SGPT Interviews SEALFIT 20X Challenge Finisher Mark Clingen

To overcome any great obstacle you must train the mind as well as the body. Mark tells us that “The one thing that got me through was repeated my positive mantra of “I love myself, I believe in myself, and I constantly reaffirm my ability to succeed.” Powerful stuff.

Check out this SGPT interview with SEALFIT 20X finisher Mark Clingen and get the inside track on what it took to finish the drill.

SGPT: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from and where do you train?

MC: Morning Brad. I’m Mark Clingen and I am from Toronto, Canada. About a month or two ago I retired and moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

MC: I did not have much of an athletic background growing up. My parents were devoted born again Christians and refused to allow me to play organized sports. I spent a lot of time outdoors, however, and enjoyed a lot of time on my bike and at the playground.

SGPT: How did you train for the SEALFIT 20X event?

MC: I had a baseline of my job doing physical labour in construction. I also attended Orange Theory Fitness twice a week, and walked around 15,000 steps a day. Once I moved to Saskatoon I realized I needed to turn up the dial on my training, so I reached out to SEALgrinderPT (SGPT) and Coach Brad. He responded immediately by providing coaching through the Underground Bunker Facebook page and through direct virtual coaching.

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?

MC: The SEALFIT 20x event was hosted at a Vancouver Canada Armory, and was connected to a children’s charity for Little Warriors. This organization works to provide help to children who have been sexually and physically abused.

Some of the event took place inside the Armory gymnasium, or just outside on the parking lot grinder. The rest of the event was at a nearby beach on the Pacific Ocean.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

MC: The hardest part of the event was the first evolution which took place the night before as I lay awake in bed for several hours trying to fall asleep.

The next hardest evolution was during the breakout as I struggled to keep pace with the rapid pace push ups and holding feet 6″ off the grinder for extended periods prior to starting flutter kicks.

SGPT: What kind of boots did you use for the event?

MC: I used Oakley Assault boots and they were great. They dry quick in 15 minutes. I like their lightness. A woman in the Cdn Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan recommended them to me.

SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?

MC: I wore double socks which included a thin liner pair and then a slightly heavier wool outer sock. I slathered Bag Balm over feet and crotch. However, I neglected to coat my knees. During excessive squatting the wet BDU cotton pants tend to be abrasive on the knees. Beach sand inside pants on legs accelerates chafing.

SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?

MC: I trained with a cheap Rothco pack, and loaded 15lbs of metal inside coupled with my 20 pound weight vest. We did not use backpacks for the event, but simply carried our 1/3rd full sandbags in various positions such as chest carry, directly overhead, or on alternate shoulders.

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for 20X event?

MC: I regret not starting training with SGPT and a direct coach earlier as I was underprepared for the event. I managed only 40 push ups for the PST (physical screening test), and 50 was the passing standard the coaches used.

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do SEALFIT 20X?

MC: The one tip I would suggest is to train the mind as well as the body when preparing for this test. The one thing that got me through was repeated my positive mantra of “I love myself, I believe in myself, and I constantly reaffirm my ability to succeed.”

SGPT: What book /podcast are you reading now?

MC: I’m currently reading “Becoming Bulletproof” by former Secret Service agent Evy Poumpouras.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Mark. We look forward to watching your continued journey.

MC: Thanks.

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Are you interested in training for an endurance event like SEALFIT 20X, GORUCK or a Spartan Race? Do you want to increase your human potential so that you can move faster to your goals?

Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?

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