

Don’t believe everyone.

In the beginning, I had huge, unrealistic plans and made projections based on dreams, rather than facts. People around me, who were supposed to be guiding me, were telling me that what I was thinking was doable and reasonable, only to be crushed when it didn’t work out. Find people who will be honest with you. Once I found people who started telling me the truth instead of what I wanted to hear, things started to happen and I was able to open my storefront.

Be scared, but do it anyway.

Everything is really scary whether you’re doing it or not. I’m constantly nervous that I’m going to fail tomorrow, but here I am a year and a half later still going. If I wasn’t doing this, I would be scared to start. Now that I am doing it, I’m still scared anyways, so I might as well be doing it.

It’s okay to make mistakes and fail.

Going back to #2, I had a plan and a dream for an entirely different storefront space that I failed to make happen, which was absolutely devastating. Now, I’ve realized that wasn’t what I needed to happen anyways. I have days all the time where I don’t accomplish what I want or expect, but I have to go back the next day anyway. Once I got over always feeling crushed at any small failure, I realized that I could always just keep going.

Business isn’t just about money.

Of course, you have to have money to both start and stay in business and blah blah blah… to me that’s whatever. I’m organized and track my finances like a business owner needs to, but I prioritize making connections, building a loyal group of people to support me and trying to integrate myself into the community. Do I constantly feel like I’m going to run out of money at any second? Absolutely. But then a big group of customers will come in who are so excited to update their wardrobe together. I watch them build each other up as they try on pieces, or a loyal customer who’s become my friend comes in just to see me and hang out or someone new discovers my store on social media and tells me how excited they are to have a unique business in the area. Those are the things that I want to be paid in.

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Support Gatherings Collective gatheringscollective.com /gatheringscollective @gatheringscollective @gatheringscollective 12 Broadway N Fargo, ND 58102 Tuesday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 95
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