Hop, Skip, and a Jog: The Amanda Kosior Running Story | February 16, 2022

This is typically the time of year when I take up running.  I am right type of person for running as I own a pair of sneakers, belong to a class of bipedal organisms, and say things like, “I can’t do a chin-up because I prefer cardio.”  Also, my natural state of movement is akin to a speedwalking 1980’s businesswoman – elbows up, emphatic stride, power skirt and sports socks – so it’s only a hop-step more to turning that into a light jog.

I have a habit of becoming a February runner because I the calendar gives me an unproven surge of hope that I will soon look unbelievable in a bathing suit.  By July I have given up on the beach-ish body and moved onto creating good workout habits, which is followed by a Fall that’s both a season and a description of how easily I justify the lack of time for exercise as soon as schedules get busy.  Then comes winter, and by mid-January I realize it’s almost my birthday and I’m winded from walking up the stairs to my office and strongly considering buying maternity pants “for the stretch.”

Running has always been a two-part activity for me.  Part One is all about preparation: finding the exact right mix of beat-thumping songs, drinking (and absorbing) a big glass of water, and then running about 200 steps before pausing in order to go to the bathroom.

Once I’ve done my Part One business, Part Two can begin in earnest.  Part Two starts with finding an entirely different set of beat-thumping songs, making a half-hearted attempt at stretching (so that my muscles aren’t stiff after my Part One “run”), and then actually running.

When we lived in the country, I’d lace up my sneakers and Velcro on my cell phone armband (obviously, I have a cell phone armband) and make a big show about going for a jog.  Our old house was surrounded by sections of farmland, and so a typical run for me would consist of jogging up one side of the section and back again – roughly two miles, if you didn’t count our laneway.  That road only saw a handful of cars a day, and so those runs were just me and the wind; which was good, because it really tested the strength of Kyle’s love when I returned home all red-faced, jiggly, and sweaty from the equivalent of a warm-up.

As you know, we moved into town in July.  One of the reasons I justified the move was so that I could get a membership to a gym/Fit Body Bootcamp/Orange Theory/ the latest hot mom thing and be fit all year round, and not just when the weather was cooperating.  You may be thinking, “But I live in the country and I have a gym membership?”  As a long-time sufferer from “Every Excuse in the Book”-it is, I struggled making regular use of the gym because of my inability to wake before 6:30 am unless the roof was being ripped off the house or a baby was crying…meaning that, in the country, I needed to work out at lunchtime or at night because I didn’t have an extra 40 minutes to spare in the morning (20-minute drive each way) to get to and from the gym and still get the kids to school and myself to work on time.

I did, one January, make an effort to exercise over my lunch break – but, as noted, I have impressively-active sweat glands which require me to shower after every run.  As an extremely lazy person who doesn’t really LOVE getting dressed once a day, needing to do the whole make-up, hairdo-ing twice in a four-hour period didn’t have long-term appeal.

Anyways, as noted, we moved to town in July.  By September I still hadn’t gotten that gym membership, and so I told Kyle I needed (“needed”) indoor space so that I could literally (and I don’t use the word “literally” lightly) clear away every possible excuse I could muster and finally work off the thousands of pounds of Hanukkah latkes I’ve been carrying around once and for all.  Kyle says yes to everything and so he agreed, and it was a hop, skip, and a jump (or rather, some rubber flooring and the absolute cheapest treadmill available on the Internet) later that I had a windowless bunker in the basement designated as the EXERCISE ROOM.

Now I, and my crappy treadmill (seriously, Fred Flintstone had a higher-quality rig; the first time Kyle saw me using it he asked, “Are treadmills supposed to shake like that?”) run whenever the mood, and a need to shower, strike me.  Kyle also hung an old TV in the bunker EXERCISE ROOM, so sometimes I work out when I want to watch an episode of the TV show “Velvet” without anyone judging bothering me.  As of this moment, my rate of both exercise and self-congratulations are up 100%.  My two-piece bathing suit purchases – and returns – are also up 100%.  Baby steps.

I didn’t want to post a picture of me running in the bunker because I have big dreams of putting my Pinterest skills to work and painting a mural in there.  So, the photo above is from the first and last time Kyle and I tried hot yoga back in 2006.  Notice how one of us is more red-faced than the other.  Also, that sweatshirt is normally a lighter grey color when it’s not covered in sweat, and I didn’t even wear it into the yoga room.

This week’s news has Jennifer Lopez, an online suicide support program, and advice from a 105-year-old.  Read on.

Jamestown’s Josh Brown has had an almost miraculous recovery after a four-wheeler accident. (KVRR)

The Bengals may not have won the Super Bowl, but they are still winners in Dickinson’s Gladys Weiler’s book. (KFYR TV)

Minot’s Ray Curtis is 105 years old, and credits his longevity to staying mentally and physically busy. (KX Net)

Thompson’s Allison McGauvran is helping take Altru’s TEARS suicide support program online. (Jamestown Sun)

Surrey’s Kelsey Bachmeier is now Kelsey Baeza thanks to a wedding ceremony courtesy of Jennifer Lopez and Maluma music video. (Minot Daily News)

Pick up your pick; a Jamestown coffee shop is hosting bluegrass jam sessions. (Valley City Times-Record)

I don’t know if this is really nice news, but it’s pretty funny.  The organizer of the Squirt B International interviewed a few Arizonians in town for the hockey tournament, and this is their take on the weather. (A side note: We flew into Phoenix a few years ago during an unusual cold snap – the temperature at 6pm was 67 degrees.  One of the employees at the hotel was wearing a parka, and when we commented on it, he said, “If it gets any colder I think I may freeze to death.”) (Fargo Forum)

I like to draft little stories, known as Flash Fiction amongst writers.  I thought I might post a few of them on North Dakota Nice this month because they are starting to pile up.  You can read one here entitled “How to Spot a North Dakotan” and another one here entitled “Keepin’ Busy.”

North Dakota Nice News of the Week | August 6, 2020

Time to go sunflower chasing!  According to the USDA, more than 20% of North Dakota’s sunflowers are blooming – and you can find a map of the best views here.

But before you go, check out this week’s news – about restaurant bros, Whispering Oaks, and 100,000 masks. Read on.

This is such a North Dakota Nice story that KX Net even titled it as such.  A Bismarck restaurant named Butterhorn is donating a portion of its weekly sales to help keep its restaurant neighbor, Noodlezip, in business. (KX Net)

You know I love me a good building mural! (Fargo Forum)

Norsk Hostfest may be cancelled this year, but one of the musicians, Daniel Starks, is putting on an outdoor concert to raise money for the Greater Minot Concerts. (Minot Daily News)

Sanford Fargo’s Wanting Huang reached out to her native country of Taiwan to get 25,000 masks donated for her fellow coworkers. (KVRR)

The Manvel community has come together – to the tune of about $150,000 – to save the Whispering Oaks Golf Course, which ended up with $200,000 in damage after all of the rain this year. (Grand Forks Herald)

This is a short but sweet read on the beauty of growing up a North Dakota farm family. (Fargo Forum)

The 701 Auto Enthusiast Club is cruisin’ in support of the Amen Food Pantry. (Dickinson Press)

Minot’s Catori Sarmiento has won the Literary Titan’s Silver Award for her science fiction horror novel, “Carnival Panic.” (Minot Daily News)

And speaking of winning, congratulations to Thompson’s Ashley Rae Klinger for being crowned Mrs. International 2020! (Grand Forks Herald)

It’s my favorite news time of the year: Country Neighbors! (Bowman Extra)

Fifty inmates at the James River Correctional Center in Jamestown have made 100,000 masks for those in need around North Dakota. (Grand Forks Herald)

For the 25th year in a row, the Sunrise Rotary Club of Minot is filling a bus with school supplies for more than 200 children. (KFYR TV)

After two years of volunteer planning and fundraising, Mott has a new nature trail. (Dickinson Press)

Nice news of the week – February 6, 2020

Happy Birthday to Minot’s Norma Hanson, who turned 100 years old on February 1! Did you know:

  • Fargo’s Karissa Mehr and Jason Melin are in the background in the new Kevin Smith movie, “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot?”  Karissa and Jason spent two days filming a scene at a Jay & Silent Bob convention, dressed as “Jay-lor Moon and Sai-lent Bob.”
  • The Roosevelt Park Zoo is about to get a new leopard habitat for its two snow leopards, Marty and Ramani, and its Amur leopard, Clover?
  • Erwin and Wilma Pfenning of McClusky just celebrated their 75th anniversary?
  • Casey Hillebrand of Fargo is on a mission to get North Dakota to “Unhide a Hydrant” by shoveling around fire hydrants to help firefights get to the water as quickly as possible?
  • North Dakota’s Department of Commerce is giving away two grants – one for $25,000 and one for $5,000 – to one filmmaker and one Instagrammer to tell the story of North Dakota?

And did you know this week’s news is about the Winter Deaflympics, the Grand Cities Children’s Choir, the Story of the Week – and much more?  Read on.


The GOD’S CHILD Project was founded in 1991 by Bismarck’s Patrick Atkinson to help care for orphans around the world.  After her children grew up and moved out and her husband passed away, 85-year-old Audrey Erickson Gerhardson decided to become an “adopted grandmother” to children in Guatemala through The GOD’S CHILD Project, and now she spends her days rocking her babies. (Fargo Forum)

David Zimmerman has been teaching at the North Dakota School for the Deaf for 30 years, and recently won his third gold medal coaching the US men’s national dead hockey team to the Winter Deaflympics. (Devils Lake Journal)

They aren’t just good for the latest in fez fashion and crazy cars – the Jamestown Shriners gave out $122,000 in 2019. (Jamestown Sun)

Minot’s Sarah Hanley has published a book entitled “Matka” that is loosely based on her grandmother, who came to North Dakota after being held as a POW in a German prison camp. (Minot Daily News)

Volaire’s Lacey Homen paints pictures of people’s beloved deceased pets as a way to preserve their memory. (KX Net)

The Williston Rainbow Girls bought and donated $2,000 worth of winter gear for students to keep warm this winter. (Williston Herald)

We’ve talked about Hunter Pinke on here before, and now KFYR TV has taken a look at the community rallying around him. (KFYR TV)

Knights, rogues, clerics, and wizards gathered in Fargo to raise money for 4 Luv of Dog Rescue. (KX Net)

Light from sadness: The Grand Cities Children’s Choir lost a long-time member, and so they dedicated their concert to his memory and donated the proceeds from the event, which were supposed to fund a trip to New York this month, to his family to pay for his funeral. (Grand Forks Herald)

After Dickinson’s Maggie Kessler was sidelined with an autoimmune disease, she decided to channel her energy into giving old sports equipment a second shot to “play it forward.” (Dickinson Press)

Grafton’s Glenn Paulson is 95 years old and still rockin’ for his fellow seniors. (Grand Forks Herald)

I have done event planning as a part of my job for 20+ years, and so I have the utmost respect for Chris Misialek – who is the party planner for all of Minto. (Grand Forks Herald)

Four families from Emerado and Thompson (and Shelley, MN) started a high-fiber pasta company and is donating part of the proceeds to Journey Home Animal Rescue of Grand Forks. (Grand Forks Herald)

Story of the Week: Williston’s Kievyn Waggoner celebrated his 11th birthday by donating his birthday presents to the Mondak Animal Rescue. (Williston Herald)