Jessica Jasperson, MSUM Mass Communications and English
Fargo, N.D. — Exercise trends may fizzle out, but downtown Fargo’s exercise scene is persevering.
With so many exercise options, it can be hard for a person to find the right fit. However, there’s no need to worry. Downtown Fargo offers exercise routes for various activities, and Downtown buildings have also become the home for exercise enthusiasts.
Nature provides growth
The Red River Trail which lines the Red River is a hidden gem in the downtown area of Fargo. Perfectly paved for smooth rolling or running, the trail is a piece of tranquility away from the buzz of business.
One can often find walkers, runners, cyclists and roller skaters enjoying the trail that provides an option of distances and directions to choose from.
Megan Parks, a sophomore majoring in political science and psychology at Minnesota State University Moorhead, soaks in the peace and beauty the trail provides.
“I’ve been on this trail twice this week; I really like it,” Parks said. “You can make it as long or as short as you want, and you can make a loop back to campus pretty easy.”
Accompanied with Parks is Emily Schares, a junior majoring in criminal justice and psychology at MSUM, who used the trail her third time that week.
“It’s nice ‘cause it’s long and you’re not in the city,” Schares said. “You don’t have to worry about getting run over by a car. (The trail is) really peaceful and quiet and a good place to think if you have to.”
Beyond Running offers camaraderie for runners
Running alone is difficult, especially if one is running outside year-round. Beyond Running, located at 516 Broadway, can help.
Since its opening in 2007, a running club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to give runners a chance to meet fellow athletes and form friendships within the Fargo-Moorhead community. The club is free and open to runners of all levels. Options of three, five or seven mile runs are available; however, some runners choose different distances depending on their training.
Custer Huseby, a 55-year-old Fargo native, has been running in the club since the winter of 2007. He first came to Beyond Running for the camaraderie found in group runs, because it’s easier for him to run with other people than solo. The friendships are a bonus.
“I just became friends with everybody, so it’s a real social thing,” Huseby said. “Running downtown is really nice, because it’s just nice to be downtown rather than in the prairie. And it’s less windy and there are more people around so the atmosphere is really nice.”
Beyond Running also puts on many road races throughout the year. Huseby has run in over 150 races so far.
“I run four to six times a week, and it usually depends on the training program or if I’m training for a race,” Huseby said. “It becomes a part of your social scene, a part of your lifestyle.”
A downtown nonprofit adds character to exercising
A historical downtown Fargo building was transformed in 2002, and again in 2011, into a space welcoming local artists and people interested in health and wellness. The Spirit Room, located at 111 Broadway, offers yoga, dance, meditation and Tai Chi classes.
Dawn Morgan, Executive Director of the Spirit Room, is a native of Fargo who is interested in historic preservation and restoration. The once vacant building of 30 years now provides a calming atmosphere for those who want to be active and grow personally.
“We’re not a business, number one, we’re a nonprofit organization,” Morgan said. “Our mission is to uplift peoples’ lives, so we don’t try to put up any obstacles in the way for people to be able to participate. We want everybody to find a place here.”
It’s easy to find a place at the Spirit Room, as open spaces and relaxing color tones create a serene environment.
Some of the classes have certain sequences in terms of numbers and sessions, such as the Tai Chi and the belly dancing class. If the classes are 10 sessions, a person will buy a 10 session punch card, because the classes are set up with a punch card system. All of the classes cost $7 for the public, except for students who pay $5.
However, the punch card is not restricted to one class. If there were classes missed in the series, a person could use the remaining punches for other classes.
A benefit to having a punch card is they don’t ever expire. If a person goes out of town, or just visits the Fargo area every once and awhile, they can return to the Spirit Room and their card will still be available to use.
Whether running, cycling, dancing and more, downtown Fargo is rich in exercise possibilities. From fresh air to beautiful scenery to exercise options tucked away in historical buildings, there’s a niche for every athlete.