The Good Life Men's Magazine - March/April 2019

TheGoodLife

Featuring fitness trainer Jake Haile. Local Hero - F-M Ambulance, Having a Beer with Travis Hopkins, Scuba Recovery and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.

MARCH-APRIL 2019

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FATHERS

You Might Be A Parent...

WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON / MR. FULL-TIME DAD

I’m as indifferent as it gets towards Jeff Foxworthy, except on one

account: the guy has managed to turn a single joke into a multi-million

dollar, decades-long career. I’m not here to disparage anyone who likes

his particular brand of comedy, but I am here to shamelessly rip him off

with my own take on his now classic routine.

Over the past three-and-a-half years of parenthood, Macklin’s mama and

I have been casually taking notes on the multitude of lifestyle changes

taking place one might otherwise miss if one weren’t paying attention.

It’s easy to mark the bigger impacts of parenthood like lack of sleep, the

emergence of grey hairs in your beard or the total and absolute loss of

privacy. But every parent is well acquainted with that list.

Today I offer a more subtle roundup of the amusing tweaks to your life

as a parent. Scanning our list prior to writing this column, I came to an

embarrassing realization: we may, in fact, be rednecks ourselves, overly

concerned with snack foods. You’ll see...

You might be a parent when… you have to keep the subtitles on while

watching TV because you need to keep the volume at near imperceptible

levels in order not to wake the sleeping child in the adjacent room. But

it’s not so much the child, it’s the fact that you’re eating all the chips and

junk food you can now only break out after said child goes to sleep.

You might be a parent when… your candy stash suddenly becomes the

potty treat stash. As soon as your kid knows where you’ve been hiding

the treats, it’s game over. Those treats are now their reward, and while

they can’t remember what you were just talking about five seconds ago,

their recall when it comes to how many M&Ms were in the jar is bafflingly

Rainman-esque.

You might be a parent when… you have enough random snacks on your

person to feed an entire work meeting when the vending machine breaks.

Snacks in your purse. Snacks in your car. Snacks in your backpack. Most

any meltdown can be averted with the right snack at the right time. One

stick of minty gum alone has been known to save an entire

road trip.

You might be a parent when… you’re no longer annoyed by

your parents’ inability to work their original model DVD

player. Instead, you’re legitimately concerned

that they won’t remember how to operate

their grandchild’s car seat and you’ll come

home to your 3-year-old watching cartoons

in the garage still strapped in.

2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


You might be a

parent when…

things like “Peppa

Pig Live” at the civic

center seem like a

great way to spend a

Friday night. In reality, it’s a

nightclub for toddlers complete with a hysterical

crying girl in the bathroom cleaning vomit off her shirt,

loud music blaring overhead and a $20 cover charge

for a wrist band (or, in this case, a plastic light-up

wand).

You might be a parent when… you find yourself in a

reverse hostage negotiation, trying to talk your way IN

instead of out. “Think of how your friends are going to

feel today if they have to go down the slides without

you… you don’t want to let them down, do you? Come

on, let’s at least go in and see what’s for breakfast.”

You might be a parent when… poop becomes an

acceptable talking point at the dinner table. And it

doesn’t matter if you’ve got company, you cannot pass

up the mind game opportunity to reinforce how fun it

is to poop in the potty compared to your pants.

You might be a parent when… “Costco” becomes

date night. Next time you’re at the big box store, pay

attention… that couple that’s got an empty cart slowly

meandering through every single aisle as if the outside

world has ceased to exist? They’re parents who’ve

successfully lined up a trustworthy sitter.

Sure, you give up the identity you’ve built up over

the years, along with any credentials you

may have earned, the moment you

become a parent, but you’re

now “Mom” or “Dad”...

and no other title

comes with so many

rewards (or as many

snacks). •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3


VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 5

02

06

10

14

18

24

28

30

FATHERS / MR. FULL-TIME DAD

YOU MIGHT BE A PARENT...

THE MAN BEHIND THE BENCH

A GLIMPSE INTO LIFE AS A

DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

HAVING A BEER WITH...

TRAVIS HOPKINS

DANGEROUS JOBS

SCUBA RECOVERY

ON THE COVER

INSPIRING INDIVIDUAL

JAKE HAILE HELPS PEOPLE

ACCOMPLISH MORE THAN

THEY THOUGHT POSSIBLE

STOVEPIPES

ROCK AND ROLL FOR THE SOUL

ASK 30 WOMEN

WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST ABOUT HIM?

LOCAL HERO

F-M AMBULANCE

HELP IS ON THE WAY

4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


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urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5


WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

THE MAN

BEHIND THE BENCH

A Glimpse Into Life as a District Court Judge

While much of the greater Fargo-

Moorhead area was shut down or

closing early for the day, the Cass

County Courthouse in Fargo was

open for business as usual in spite

of the record cold snap that had

gripped the region that last week

of January 2019. It was so cold,

the city called off garbage pickup

for the day. Even the post office

pulled its drivers off the road. So

much for their motto, unofficial as

it may be.

When it’s that cold — cold enough

to keep the biggest, toughest trucks

6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

confined to their heated garages

— you’d think a hot cup of coffee

wouldn’t raise a bit of suspicion.

You would think.

“Can’t let that coffee cup inside,”

said the unnamed guard just doing

her job. “It’s metal. Can’t bring it

in. But you can leave it here and

grab it on your way out.”

Sure, who needs warmth or

comfort inside a courthouse

when it’s minus thirty outside?

Thankfully, up on the third floor

inside District Court Judge Steven

Marquart’s chambers, the mood

was friendly and the good judge

was a welcoming host eager to

share some stories.

Starting Out … On the Campaign

Trail

It makes perfect sense that a

judge was at one time a trial

attorney, standing before the

bench representing his clients. It

feels altogether counterintuitive,

however, to learn that the same

judge was also at one point a

candidate who had to campaign


for the job. Something about the gravitas

of the job and the deference paid to

the position makes it seem above the

comparatively petty popularity contest that

is today’s politics. Or perhaps it’s simply

the notion of “winning” a seat on the bench

that feels… well, wrong.

"People were, for the most part, shocked

that a judicial candidate came and knocked

on their door," Marquart said. "They were

very surprised by it, and I had some

remarkable experiences. Once, I knocked

on a door, a kid answered and said ‘Oh,

come in! I'm studying and I've got this

business law question, can you help me?'

So I'm helping with that, his parents finally

come in and start showing me pictures

from their family vacation. I learned going

door-to-door you can multiply by a factor of

ten the amount of people you reach."

Watching Marquart tell that story with

a smile on his face, reliving the whole

experience from fifteen years ago — he

was first elected to the court in 2004 — it

was easy to see why he continues to be

reelected. He’s a natural public servant

with an instinct to help out and do right.

On the Job: Then & Now

Now well into his third six-year term as a

District Court Judge, Marquart has seen

the court change in ways both obvious and

subtle. To the observing public, the most

obvious change has been a steady rise in

the number of cases being heard.

“We’ve gotten busier and busier,” Marquart

said matter of factly. “The last hearing

week, I had 101 arraignments in one week.

These are new cases… 101. That’s a lot of

people to see in one week.”

Asked why the uptick in cases in recent

years, Marquart said it’s a combination

of factors. He credits the professionalism

of the police force in their efforts to take

more criminals off the streets, but he also

recognizes it’s the simple mathematics of a

growing population.

“Fargo is getting bigger; I get that,”

Marquart said, taking a meaningful

pause before continuing. “One thing I

want to dispel, though… we’ve had a lot of

immigrants come into this country, and I

think a lot of people out there think that

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7


“Sure, some of the things in court aren’t so much fun. But some are.

I love adoptions... everyone's happy in the courtroom with adoptions.”

all these people commit crimes. I

want to tell you it’s mostly white

folks that we see in the courtroom.”

The other, more subtle change

that's taken place during

Marquart's tenure has been

the rapid increase in efficiency

thanks to technology. It's been a

much-needed innovation that has

allowed the system to keep up with

the burgeoning caseloads.

The electronic part has been a big

change, and it all started with this

software,” Marquart said, pointing

to the flat screen monitor on the

desk behind him. “I can type in

a case number and see all of the

documents relating to that case,

which is a huge change from the

old days when I’d send a law clerk

8 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

down to the clerk’s office to bring a

paper file up.

“And when I’m on the bench, I

used to have a stack of files this

high,” he said, lifting his hand high

above his head. “Now I can see any

document connected to the case

right on my computer screen on

my desk at the bench. We also use

a lot of ITV [interactive television]

in this courthouse, where they’re

in the jail and just appearing

before me on the TV. That perhaps

has been the biggest change… the

advancement in technology. It’s

very efficient.”

The Good, the Bad... and the After

Hours

In a job with a fair amount of

paperwork, it shouldn’t be a

surprise to learn that Marquart’s

favorite part of the gig is presiding

over a courtroom.

“I love being in court,” he said.

“Sure, some of the things in court

aren’t so much fun. But some are. I

love adoptions... everyone's happy

in the courtroom with adoptions.

I also like my ordinary criminal

appearance day and just knowing

what’s going on in this community

when you and I are sleeping. I

often say this is the best job I’ve

ever had.”

The hard part comes when he sees

the repeat offenders. Try as he

might to see the hope in each case

and give people their fair chance

to improve their plight, Marquart


says a good nine out of ten

people he sees before him —

in criminal cases, at least —

are what he calls professional

troublemakers.

They have a history of

getting in trouble and are just

graduating from one level to

another,” he explained. “I’m

not there to fix these people’s

problems. I apply the law.”

But after the law has been

applied… then what? How

does a judge unwind after a

day that may have found him

handing down a life sentence

— as Marquart did in the

widely publicized 2011 case

of Gene Kirkpatrick, who

was convicted of plotting a

murder-for-hire that killed

Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso,

his son-in-law?

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"I go home to a loving wife

and forget what happened

here, and for the most part I

can do that," Marquart said

with conviction. "Maybe it's a

gift that I have but I don't think

much about the decisions I

make after I make them. It'd

drive me crazy if I secondguessed

everything."

And what about fun? Are

judges allowed to have fun?

Marquart lets out a belly laugh

when asked.

“I just enjoy my time off,” he

said. “I’m very happy to have

grandkids moving back to

town this spring… spending

time with family is what I

enjoy most.”

Indeed, that’s the good life.

Case closed. •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9


10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA


Travis Hopkins’ tale could aptly be called “There and Back Again: A Hopkins Tale,” but instead of

quests in Middle Earth, the Jamestown native traveled back to Fargo after long and adventuresome

stints in New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

He had it all: long, black hair, piercings, a leather jacket, a drum set and a successful band.

He probably even wore tattered, tight jeans with drumsticks in his back pocket.

While touring with his band, Hopkins realized he had an interest in the behindthe-scenes

work of band promotion and coordination. It also paid better.

Since moving back to Fargo, Hopkins has continued using his marketing

skills for a homebuilding company and a health and fitness center.

He is also the host of The Side Stage Show on 95.9 KRFF, which

features entertainers of varying niches, from rock musicians to

animal communicators.

While we didn’t partake in the brews at Drekker, we

enjoyed the views from the loft area as we delved into

the story of Hopkins’ life — as told in less than 40

minutes.

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11


“My fiancé and I had a discussion.

She wanted a Chihuahua

and I wanted a pit bull, so we

compromised and got the

Chihuahua.”

Good Life: Are you more of a dog

or hamster person?

Travis Hopkins: I currently have

my first dog ever. My fiancé and I had a

discussion. She wanted a Chihuahua and I

wanted a pit bull, so we compromised and got

the Chihuahua. But I love that little thing. She’s 6

pounds of pure entertainment. She puts up with my

antics and understands I’m a goofball. If I want to take

a selfie, she’ll do this cute little pose and stay still. She

knows me so well already.

GL: What’s your hidden talent?

TH: Well, speaking of dogs, I think I’m really good at barking.

GL: Can I hear it?

TH: (Imagine him barking really well in the middle of Brewhalla)

GL: That was really good.

TH: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Is there a dog in here?”

GL: What’s your non-hidden talent?

TH: I would have to say drums. I grew up in a musical family. My grandpa played with

Lawrence Welk. My dad was a radio DJ, played in powwow groups, and was a drummer in

small bands around the Midwest. I grew up with a musical influence and pushed it as far as I

could. I’ve been told I’m one of the best steering-wheel drummers you’ve ever heard.

GL: How did you go from being a musician to a marketer?

TH: We were on tour on the East Coast and opening for folks like C.C. DeVille of Poison, Cinderella—

older school bands. In that time, you learn how to do marketing and that nobody’s going to come to your

show unless you’re promoting and advertising yourself. It led me to be the live music coordinator for

the Hard Rock Café when I lived in New York City. I still loved playing drums, performing, touring and

recording, but at some point, I didn’t want to be a broke musician and realized I was less broke when I

was the coordinator.

GL: How did you get into acting and on an episode of “The Sopranos”?

TH: When I worked at the Hard Rock Café, there were casting agents that were always coming in after work.

One of them approached me and asked, “Hey, are you an actor?” I just smiled and said no. The bartender,

12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


who was an actress, said,

“That’s an opportunity that

just knocked that none of us

ever get. You go back and tell him

yes.” So I was like, “If he comes back,

I’ll tell him yes.” A couple days later

he came back and said, “Are you sure

you’re not an actor? I’m pretty sure I’ve

seen you in something.” I finally went,

“I am, actually. I just thought you were

being weird.” He then wanted me to

read for him right away, and in less

than a week I was doing commercials

for Got Milk? and Heineken Beer, and

I was eventually on an episode of “The

Sopranos.”

GL: With all of that going on, why did

you come back to Fargo?

TH: I came back for family. I was

raised by my mother and grandmother,

from little on up. I came back for them

because their health was starting to

affect their day-to-day life. The least

I could do was come back and start

helping, start being more supportive.

I’m happy to do it. We’ve always been

extremely close, and it’s really exciting

for me to have my mom so close and in

my everyday life.

GL: What’s your heritage?

TH: I’m half Dakota Sioux and half

German, so it’s always funny when

people want to cast me for things.

They look at me for a Native role,

but they’re like, “Ahhh, you’re not

quite dark enough.” And then they

see me for a role that might be more

Caucasian-based, but then I’m a little

too ethnic.

GL: What are you most proud of right

now?

TH: Honestly, I would have to say

my family. I’m really proud of what

everybody’s done, the things they’ve

overcome, and what they’re growing

into.

GL: What does living the good life

mean to you?

TH: Obviously, everybody wants

financial security and fun, but at the

end of the day, do you have a roof over

your head, clothes on your back, food

in your stomach, health, happiness,

and your family and friends? For me,

the basic things make life good. •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13


14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

Scuba diving isn't exactly a hobby you find a lot of in the Midwest.

When you pair that with a towing company and first responder

training – you have Ryan Sherbrooke.

Sherbrooke is the owner of Midwest Towing here in the Fargo-

Moorhead area and has been a registered firefighter in Fargo

for 3 years. "I love helping people," Said Sherbrooke. "I was

an EMS full-time for thirteen years."

Being the Lead Diver for his scuba recovery business he has

seen his fair share of retrievals. They can be as small as

rescuing a cellphone from the bottom of a lake to salvaging

a pick-up truck from beneath icy waters. "If you break a

water line in your house you know a plumber is coming,"

said Sherbrooke. "But, who do you call when you drop

your car in 30 feet of water?"

With many years of experience in a handful of

occupations, Sherbrooke knows that you cannot do a

job like this alone. "I gotta take my hat off to the North

Dakota responders. They are so willing to jump in and

help - they make our job so easy," said Sherbrooke.

"The last thing we want is a diver in the water with

no support."

There are many benefits and risks when it comes

to this job. Whether he is helping someone retrieve

personal items lost when a vehicle went into

the lake, or battling rapids in the icy Red River,

Sherbrooke accepts the challenge because of his

love for helping people.

When people such as Sherbrooke use their

talents and hobbies to help the good of

the community and you see the local first

responders back them up, it really makes you

realize what a great community we are living

in.

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15


If you are ever curious about what this

operation looks like, they have uploaded videos

and pictures of retrievals they have done over

the years on their Facebook page. It is really

quite an interesting thing to see. Not only are

other vehicles involved but extractors and

exothermic torches as well, and those can

get as hot as 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sherbrooke and his fellow divers have done

other jobs besides vehicle retrieval and the

like. They have also been hired for such

jobs as commercial diving for the city of

West Fargo where they inspected the

floodgates to make sure there was no

debris or water escaping.

PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: RYAN SHERBROOKE


If you break a water

line in your house

you know a plumber

is coming. But, who

do you call when you

drop your car in 30

feet of water?"

– Ryan Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke seems to enjoy the

variety of jobs he can get while

utilizing his hobby of scuba diving,

but it always seems to come back

to wanting to help people.

"When we can recover that vehicle

and personal private belongings that

were lost, we just gave them back

what they thought they lost forever,"

said Sherbrooke.

There have been a few times in my life

where I have lost something special to

me in the lake and I wish I knew there

was someone I could call to help retrieve

it.

Each job is a case-by-case situation

and if Sherbrooke is unable to or

unwilling to help for any reason he

will happily recommend another

company in town or the region to

help with any and all situations.

Midwest Towing and Recovery takes

part in events throughout the year,

for example, every February they

take part in a staged water rescue

for various charities for Giving

Hearts Day, this year they raised

money for CCRI.

With all this community support and

the desire to help others I know if I

ever run into trouble that requires

16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


a tow or a scuba recovery - I will definitely be calling

Midwest Towing and Recovery.

When asked what the good life means to Sherbrooke, of

course, this is how he answered. “The good life means

to me; giving back to those who provide every day to us

all. Making a difference in one life, in my book, is living

the good life,” said Sherbrooke. “You only leave behind

your legacy in this life, if I've made a difference in

someone else's life and given them hope and happiness,

then I'd have to say that's the good life.”

And what a good life he is providing for people in our

community. •


The good life means to me; giving back to

those who provide every day to us all. Making

a difference in one life, in my book, is living the

good life.” – Ryan Sherbrooke

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17


18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


JAKE HAILE HELPS PEOPLE ACCOMPLISH MORE

THAN THEY THOUGHT POSSIBLE

As a fitness coach, Jake Haile

doesn’t care about what you can’t

do.

But he will do everything he can

to inspire you to realize everything

you can do.

And inspire is exactly what he

does. But so do all the incredible

people Jake works with.

Because Jake works with people

who are often seen as the least

likely folks to become serious

athletes — they have physical

or developmental disabilities,

Parkinson’s disease or maybe Post

Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But athletes they are.

“This is not about me,” he said.

“It’s about inspiring themselves

and making the community around

them better.”

That altruistic attitude is evident

immediately when Jake talks about

his job. As a fitness trainer at TNT

Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics and

operator of the No Limits program,

Jake works with children and

adults with some type of physical

or developmental disability in a

dedicated space that keeps them

safe and with a program adapted

to their individual abilities. In

addition, he operates the Rock

Steady Boxing program, where he

teaches people with Parkinson’s

Disease to box.

They blow me away with their

ability,” he said. The boxing

program — which is a non-contact

sport in this circumstance — gives

individuals the skills necessary to

box while actually fighting back

against the disease.

The way I see it, these people

have a boulder placed in front of

their lives, and they could sit and

stare at it, or they could choose to

stand up and push the boulder out

of the way,” Jake said. “I’m helping

them be an active participant in

the treatment of their Parkinson’s

disease.”

“THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME.

IT’S ABOUT INSPIRING THEMSELVES

AND MAKING THE COMMUNITY AROUND

THEM BETTER.”

WRITTEN BY: DANIELLE TEIGEN • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19


Steve Holand is an athlete in the

Rock Steady Boxing program,

and he learned about the program

about a year and a half ago from a

family friend working in the health

care field. Holand had been off his

exercise routine for about 5 months,

and he’d noticed his symptoms —

most notably tremors and balance

— were getting worse. Though he

wanted to do something about it

through exercise, Steve said he just

couldn’t seem to get himself to the

gym to work out.

In November 2017, Steve joined

the Rock Steady Boxing class

and quickly realized how much

he enjoyed the intense but fun

workouts. “Jake has a natural upbeat

coaching style, and it’s obvious that

he is passionate about his work,”

Steve said. “In class, he encourages

us to push ourselves but respects

each individual on how far they want

to take it.”

While Steve said getting to know the

other athletes in the class has been

an unexpected bonus of attending

the class, the tangible benefits

20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

are much more powerful. Steve

said his Parkinson’s symptoms

are much less troublesome, he’s

in great shape and he rarely gets

sick. Plus, lingering shoulder pain

has disappeared and his feelings of

depression have dissipated. “I think

that is remarkable payback for a few

hours invested each week,” Steve

said.

That increase in self-esteem and

an improved self-image is exactly

why Jake enjoys his job. His first

experience with helping someone

realize how movement and fitness

could improve self-esteem was

more than 6 years ago when he

was working for Community Living

Services, an organization in Fargo

that provides support services for


individuals with disabilities to live and work

independently. Jake said he had a client who

was about 12 or 13 years old and in need of

motivation to get healthy. Jake said he just started

playing basketball with the teenager, and the kid

“woke up”. The more engaged the teen became

in playing basketball, the less he experienced his

violent behaviors.

That’s when it clicked. Jake went to the director

at CLS and asked if he could officially start a

fitness program. He received the all clear and

some funds to outfit a basic gym, and he started

cycling people through the routine. “And people

got happier,” he remembered. “It improved their

quality of life and was making the community

better.”

After he started bringing CLS clients to TNT

Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics to use their

facilities and equipment, Jake partnered with

the coaches of CrossFit Icehouse as well as

TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics to create

Fargomania. TNT hosted the October 2017

event, which featured individuals with special

needs showcasing their athletic skills learned

during an 8-week training cycle in four timed

workouts at the event. Jake helped write the

programming and watched the individuals

achieve great things. “We were truly being in

the moment with these people,” he said.

Shortly after, TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics

approached him about providing adapted

fitness programs full time, and Jake jumped at

the chance. After developing the program, Jake

said TNT decided to seek a partner to make

the program sustainable, and the Marv Bossart

Foundation for Parkinson’s Support stepped

in. “If you surround yourself with good people,

then good things will find you,” Jake said.

The partnership provided support and an outlet

for participants for the Rock Steady Boxing

program. “They are the most inspiring people,”

Jake said. “When you are inspired, you become

inspiring. I experience joy with them — how is

that not the most intoxicating thing in life?”

But Jake hasn’t always been this inspired, and

he said it’s important for him to share that part

of his story with people. He wants them to see

that vulnerability is not weakness. Quite the

opposite, actually. “To be vulnerable is to grow,”

he said.

And grow he has. As a young man growing up

in Omaha, Nebraska, Jake said he was a “lost

human being” who lacked self-esteem and was

just trying to fit in all the time when his mother

made him attend a conference where he met

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21


some men from Fargo. Jake said they convinced

him to move to Fargo, so he did.

With just his possessions and some furniture in

the back of his yellow pickup — nicknamed “Big

Bird” — Jake uprooted his life from Nebraska

to North Dakota. He started working in a

commercial painting job and once his daughter

Jaiden was born when he was only 20, Jake said

he started to see life differently. He eventually

enrolled at a technical school in a criminal

justice program before realizing he wanted to

reach people before they entered the criminal

justice system. He enrolled at Minnesota State

University Moorhead with the psychology

program and put his love of movement to work

for the university’s club lacrosse team. He

completed his degree — which has an emphasis

on behavior modification and special education

— and used his experience operating an afterschool

program to secure the job at CLS.

“That’s where I found my passion, my passion

for human beings,” he said. Jake noted that an

important part of his story is the struggles he

has faced — he has dyslexia and understands

acutely what labels associated with disorders

like that can do to a person, how they can limit

what a person is truly capable of. He isn’t afraid

to admit that he has struggled with depression

and anxiety, and he is an advocate for mental

health awareness and treatment.

“I have high expectations for people regardless

of those labels,” he said. “I can appreciate

labels, but so many people with those labels

have been told it’s okay not to do something

because they have Parkinson’s, or because they

think, ‘I am Parkinson’s.’ ”

Helping people see past those labels and those

limitations is what fuels Jake and drives his

purpose. “They fill my cup,” he said.

22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


In addition to working at TNT Kid’s Fitness and

Gymnastics, Jake is also a CrossFit coach — his

nickname “Omaha” honors his hometown — where

he can instill a love of movement and inspire

exceptional physical accomplishment in even more

people. He also teaches Rock Steady Boxing offsite

at an assisted living facility in Fargo, and he

started offering a program specifically created to

give veterans and active service men and women the

space and support to control their own journey. “They

sacrifice themselves for our country, and I have more

respect for the armed forces than anything else,” Jake

said.

Jake is grateful to partner with the Brady Oberg

Legacy Foundation to offer the program to veterans,

and Oberg’s sister, Tracy Dunham, couldn’t be happier

about the partnership. The decision was easy, she

said, after seeing Jake’s passion for the veterans and

how hard he works to develop a program that works

for each veteran. His involvement has made “a huge

difference because of his willingness to listen and

advocate” for the veterans, Tracy said.

Jake is quick to point out how many positive

partnerships have allowed his work to happen. “I’ve

been blessed and privileged by these collaborations

of human beings wanting to make the world a better

place,” Jake said. The first person he ever saw

demonstrate unconditional love toward all people

was his dad, and he emulates that love through his

own work.

Not only is his dad a mentor, but so are the people

he works with. “They trust me enough to want to

be inspired by me, and I get inspiration from that,”

he said. He also mentioned the coaches at CrossFit

Icehouse and their approach to movement and

individual ability. “We don’t live to do fitness, we do

fitness to live,” he said.

That’s what living a good life is to Jake — waking up

every day and having the opportunity to be excited

about the people he works with and the quality of time

he spends with his family, which includes his wife,

Allison, and his daughters, Jaiden, 11, and Cynthia, 2.

It’s about consciously making the world a better place.

“Money and things have never made me happy,” Jake

said. “And it’s not about what I will achieve when I

look back at 80 or 90 years old; it’s did I do something

every day to make the world better? It’s about being

present in the moment every day. Experiences are

everything.”

And the experience of being around Jake Haile is

remarkable because he exudes authenticity and

positivity. He wants to show you everything you are

capable of doing and being. Because that’s what truly

matters. •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23


WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

If you have been paying any attention to Fargo’s local music

scene in the past 18 months you will already be familiar with

Stovepipes. The potential this band has is unreal, from the

cohesiveness of the instruments to the powerful vocals. This

group really knows how to put on a show and hold the attention

of their audience. They describe themselves as rock and roll

with classic rock influences.

Cody Kostka, Mckay Galbrecht, and Jake Nosal

had been playing music together for quite a few

years before Nosal introduced Alex Phelps to

the group.

“I met Jake playing hockey in college and

one thing led to another,” said Alex Phelps.

“He invited me to a jam with the guys and kind of went from

there.”

Inviting Phelps to sing for the band really allowed bassist Kostka

and guitarist Galbrecht to focus on playing their instruments

without having to take on lead vocals, and Phelps really matched

the vibe they were shooting for as a band. There is this sort of

Led Zeppelin meets Jack White feeling that you get from their

music, but you can absolutely tell they have a style that is unique

to them and you know it the minute they start playing.

“Medicine Man” off their new EP, Sparkle & Shine, is the perfect

example of how they incorporate their musical influences into

something of their own and it absolutely kills – along with the

rest of their EP.

Last year they played anywhere from 35 to 40 shows in Grand

Forks, Fargo, and Detroit Lakes area. A few of their most

memorable ones were when they played their first Open Mic

Night at Sidestreet Bar and Grille in Fargo, “After getting that

first one out of the way we got, what I would say, a very good

response,” said basest Cody Kostka.

24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com

“It’s cool to have played so many

mixed bills with a band we never

thought we would play with, and

everyone is psyched to be there.”

– Cody Kostka


urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25


Playing at the Hotel Shoreham was a big deal for

drummer, Jake Nosal, “I’m from Detroit Lakes and the

anticipation of playing for the hometown crowd and

going back to a place where I used to watch bands play

from behind the fence, because I wasn’t old enough and I

was just working there was exciting.”

They also opened up for The 4onthefloor at Drekkerfest

4 at their Brewhalla location. “I remember when we were

setting up and it was really packing out and people were

showing up and didn’t have tickets because it was a sold

out event. Seeing people get turned away was like, this

is something, I can't believe this was happening,” said

Phelps.

Playing in Fargo's diverse music scene brings the

opportunity for bands to play together that maybe

wouldn’t otherwise.

“I can’t really give any credit to anyone other than the Fargo music scene,

there are so many opportunities coming up it seems like. As long as you

are just nice, it seems like, and genuine with people, and have a desire to be

better at what you do, the community in this town is super welcoming.”

– Alex Phelps

26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


“It’s cool to have played so many mixed bills with a band

we never thought we would play with, and everyone

is psyched to be there,” said Kostka. “As far as all the

other local bands we’ve played with, not once have we

had close to a negative experience with anyone.”

Stovepipes have had success when it comes to their

music, though other bands might give themselves all

the credit for their hard work and determination, as

they should, the members of Stovepipes credit their

success to the Fargo music scene.

“I can’t really give any credit to anyone other than the

Fargo music scene, there are so many opportunities

coming up it seems like. As long as you are just nice it

seems like, and genuine with people, and have a desire

to be better at what you do, the community in this town

is super welcoming,” said Alex Phelps.

December brought the release of their new EP, Sparkle

& Shine, which you can find on Spotify, iTunes music

store, or other major streaming sites. You can also find

their EP at Orange Records in Downtown Fargo and

Mothers’ Music in Moorhead.

After this March, Stovepipes won’t have a gig lined up

until summer, they are already talking about working

on new music. “It’s been nice because we have been

working on sets and now we can work on new music

or refine what we have,” said Nosal.

If you haven’t heard Stovepipes play, do yourself a favor

and check them out. They were easy to find on Spotify

so there really is no excuse not to, and I promise you

will not be disappointed.

Hey, they may even bring a little groove to your step; it

is hard not to move when you hear their music. •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27


ASK 30 WOMEN

WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST ABOUT HIM?

Gentlemen, you are irritating. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, certain things you do are rather annoying

to some people. Rest assured it’s not too late and we are here to help you through the process. The

Good Life asked 30 random ladies… “What annoys you most about him?” Names were withheld to

protect the innocent. Stop doing these little bothersome things and make the world a better place!

1. It drives me mad when he

doesn't rinse his prickly little

hairs out of sink and counter top

after shaving.

2. The way he chews his food.

3. Checking his phone every

other minute (turning it off and

on making a clicking sound).

4. Pretending he’s listening to

me – when I know he’s not.

5. Cheering on sports players on

TV. They can’t hear you!

6. Not flushing the toilet or

forgetting to close the lid.

7. Being late.

8. When he’s done doing

the dishes (bless his heart,

he is great at that) and he

leaves the food trap full

of disgusting scraps... for

hours. So, as I scrape the

dried-up gunk off the

strainer, my mantra is

“the dishes are done...

the dishes are done.”

9. Lip smacking when

he eats! Arrrggghhh!

10. Being stubborn.

11. Misplacing

everything –

then claiming

someone

must have

stolen it.

12. Breathing.

13. When he leaves his stuff

laying all over.

14. Constantly talking and also

pointing at things when he

doesn’t need to.

15. Doesn’t wipe the toothpaste

glob out of the sink.

16. Clearing his throat

continuously.

17. Asking me to put his things

in my purse.

18. Video games.

19. Spreading his germs when

he’s sick. I’m pretty sure he

touches every handle, button

and remote in our home. Then

he feels hurt when I follow him

around with a can of Lysol.

20. Not going to the doctor

until he’s dying.

21. When he doesn’t use the

bathroom spray.

22. Making gulping noises when

he’s drinking.

23. Interrupts me when I’m

speaking to others.

24. Mouth breather.

25. He doesn’t know where we

keep anything. Tape, scissors,

light bulbs, etc.

26. Not making his side of the

bed.

27. Wearing clothes until

they are falling apart.

28. Burping loudly and

then acting disgusted

when I do it.

29. His family.

30. Turning the

channel in the

middle of a

TV show I'm

watching so

he can watch

sports.

28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29


LOCAL HERO

F-M AMBULANCE

HELP IS ON THE WAY

WRITTEN BY: BRITTNEY GOODMAN • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

Not all heroes wear capes, they

say. I say, after learning about

the efforts of a dedicated group

of people, some of them wear

Emergency Medical Technician

(EMT) uniforms and work for

F-M Ambulance, an Emergency

Medical Services (EMS) provider,

headquartered in Fargo. You will

be grateful for their skilled, caring

service if you ever need them.

F-M Ambulance will be

celebrating its 60th year of

providing service to our region.

F-M Ambulance began in 1959

by private owners. It started with

a location in Moorhead. Its base

stations then moved twice – first

to 1101 1st Ave. S, Fargo and

then its current location of 2215

18th St. S., Fargo, which was

built in preparations for Y2K and

opened officially on New Year’s

Eve, 1999, where it has remained.

F-M Ambulance Service is a

wholly owned subsidiary of

Sanford Health Systems.

Don Martin, the current

Communications Manager

and Public Information Officer

for F-M Ambulance, holding

that position since 2007, has

been with the company since

1994, starting as an (EMT)

Intermediate. He described

his duties as, “overseeing the

dispatch center, ensuring all the

equipment and staff is working at

full potential and that ambulances

and specialty transport vehicles

are being dispatched and sent on

calls accordingly.”

Martin described their work as

critical: “We provide a crucial

and critical service – advanced

life support to the community.

We provide a level of excellence

that has improved throughout the

years. Technology has changed

and driven so much and allows

us to provide better care. We have

better outcomes and survival

rates because of technology and

30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


how we are continually improving

our care.”

F-M Ambulance has grown with

the community to deal with its

population growth. In 1994, they

had 14,600 calls for service, which

is 40 calls per day. In 2018, they

had 31,443 calls for service, or

86 calls per day. In 1994, they

only had four ambulances on the

streets and they currently have

twelve ambulances to cover calls.

One dispatcher was on duty at the

beginning, only Monday-Friday.

Now FM-Ambulance has three

dispatchers who handle the call

volume and perform “Emergency

Medical Dispatch” – triaging calls

and giving pre-arrival instructions

to callers. They currently have 130

employees at the Fargo-Moorhead

location. Their parent company,

Sanford Health, has multiple

emergency medical service sites

throughout the region.

In addition to ambulance services,

F-M Ambulance also has disaster

response vehicles including a

Major Incident Transport Unit,

Mobile Incident Command Post,

and a Major Incident Response

Unit with supplies to treat up to

100 patients.

The service has been accredited by

the Commission on Accreditation

IN 2018,

F-M AMBULANCE

RECEIVED 31,433

CALLS FOR SERVICE

OR 86 CALLS

PER DAY

of Ambulance Services (CAAS)

since 2004 and is the only

accredited service in the state of

North Dakota. They have received

the American Heart Association

(AHA) Gold Plus award for the

F-M AMBULANCE HAS A METRO-WIDE GOAL OF ARRIVING TO THE SCENE

AFTER BEING DISPATCHED IN UNDER 8 MINUTES, 59 SECONDS

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31


LOCAL HERO

We successfully get a patient who is having an active heart attack

from their home to the cath lab in under 90 minutes. – Don Martin

past four years. Martin explained

what this award means: “We

successfully get a patient who

is having an active heart attack

from their home to the cath lab

in under 90 minutes.” When it

comes to emergency care, time

is critical. Martin explained, “FM-

Ambulance has a metro-wide goal

of arriving on the scene after being

dispatched in under 8 minutes 59

seconds. We average that at 97

percent of the time.”

Martin has dreamed of being

an EMT since an early age. “No

kidding,” he said, “Ask my family.”

He continued, “When I was five

I knew I wanted to be an EMT. I

would collect Matchbox cars that

were ambulances. Everything that

had an ambulance I would collect.

My aunt lived near Piggly Wiggly

and we were so close to St. Luke’s

Hospital, I would always run out

to see the ambulances. I could tell

by the sirens. My family would say

this – I was always that way.”

Born in Fargo and attending

Fargo North High School, Martin

divided his time between Fargo

and the Turtle Mountain Band of

Chippewa Reservation, of which

he is a member: “I viewed Fargo

as a boarding school.”

“My Native American identity

is important to me,” explained

Martin. “Being in Native culture,

family is very important to me. I

spend my holidays and as much

time as I can with my family. It

is very important to know where

you come from. You can’t move

forward if you don’t know where

you came from. You don’t know

where you are going. There is a

difference between who you are

and what you are. It is an everyday

part of my life.”

Part of that life experience

includes volunteerism and

community activities. He is a

member of the F-M Ambulance

Ceremonial Unit, the only EMT

32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


You are a paramedic,

but you also have to be

a counselor and get them

through that journey.

The bedside manner is

important to get them to

the hospital, knowing they

are not alone and you are

going to be there with

them. They are scared

and anxious. It does not

help the patient if you are

also nervous. You can be

sweating on the inside, but

don’t let it show.

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33


LOCAL HERO

ceremonial unit in North Dakota.

This group is asked to perform

funeral services for EMS workers

all over the state and region: “North

Dakota, Northwest Minnesota and

Northeast South Dakota, we go all

over,” added Martin.

He is also active in participating in

powwows and has been serving as

the chair of the F-M St. Patrick’s

Parade Committee. For twelve

years, Martin was on Fargo’s

Native American Commission with

a mission to be a conduit between

the Native American community

and Fargo and a liaison with

different programs promoting

Native American culture.”

During the summer, Martin enjoys

his spot on Toad Lake: “I like being

at the lake – the nature and the

quiet.” Martin’s spends his spare

time with his friends: “I am a

social person – I like being out and

experiencing life.”

Martin explained how F-M

Ambulance’s work impacts people:

“When I think about what we do,

there is a difference between

seeing immediate change and

seeing what happens afterward,

down the road. You may not see it

right away; it may take days, weeks

or months. But it is rewarding

when you see that whatever you

did helped and made life better for

that person.” For example, Martin

has assisted with the delivery of

eight babies during his time at F-M

Ambulance: “But the mothers do

all of the work,” he insisted.

When asked about the favorite

part of his job, Martin said, “I like

working with the people, with my

coworkers, seeing that every day

what I do makes a difference.”

Martin described his work as

“challenging: You never knowing

what you are going to see or find,

whether good or bad, and you have

to be able to cope with it.”

“In my role, we see a lot of bad

things that happen to people.

People are calling us at the worst

times of their lives. Sometimes

when you see a patient, yours might

be the last face they see and the

"In my role, we see a lot of bad things that happen to people. People are calling us at the

worst times of their lives. Sometimes when you see a patient, yours might be the last face

they see and the last voice they hear." – Don Martin

34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


last voice they hear,” Martin explained.

He continued, “You are a paramedic,

but you also have to be a counselor

and get them through that journey.

The bedside manner is important to

get them to the hospital, knowing they

are not alone and you are going to be

there with them. They are scared and

anxious. It does not help the patient

if you are also nervous. You can be

sweating on the inside, but don’t let it

show.”

Finally, Martin explained what “The

Good Life” means to him: “It is being

able to experience the journey of life

with loved ones – friends and family –

and having the experience altogether.

It is facing all that life may give whether

it be good or bad.” •

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35

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