Military Daughter of Low VA Rates Employee Ran the Red Bull 400!
One of our highly-valued and outstanding employees, Cheryl Kroll, has an 18-year old daughter named Alyssa who has joined the Army National Guard and is planning on entering the ROTC program in college and graduating as an officer in the Army. Alyssa also recently ran the first Red Bull 400 held in the United States!
The Red Bull 400 is a special event in which the runners start at the bottom of an Olympic ski jump and run up the 400 meters to the top. The first RB400 in the US was held at Olympic Park in Utah, and Alyssa was the youngest female to run the race. The RB400 is so steep that race organizers are required to lay a cargo net across the entire length of the jump in order to give the runners enough traction to go upwards and something to grab onto if they slip. While 400 meters may seem like a short run, the difficulty of running up a nearly-sheer mountain face is extremely high. The men’s world record for the RB400 was set at this past races, and is 3 minutes 58 seconds, slower than the world record for running an entire mile (roughly 4 times the distance) on level ground. Suffice it to say, the RB400 is not for the faint of heart.
And faint of heart Alyssa is not. At 14 years old, she became the youngest person to do the first Spartan Beast race held in Soldier Hollow. She describes herself as always looking for a challenge. She strives to push herself to limits beyond what she or anyone else thinks are possible for her. Having already maxed out the female standards for the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), she has now set her eyes on the male standards even though she is not required to do so? Why? Because she likes a good challenge. Alyssa is loving her time in the Guard and is looking forward to joining the Army after graduating from college and the ROTC. Alyssa says she’s grateful for her experience so far in the Guard because she’s learned so much about herself and life already, and can’t wait to learn more.
When asked what advice she would give to other young women thinking of joining the military, Alyssa had a lot to say, but what stood out the most was the following: “Being in the army has made me a lot more confident in myself and I love it. But if you’re going to do it, do it right…be the best soldier they have ever seen, female or not. It’ll be intimidating at times to be going against males twice your size and having to perform tasks you never thought you were capable of, but if you take the time to prepare yourself physically and mentally you’ll be able to tackle any challenge head-on and it’ll feel amazing.”
Being in the military is, of course, only part of Alyssa’s life. She is a dyed-in-the-wool country girl and boasts having seen over 60 country artists perform on stage. She loves country dancing and even competes in small dancing competitions. She considers the gym her second home, and is planning on going into exercise science and nutrition in college, and is considering eventually working towards a Ph.D. in Kinesiology.
We’d like to congratulate Alyssa and Cheryl and say how proud we are to be associated with you. We wish you the best of luck as you continue your adventures, and hope you’ll keep us posted with upcoming events.