We regularly talk about RIC’s DATATRACK™ platform. DATATRACK™ is RIC’s secure, web-based software application that provides the tools and functionality to mitigate risk and administer life insurance trusts, value closely held business interests and manage will files. However today I want to talk about one of our programmers responsible for writing DATATRACK™ code, Carl Samuelson. Carl likes to describe his code as “lean and mean”, meaning, as in a map, the most direct route from A to B, no detours, no drive arounds, no unnecessary stops.
Those who know Carl would describe him as “lean and mean”, but he wasn’t always that way. As a kid, he was pretty wiry, and then he slowly started putting on weight. By fifth grade he knew he was significantly overweight. In the year 2000 he graduated from Wayne State College, in Wayne, Nebraska with a degree in computer information systems (CIS). Sitting in front of a keyboard all day he knew that his sedentary lifestyle was not healthy. Lunches would consist of not one, but three grilled cheese sandwiches. By age 25, he was approaching 300 pounds. At age 30 he couldn’t get on amusement rides with his wife, due to his size. After his wife delivered their second child, he knew that without a serious change in lifestyle, he would not be around long to enjoy his young, growing family.
Fast forward to 2008, at the age of 31 and now weighing over 300 pounds, he bought an exercise video. He quickly became bored and looked for some other avenue to help him shed some weight. First he began running on a treadmill, with the single goal of running one mile non-stop. Once he ran that first mile, why not run two miles and why not two miles in less than thirty minutes? He continually challenged himself with new goals. As he pushed himself to achieve these goals, his weight dropped. Soon he was running greater distances and shortly he reached another goal, he had lost more than 100 pounds.
Carl grew into a better runner, his weight dropped to 170 pounds. He was now an athlete, who acquired many running buddies and began competing in organized 10k runs, half marathons and full marathons. At the age of 36, he decided to run 36 miles on his birthday; he did it that year, and again at age 37, and again at 38. This year, at age 40, his birthday gift to himself was a 40 mile run, starting at 2:00 am in the morning; Carl literally covered half of Omaha and was done by 10:30 am.
Carl joined RIC in 2014. Many times during the day his desk sits empty, as he goes on one of his short 6 mile running workouts. Fortunately there is a nearby gym where he belongs, only to use the locker room and shower. He drinks gallons of water, coffee and a diet of healthy and nourishing foods throughout the day. He is regularly sending out announcements to our employees informing us of upcoming charitable runs and urging participation. Carl is a role model to all RIC employees.
Carl always says, if he can do it, anybody can. I’m not sure of that, but I do know that RIC is a better company because Carl works here and all of us here admire this man who gives everyone hope for a better life because of his example. I did ask Carl what he plans to do for his 65th birthday. Thinking for a second he then responded, “I think I would be happy and satisfied running 6.5 miles.”
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