Each week, we are shining a light on different people within the Tough Mudder community and the ways they areworking to help others during these unprecedented times.
This week, we are sharing the story of Conrad (C.J.) Alejo, and the work he does through Navy Federal Credit Union. In true Tough Mudder spirit, CJ, kicks ass both on and off the course.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH TOUGH MUDDER?
My first experience came 7 years ago when my cousin asked if I wanted to run with his team at the Temecula SoCal 2013 Tough Mudder event. I was excited and nervous but up for the opportunity to challenge my mental and physical capacity. We did the Classic 10 miler—I had never done any obstacle course races, ever. Training and ultimately finishing that first run ended up being one of the most thrilling and humbling experiences of my life. Fast forward to 2019 when my employer, Navy Federal Credit Union, presented me with another fun Mudder opportunity. I didn’t hesitate to sign up!
I came back to another Mudder after 6 years for more than just an excuse to train, push myself and inspire others. The Tough Mudder community and friends I have made through the event, the spirit and camaraderie, helping and being helped by others on course, and the opportunity to represent Navy Federal is what really got me back.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU AND YOUR WORK?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded of my Mudder experiences and the camaraderie and spirit of the race. I am a branch manager for Navy Federal Credit Union, and my specific job falls under the essential financial sector umbrella. Everyday, our team works on the frontlines to take care of our members, who are the heroes that proudly serve our country. Many of our members are faced with hardships like reduced incomes, job loss or a failing business. We see this as an opportunity where we get to be their HERO for a change. We help them navigate tough financial situations, while ensuring their safety and delivering the best member experience possible.
Our team members are creatively finding solutions to serve our 9 million members, whether it’s through the use of Zoom video conferencing for financial education seminars, instituting a new, unprecedented curbside service at our branches, or supporting our business partners across the world through teleworking. Despite the extreme limitations and stress caused by the pandemic, my team continues to deliver exceptional service with admirable levels of community, enthusiasm and dedication.
Running a Tough Mudder course is no different. There are obstacles you encounter that just seem impossible to fathom. But with every difficulty lies opportunity. You test your teamwork, resiliency, positivity and leadership—and having that mentality will get you through anything together, as a community.
If you’ve been inspired by this story, then remember to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything Mudder Nation is doing. Ready to take on CJ’s favorite obstacle? You can book Flex Tickets now and decide which event you run in 2020 or 2021 right up until the day before.
Since 1933, Navy Federal has grown from seven members to over eight million members. And, since that time, their mission has remained the same: to serve and enrich the lives of those in the military community