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What does yoga and childbirth have in common? More than you might think. The most important thing in both is breathing, posture (for comfort) and meditation (for calming). From this realization, Julie Franks developed Pre/Post-Natal Yoga, a class through Bemidji Community Education. Franks became involved in Yoga in 1985.
The Minnesota Finlandia will celebrate its 30th anniversary Saturday at Buena Vista Ski Area. That's 30 years of fun, freezing, thawing and fellowship for cross country ski enthusiasts. Weather has not been kind in recent years. In 2000 and 2003, the race was canceled because there was no snow.
There was no goal set, but for Vesta Kerns knitting 100 stocking hats this year for newborns was a huge accomplishment. So on Tuesday, it was a dual celebration as friends gathered to celebrate her 99th birthday at Birchaven Village Apartments. Vesta has been knitting for more than 20 years. Ten years ago, she moved into Birchaven because of her eyesight; she has macular degeneration. Though she has lost most of her eyesight, it has not prevented her from knitting. Since the move to Birchaven, her production has increased.
Bodybuilder Pete Moen traveled to Bemidji 26 years ago to take part in the Mr. North Country competition in the old high school auditorium. He won that title, and in 1984 and 1987, he added the Mr. USA title to his resume. Little did he know that he and his wife, Nancy, would someday call the North Country their home. The couple moved to the Nebish area more than 16 years ago after selling their fitness center, Minnesota Muscle.
"We got new lighting system, new trails and a new warming house, sounds like a win-win situation to me," said Mark Walters, the head of the trail system for the Bemidji Cross Country Ski Club. Walters was referring to the renovations at City Park and improvements to the Montebello Ski Trial. City Park was the second cornerstone Bemidji park - after Diamond Point Park - to undergo a major reconstruction through the use of the city's half-cent sales tax.
Kettlebells. They look like cannonballs with large, thick handles. But those who have touched kettlebells respect them. Kettlebells are a new type of training exploding in popularity in the United States. Kettlebell class is offered at Bemidji State University at the Gillett Recreation Center. It has become so popular many students repeat the class. The instructor is Chad Doocy, HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certified).
Hiking is an outdoor activity for all ages, whether you're an experienced backpacker or someone who loves day trips. The gear can be simple or elaborate. "The trend is going lighter," said Mark Morrissey, assistant director at the Outdoor Program Center at Bemidji State University.
"Never rush a labor of love," said Wanda Odegard, who for the last 10 years has been creating a bronze and stainless steel bald eagle. The super-sized work of art boasts a 16-foot wingspan and an eight-foot long body with some wicked looking talons holding a fish made of stainless steel. Odegard named the sculpture "Spirit of Freedom." Bemidji may know Wanda as the welder who created "Niimii" in 1988, the dancer that graces Bemidji's lakeshore.
His hands have helped teach hundreds of carvers young and old. Jim Schram Sr. of rural Blackduck died Monday at 89. Even at that age, he carved more this year than any other year. Schram, through the encouragement of friends, started the Blackduck Wood Carvers Festival, which just celebrated its 27th year at the Wayside Park. He began carving after quitting smoking in 1969, a way to keep his hands busy. Upon retiring, he and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Blackduck in 1978. His woodcarving shop and home were a welcome place for all those who visited.
Wearing heavy cotton twill pants, a long-sleeve shirt covered with a mosquito net coat, mosquito head gear and gloves, Tom Damon has spent every free moment in the woods at Movil Maze since the end of March. He has a goal to bring a single-track course to Bemidji. Single track is a trail system for mountain bikers.