RICK

I love telling and hearing stories.  As a kid I liked reading in part because I loved following a story.  As an adult I’ve loved hearing/reading the stories of my grandparents.  While I love telling stories of experiences I’ve had, I struggle a little bit more when it comes to telling the story of my life.

My story is mainly centered in Utah – I’ve spent all but three years of my life living in Utah.  In fact, I can go back seven generations to ancestors who have lived in Utah – it is definitely rooted deep within me.  I love the state – beautiful forested mountains to red rock deserts.  I haven’t spanned all of the states yet, but of the roughly 14 I’ve been in (not counting layovers), Utah easily takes the cake for me. 

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Growing up I had a love of the sport of wrestling – my dad had done it in college, but I had stayed away from it until junior high, trying it again in hopes that maybe I had a natural talent.  I didn’t.  However, it was the one sport that size or speed didn’t seem to matter as much as just working hard, so I ended up finding success in it.  One outcome of that is it helped me develop a love of food – stepping on a scale and seeing how much weight you have to lose for the tournament in a week helped prove the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  In our home today homemade pizza is a weekly staple, and yes, I like Hawaiian pizza, but we also do pepperoni and meat lovers.  I love white chili, apple chicken (my own design), and anything with a Mexican flair.  And I HATE brussels sprouts, mustard, and raw tomatoes.  Being fed sardines in mustard at a school assembly will ruin it for life.

 

Woven into my story is many instances of mountain biking, reading, and family history.  I love getting on two wheels and cranking up a mountain to see the view, and then flying back down it.  Thus far the children all seem to be developing a similar desire (of their own accord) in jumping on two wheels, although to date they are fans of paved trails. 

I’ve always loved reading and have really enjoyed reading with the kids the last couple years, whether it is of the Dr. Seuss variety or chapter books like the Chronicles of Narnia.
You know how in school kids always say “I’ll never need to use this,” especially in regards to math?  Well, I actually do.  I’ve always loved looking at the stats in sports ever since John Stockton set the NBA record for assists, so at a certain point I decided to work with “stats” for a living.  I’ve worked as an analyst for medical device companies and in the finance industry.  I find it thrilling to discover something interesting in the numbers, then “telling the story” of the numbers to help change the way companies do business.

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My story would be incomplete without mentioning my love of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the reason I’m actively involved in the faith is because of the impact it has had on me personally.  Nothing has influenced my life more, nothing has provided more comfort, more perspective, and more direction in my life.  Everything good in my life I can point to my Father in Heaven and the impact of the direction that comes from His prophets has provided for me.  It is a common thread of my life throughout with prayer, scripture study, and teaching my kids. I spent two full years of my life where basically the entirety of my time was spent teaching that gospel or planning how to do so.  It is through that gospel that I’m able to lay hold upon the things that have provided me with the most happiness.  It is the defining influence of my life.