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Hi I'm Neil Olsen

I'm an ultramarathoner, a physician, a chocoholic, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I like to run in the woods. I like pushing myself and am amazed what our bodies can do. It gives me faith and credibility to tell my patients their bodies can stand some exercise. I ran to stay sane while deployed in the Iraq war. I surprisingly won a couple of marathons, so I moved up to ultras and managed to win the 100k US trail champs in '08. I've done 100 mile races. Those can be incredibly painful. Makes you appreciate those who suffer non-self-imposed pain, and gives greater awe for the pain Jesus suffered for us all. I've got 5 great kids and a wonderful wife. I've worn out several strollers, and now my kids sometimes run beside me. I love that, or the company of thoughtful friends. Or listening to MP3 talks of church leaders. I feel closer to God and motivated to follow Christ after listening to those, like I do reading scriptures, and praying. It works for me to talk to God sometimes while running. While woven into my free time, I only actually run 3 or 4 days a week. I am a Family Practice physician, which daily gives me opportunities to serve others. It also daily reinforces my belief in the advantages of following the health code practiced in my church. I was born in Connecticut, raised in Montana and Oregon. I went to medical school in St. Louis and residency in Washington. I served 4 years active duty in the Air Force in Idaho before settling not too far from family where it is beautiful but not too wet in Southern Oregon.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up participating in the church, but came to know personally of it's truth bit by bit through the spirit speaking peace and comfort to me in response to my prayers and scripture study. It did not hurt that the fruits of this religion--everything I have witnessed in my life and the lives of those participating in it--are that it leads to greater love and acceptance of Jesus Christ and his atonement, leads to joy and personal fulfillment, teaches kindness to fellow men, and teaches stewardship of ones time and resources.

How I live my faith

I try to remember Jesus and act accordingly. I do my best to support my wife and children. I work with the young men's group with scouting activities. I was able to go as an assistant scoutmaster with my son to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. I try to treat others as fellow sons and daughters of God.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Neil Olsen
It's pretty similar to several of my non-mormon running buddies, but I feel like I have guidance from the One who created us, rather than learned the hard way. I know from a prophet that tobacco and alcohol are harmful and that coffee and tea can mess with your system. A day of rest is good for you physically and spiritually. Fidelity in marriage makes life less complicated and more fullfilling. Spending time in prayer, scripture study, and fellowship with other believers gives a sense of purpose and balance to existance. I spend more time doing things with my family and the congregation, and not much time watching TV. Show more Show less