October 9, 2016 –
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (October 8, 2016) – Soldier’s have a reputation for being physically fit and pushing past the limits when the call of duty arises. It even states, “I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough,” in the Soldier’s Creed. Whether on or off duty, these attributes stay true to the service member.
The Army Reserve is a sponsor for the Southern California Tough Mudder, which is a challenging course over ten miles with 22 different obstacles. This event attracts a wide range of participants, especially to veterans.
Staff Sgt. Clifford Fraipont, a heavy equipment operator from the 947th Engineer Company, continues to live the phrase, “physically and mentally tough” even when not wearing the uniform.
Fraipont, a Colorado National Guard Soldier, traveled to Southern California to participate in his 26th Tough Mudder. He is training for the World’s Toughest Mudder by participating in regional Tough Mudder events such as this one.
Tough Mudder is not a timed event, and focuses on teamwork.
“Many obstacles cannot be completed by a single person, and you have to rely on your team to accomplish the goal,” said Master Sgt. Shadonika Crawford, the non-commissioned officer in charge from the 650th Regional Support Group.
“I see the Army Reserve at Tough Mudders and all they do to support this event,” said Fraipont.
The Army Reserve’s presence at the starting point sets the right mindset for participants by showing Soldiers who would never give up physically or mentally,” said Rob O’Malley, host for the SoCal Tough Mudder.
Seeing Soldiers cheering at the starting point visually help many draw a connection between civilians and military. “Tough Mudder gives civilians a taste of what we do in the Army, like in basic training again,” said Fraipont.
“We all have challenges and fears in our lives, but doing this helps train you to mentally take on life’s obstacles and develop mental grit.”
Some of his friends call him crazy for doing Tough Mudder, but he takes that and turns it around into motivation to push even harder. “You never know how far you can go until you push yourself.”