Monday, June 5, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I've never been too into Memorial Day and visiting cemeteries and such, but this year, for whatever reason, I suddenly had a desire to visit the graves of my ancestors back to four generations (back to my great-great grandparents). For those who lose track of what this means, for me this group is comprised of 27 deceased individuals (my maternal grandmother, Doris Nalder, is still living). I have three deceased grandparents, eight deceased great-grandparents, and 16 deceased great-great-grandparents.

I spent some time Sunday morning researching on FamilySearch just to find out where all of these ancestors were buried. The breakdown was as follows:

Spanish Fork Cemetery: 2 grandparents, 2 great-grandparents, 4 great-great -grandparents
Bountiful: 2 great-grandparents, 4 great-great-grandparents
Kaysville: 2 great-grandparents, 2 great-great-grandparents
Lindquist Memorial Park (Layton): 1 grandparent
Aultorest Memorial Park (Ogden): 2 great-great-grandparents
Bennington Cemetery: 2 great-grandparents, 4 great-great-grandparents

I realized Bennington might be somewhat of a stretch, but thought we could make it to the rest so at about 10 AM Memorial Day morning, we headed to Spanish Fork, where several from my dad's family had congregated.

Oran Lewis is my paternal grandmother's maternal grandfather and several of my ancestors are buried in this section of the Spanish Fork cemetery. While reading up on him, I learned that before he married my great-great-grandmother, he had married a woman named Ellen Gillespie. Less than three weeks after they were married, she was leaving for choir practice and was somehow mistaken for a fugitive that law enforcement was looking for and was shot and killed. Another account had the details a little different, but the result was the same. Four years later, Oran married my great-great-grandmother, Laura Larsen.

Marker for Oran Lewis and posterity section of Spanish Fork Cemetery
Headstones for my paternal grandmother's maternal grandparents, Oran Lewis and Laura Larsen Lewis

Headstone for my paternal grandmother's parents, Joseph Archibald "Archie" Brockbank and Fern Lewis Brockbank

Headstone of my Grandpa and Grandma Mouritsen, Glendale Mouritsen and Jean Brockbank Mouritsen
Headstone of my dad's sister, Aunt Maureen, who was killed in a small plane crash in 1990

From my research, I knew that my paternal grandmother's paternal grandparents were also buried in Spanish Fork, but neither my dad nor his brothers that were there seemed to know where their headstones were. We looked around for them a little bit and as we headed back to our car I stumbled on them, along with a marker for my great-great-great-grandfather, Isaac Brockbank.

I have since learned that Isaac was converted to the gospel in Liverpool by Parley P. Pratt and that his wife at the time, Elizabeth Mainwaring, was a devout Methodist, who very much opposed his joining the Church. See ultimately agreed to accompany the rest of the family to America, on account of their children, but became separated from the company near Fort Laramie and was never seen again. He married my great-great-great-grandmother, Sarah Brown, a few months later.

Marker for my great-great-great-grandfather, Isaac Brockbank, and his two wives, Elizabeth Mainwaring and Sarah Brown

Headstones of my paternal grandmother's paternal grandparents, Joseph Brockbank and Emma Jane McKell Brockbank

Having seen the graves for all my ancestors in Spanish Fork, we next headed to Bountiful where my mom's maternal grandparents and great-grandparents are buried.
Headstones of my maternal grandmother's paternal grandparents, Edward Mitchell and Mary Emery Mitchell
Headstones of my maternal grandmother's maternal grandparents, Parley Willey and Sarah Jane Pace Willey
Headstones of my maternal grandmother's parents, Edward Mitchell and Luella Willey Mitchell
Headstone of my maternal grandmother's brother, Uncle Roy.
 While in Bountiful, I stopped at the grave of my niece, Margot, who was born with the genetic defect, Trisomy-18 and died a week after she was born.

Headstone of my niece, Margot
 From there it was on to the Kaysville Cemetery where my maternal grandfather's parents and paternal grandparents were buried.

Headstones of my maternal grandfather's paternal grandparents, Stephen Nalder and Catherine Forbes Nalder

Headstone of my maternal grandfather's parents, Hacel Nalder and Catherine Kenley Nalder
 From there, it was on to Lindquist Memorial Park in Layton where my Grandpa Nalder is buried.

Headstone of my Grandpa, Wallace Kenley Nalder
From there, I went to Aultorest Memorial Park where my maternal grandfather's maternal grandparents, William Kenley and Catherine Garden Kenley are buried, but I was unable to find their headstones.

But I did find this:

All in all, a fairly productive Memorial Day trip.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What Do You Do?

I've had a few people ask what I do as far as exercise/nutrition. This will be an attempt to answer that question.


First of all, the before/after pictures above were taken about six and a half years apart (July 2010 - December 2016). It has not been a straight gradual path from point A to point B. Those of you who have been friends with me (on Facebook) since 2016 might have read about the early part of my fitness journey as well as a later surge when I incorporated P90X (as well as a short follow-up).

So to continue from that point, I felt really good for most of 2013, but I was doing more running than usual and toward the end of the year (just before moving back to Grantsville), I began to suffer from IT Band Syndrome (Derrick Favors, I feel your pain). That put a damper on my ability to run and some of my motivation to work out. I put some weight back on and was basically forced to rest until I healed well enough to run again (I did do elliptical some during this time, which didn't bother my IT band as much).

For Christmas that year, I received the Beachbody Body Beast workout and started doing that at the beginning of 2014. It is a 12-week program, so during 2014, I basically alternated between Body Beast and P90X (a 13-week program). During 2014 and 2015 I essentially did Body Beast from January - March, P90X from April - June, Body Beast from July - September, and P90X from October to December.

That seemed to be going pretty well, but I typically run one half-marathon and one full marathon each year and I noticed that when I did Body Beast, I tended to put on weight. This was particularly true during that time when I wasn't really doing anything as far as nutrition and would justify eating too much because I was "bulking". Toward the end of 2015, I decided I would just change when I did the workouts and kind of target a bigger, more muscular winter body (when I usually don't run any races) and a leaner summer body for when I run my races. My workout schedule changed to Body Beast from January - March, P90X (2 rounds) from April - September, and another round of Body Beast from October - December.

So I started 2016 with a round of Body Beast, but was again eating too much. I got back up to 220. I will say that I was still in fairly good shape, I still ran 20-30 miles per week. But I was definitely heavier than I wanted to be. At around that time, I changed my life insurance policy and because of my weight, I did not qualify for the super preferred rate that I had previously. I decided that I needed to do something differently. That's when I discovered Lose It!


I've pretty well described the programs I do and when I do them. In addition to the weight programs I do, I also run six days a week, for 48 weeks out of the year. I take 4 weeks off from running, spread throughout the year. If you're interested, I've made my exercise calendar and a Google Spreadsheet I use to track my Body Beast workouts available. The time of day I exercise has varied based on my work schedule, but generally I prefer mornings. Currently, I go the gym at about 5 AM.

I do my lifting and running back to back, mostly out of convenience. I researched a little bit about whether it was better to do cardio first or last. I think the overall conclusion was that it doesn't really matter, but there was something that said that if you lift first your protein and glycogen levels are down so that your cardio will primarily burn fat. I don't know if that's true, but that's what I do. There was a time that I ran first and then did weights and I definitely feel that running afterward is more effective, but the ideal might be to separate them by a few hours. I just don't have the time to do that.


I feel this has been the biggest game-changer for me personally, but at the same time, I don't feel I do anything too crazy. I don't have any "prohibited foods". I still eat sugar, butter, ice cream, cake, etc. I do count calories and that is where the Lose It! app has come in. I'm sure there are other apps (My Fitness Pal, for example) that do something similar, but basically I am able to put in my height, weight, and age, and then what I want to lose and Lose It! gives me a target calorie intake for the day. Then I just have to enter everything that I eat, as well as the exercise that I do and keep my net calories under the target.

I don't claim that it's easy or particularly fun, but I do feel it is effective. At the end of the day, you have to be aware of how much you should be eating. At that point, you can either pre-plan all your meals to make sure you stay under that number or you can track everything as you eat to make sure you stay under that number. I've chosen the latter and that has worked for me. I don't feel that any weight-loss or weight-maintenance can be effective unless you're aware of how many calories you should be consuming and taking steps to make sure you are consuming around that number of calories.

The only other thing I do is during my Body Beast cycles, I will do a protein/creatine post-workout shake. I just use Six Star Vanilla Whey Protein and Six Star Creatine X3 that I get at Wal-Mart. One scoop of each in 20 oz of water is what I do. During the Beast phase of Body Beast (the last four weeks), I drop to half a scoop of creatine. Nothing fancy.


Like anything else at which you want to be successful, consistency is the key. I've come to the realization that this isn't something that I can "finish". If I want to be fit and healthy, it is something that I will have to work at for the rest of my life. (Shout-out to my dad, who is 67 and goes to the gym six days a week). You can lose weight, but once it's lost, you immediately move into maintaining that weight loss, which is just as and can be even more difficult.


I don't claim to be any kind of expert on exercise and nutrition. I see people at the gym every day who are more fit than I am or probably ever will be. I just had some people ask about my routine and how I made the changes that I have so I thought I would share what I could. If there's anything else you want to know, don't hesitate to reach out and I will answer the best I can.

Friday, February 8, 2013

If You Done Done It, It Ain't Braggin'

I will forewarn you that this post is primarily bragging.  And it's not even humble-bragging, it's just regular bragging.  If you don't want to read it, that's fine.  No one has you tied to a chair with your eyes taped open.  Plus, since you're already this far, it already counts as a pageview.  So there.

As you may or may not know, I am the oldest (and wisest, and according to my wife, the second-most handsome) of six brothers (and a little sister, whom I love, but this post is about the brothers) and all of us played football for Grantsville High School.  Recently, the Grantsville Gridiron Club was formed and set up a website.  Part of the website allows you to search for All-State players, with data going back to 1927.  Playing with that feature let me see what I already knew, but what seemed more impressive with all the data right in front of me.  Below is a table that summarizes our contributions to Cowboy Football, but first a few disclaimers:

  • I do not believe that accomplishment on the football field trumps other kinds of accomplishment.  It would be even more impressive if we'd all served Church missions, or all graduated from college, or all earned our Eagle Scout (incidentally, not a single one of us is an Eagle Scout).
  • I recognize that a big part of this is just the fact that my parents happened to have six sons, in a row, all spaced between 2-3 years apart.
  • I am not hung up on my high school glory days.  I just think this is at least a little bit remarkable and thought I'd share it.
  • We are not "from Grantsville" (we moved there in 1983) and had no relatives there when we moved there.  Now, we're related to most of the town by marriage, but we had no previous connections.  I mention this for the benefit of those who think you have to have a certain last name to play.  
 Without further ado:

State Champions

All-State Honorable Mention
1st Team All-State Running Back
State Runner-Up

State Champions
All-State Honorable Mention


State Champions


All-State Honorable Mention
1st Team All-State Linebacker
No playoffs

First Round
All-State Honorable Mention
State Runner-Up
1st Team All-State Linebacker


First Round

2nd Team All-State Running Back

*Not a starter

  • A Mouritsen has been a member of all three of Grantsville's State Championships (I admittedly played a very limited role on the 1992 Championship Team, but Scott and Alan started on the 1996 team and Alan started and was MVP of the 1997 team).
  • A Mouritsen was on the team for 14 straight seasons and a Mouritsen started on the team for 12 of those 14 seasons, with two of us starting in three of those seasons.
  • All of us achieved at least All-State Honorable Mention and over the 14 seasons, we had two MVPs, three 1st Team All-State, one 2nd Team All-State, and four Honorable Mentions.
  • Alan still holds the state record for touchdowns scored in a career with 77 and most touchdowns scored in a season with 42, and probably some others I can't think of right now.
  • Four of us were three-year starters.
Ok, end of brag.  Thanks for indulging me.

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    In Defense of Referees

    For most of my life, I have enjoyed both participating in and spectating sports, but as I've gotten older there is one aspect of sports culture that really bothers me and that is the vilification of referees.  As you might expect, I have a few thoughts on the subject.
    • Why is it socially acceptable to yell at and make insulting comments to referees?  If a cashier gave me back the wrong change, I wouldn't start screaming at them or telling them to pull their head out of their ass.  In most other professions, if someone makes a mistake, I don't think we usually scream at and insult them.  Granted, sports is a different context than real life, but I still find it interesting how acceptable it is for fans, coaches, and athletes to berate referees.
    • Why are referees the only participants in an athletic contest of whom we expect perfection.  If a baseball player gets a hit a third of the time, he's doing great.  If a basketball player makes half his shots, he's awesome.  But if a referee misses any call, people want their head on a platter.  I have only tried to ref on a couple of occasions, but both times I found it to be exceedingly difficult.  When referees are expected to see, react, and interpret hundreds of actions instantly, mistakes are going to be made.  And overall, I think referees typically do a very good job and get much more right than they get wrong.
    • Accusations of bias by referees are completely unfounded.  I can see where if one team just keeps its mouth shut and plays hard and the other whines incessantly, there might be a tendency of the refs to favor the non-whining team as the game goes on.  But to say that referees come to the game with the intent of helping one or the other teams to win is ridiculous.
    • Blaming referees for a loss is not constructive.  Referees are going to miss calls and sometimes those missed calls can come at critical junctures in a game.  But in any closely contested athletic competition, there are hundreds of individual events that help determine who wins.  And more often than not, there were mistakes made by coaches or players...a missed shot, a dropped pass, a missed defensive assignment, a missed block...that had every bit as much to do with determining the winner as a missed call by a referee.  By focusing on the referee, we don't see our mistakes and fail to work harder to correct and improve on areas that we can control.
    • Without referees, in most cases, the sporting event would be unable to take place at all.  In many cases, we have individuals giving of their time, or making a few bucks to allow an athletic program to exist, and they are rewarded by listening to fans and coaches scream and yell at them the whole time.
    • We can do better as a society and within sports culture of respecting referees.  There is nothing wrong with respectfully discussing the interpretation of a rule or pointing out something that the referee might be missing, but it should always be calmly and under control.
    So the next time you're at a sporting event, cheer your team loudly, if you're playing, play hard, but be courteous to the referees.  Give them the respect they deserve.

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    When Am I Ever Going to Use That?

    A few days ago, a friend of mine solicited some help via Facebook with finding the central angle of an arc, given the radius and the arc length.  Since math is one area where I can actually be helpful at times, I tried my best to answer her question about how to solve the problem.  Soon after I entered the conversation, another person commented as follows:

    "Is this what I have to look foreword too [sic]? This makes me sick! I will be no help to my kids and where in the world will they ever use that? So dumb!"

    I've heard my own kids and others voice similar complaints.  "How is this going to help me?"  "When am I ever going to use that?"  I've even gotten a kick out of a clip from the Simpsons where Marge laments, "Since [losing interest in math after starting to date Homer], I haven't been able to do any of the Calculus I've encountered in my daily life."

    But for some reason, this comment by this parent really bothered me and got me thinking about the "I'm never going to use this" argument.  A few thoughts:

    • This type of attitude perhaps is at least a partial explanation for the United States continuing to fall behind other industrialized nations in math and science.  If this is the attitude of parents, I can't imagine what the attitude of the children is.  How can the US hope to increase involvement in math and science if this is the prevailing attitude?
    • You won't be able to use any knowledge that you don't acquire.  By striving to learn all you can, you keep your options open.  You have the ability to enter fields that perhaps you'd never considered.  Perhaps rather than sitting back and using technology created by others, you could be on the leading edge, creating technology that will be used by others.
    • Not all knowledge is necessarily an end in itself.  There are specific concepts in math and science that you might have a hard time finding a specific application for, but in many cases you have to learn basic principles in order to build more advanced concepts on top of it.
    • Excellence for the sake of excellence.  I love to learn.  I consider this life a God-given opportunity to acquire all the knowledge that I possibly can (D&C 130:18).  I don't read history books and biographies because it will help me in my career, but because I believe being knowledgeable and informed makes me a better person.  I spend a lot of time exercising as well, not because I feel I have a chance to be an Olympian or a professional athlete, but because I want to be the best version of myself.  Making the effort to understand and master a concept is never going to be wasted effort.
    • I think of all the brilliant discoveries and inventions that have been made and cringe to think of an Einstein or an Edison or a Newton thinking "I don't need to learn that...when am I ever going to use it?"  Did Einstein need to make the discoveries he did in order to have a career and get through life?  No.  Did he live a better and more meaningful life because he strove to understand things about the world that no one at the time understood?  I believe he did.
    • Just because something is hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be pursued.
    • Set your sights high.  We can always set our sights low enough that we don't need any special knowledge or skills.
    I'm reminded of this Calvin and Hobbes comic strip (couldn't find the actual image publicly available):

    Dad:  Let's start at the beginning. When you ADD something, you INCREASE what you have. You COMBINE.
    Calvin:  I don't want to learn this! It's completely irrelevant to my life!
    DadThis isn't irrelevant.  Everyone needs to know this.
    Calvin:  I don't! I can get along fine without math!
    Dad:  Oh yeah? What do you want to be when you grow up? Every job requires SOME math.
    Calvin:  That's not true! I'll be a... a... a caveman! Yeah!
    Dad:  That's not really a job.

    Don't be satisfied with being a caveman.  When a teacher (or someone else) tries to teach you something that is difficult to understand and that you don't see an immediate benefit of learning, resist the temptation to say, "When am I ever going to use that?".  Work hard.  Learn all you can.  Stick with something even though it's difficult.  Be the best version of yourself that you can.  

    And if you need some help with math, just let me know.  I'm happy to help.

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    One Week In

    I've failed to come up with a brilliant and exciting topic, but as I'm determined to at least make it one week with my weekly blog post resolution, I thought I'd give an update on how the first week of my "best body ever" resolution went, along with some details of what I am and am not doing.  I won't take the time to put this together as an organized, flowing narrative.  Instead, I'll fall back on my favorite crutch, the bullet-point list.
    • As I mentioned in my previous post, my workout plan is to continue with my running schedule (I pull my training plans from  To start off the year, I'm working on the Competitive 5K plan) and to add P90X.  In addition, I will watch what I eat.
    • As far as P90X, I didn't purchase the DVDs.  I got the iPhone App for free and purchased all the workouts for $60.  I'm sure I don't get everything that I would from purchasing the whole program, but I feel it will work for my purposes.  Plus, I'm cheap.  My plan is to do the P90X workouts 5 days a week, Monday-Friday.  Oh yes, Tony Horton is annoying.
    • I had taken the last week off from running so when I started on Monday I weighed in at 208.3 lbs (which is up a little bit from where I have been).  This morning, I weighed myself after my run and I was at 201.0 lbs.
    • So this is what my workout schedule looked like this past week

    Running (all done on a treadmill this week, I'm not as tough as Jeanell)
    6 x 440s at 10.5 mph with 1:00 walking at 4 mph in between
    Chest & Back + Ab Ripper X
    7M at 7.1 mph
    7M at 7.1 mph
    Shoulders & Arms + Ab Ripper X
    10 Hills at 9.3 mph (each “hill” is .12 miles, I run .06 miles at 5% incline, then .06 miles flat.  I usually have to rest at least some.  This week I ran 5, then walked a minute or so, then ran 3, walked, and then the last 2.  I hate hills)
    Yoga X
    5M at 8.0 mph
    Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X
    10K (6.2M) at 8.3 mph

    • As far as eating, I've sworn off sweets and soda, but other than that I am not trying to eat or not eat any particular foods.  My big focus has been limiting my helpings at dinner.  Where in the past I was frequently enjoying three or even four helpings, I tried to stay with one.  (I did have two bowls of Jeanell's delicious Zuppa Toscana soup on Wednesday).
    • Wednesday and Thursday my arms and shoulders were as sore as I ever remember them being.  It was to the point where I could barely put on or take off my shirt, couldn't pick scratch my nose.  Even when I went to sleep, it was hard to find a comfortable sleeping position.  Thankfully, the soreness subsided quite a bit on Friday.
    • I'm a little nervous about the time commitment.  This week was pretty light on miles as compared to some of the coming weeks.  There will be days where I'll be exercising for 3+ hours.
    • Overall, I feel good.  My legs are a little bit sore from the legs workout yesterday plus the running yesterday and this morning, but generally I feel good.  We'll see how the next week goes.