‘Fit’ Army Reserve family runs together

| May 2, 2014 | 0 Comments
WAIKIKI — The Tugaoen ohana stand at the finish line of the third annual Hapalua Half Marathon, at Kapiolani Park, here, April 13.

WAIKIKI — The Tugaoen ohana stand at the finish line of the third annual Hapalua Half Marathon, at Kapiolani Park, here, April 13.


Story and photo by
Lt. Col. Mark Woommavovah
9th Mission Support Command

HONOLULU — The 9th Mission Support Command Fitness Club’s motto is “Fitness makes a difference.”

This statement rings true for not just Soldiers, but their families, as well.

Spc. Alyson (Aly) Tugaoen, an information technology specialist with the 9th MSC Headquarters and Headquarters Company, has been involved with the 9th MSC Fitness Club for the last three years. Along with her husband, retired Sgt. Maj. AJ Tugaoen, they focus their energy on their kids, Noelani and Kekoa.

Aly and AJ bring their fitness and health-minded lifestyle home to ensure their children grow up with the same values they learned by being in the Army Reserve.

“It was really my husband who steered me in the right direction when it concerns exercise, eating right and living an overall healthy lifestyle,” said Aly. “We are trying to instill that in our children, as well. We want to raise a well-rounded individual.”

Three to four times a week the Tugaoens run as a family.

“It has really brought us closer together,” says AJ, “because we are each other’s cheerleaders and unconditional support system.”

They win most of their races because they love to run and they love to win. The 9th MSC Fitness Club allows Noelani and Kekoa to showcase their running talents, and in the past three years, the kids have averaged a top three finish in each of their age categories, running an average of 10 road races per year.

April 13, Noelani and Kekoa ran their first half-marathon.

“The Hapalua Half was the perfect course for them because it is mostly flat with the added challenge of Diamond Head at the end,” said Aly. “Since it was their first, we decided to be conservative, and have them run together.”

“Having that shared experience really does prove remarkable in the end, when you hear them pump each other up about how well their sibling ran,” she said.

The kids fell into the same age category for this particular race, 14 and under. Surprisingly, Kekoa took 4th and Noelani took 1st.

“Running up against 14-year-olds can be tough,” said AJ. “It’s all about the discipline.”

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates,” said Aly. “There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards or sideways.”

The Tugaoens also emphasize to their children the importance of education and having a spiritually healthy lifestyle.

“They are successful in school because we spend the time coaching them academically,” said Aly. “We go to church together to nurture our spiritual life. We surf because this is the best way to forget our daily problems, and it is a blast. We volunteer our free time to connect with others and to reach out to the community, and the kids participate in team and individual sports to develop their competitive spirit.”

Discipline is what helped propel Aly to the title of Distinguished Honor Graduate as a representative of the 9th MSC at the Warrior Leader Course, held at Bellows Regional Training Institute in Waimanalo, April 12. This ceremony was one day before the half-marathon.

“Everything you need to know is in the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer,” said Aly. “Being married to a retired sergeant major, I see firsthand the impact a well-respected Soldier can make in the lives of others. I want to live up to that in every way.”

They live by the Tugaoen creed: I am a leader. I’m a doer. I never quit. I am honest. I always do my best.

(Editor’s note: Staff Sgt. Joseph Vine, 9th MSC Public Affairs, assisted in the writing of this story. Woommavovah is the 9th MSC G33 chief of Operations.)

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Fitness

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