CrossFit is a community.
On the outside its easy to make fun of and joke about the “cultish” aspects, but on the inside it is a completely welcoming community that is determined to support each other. The honest truth is that CrossFit is more than just lifting weights and protein shakes, and this Memorial Day, CrossFit’s positive impact once again was revealed to me.
In my six months of going to CrossFit Dillworth, I have repeatedly heard of the infamous workout named “Murph” that is done on Memorial Day to honor soldiers who have given their lives for our country.
This past Monday, I actually experienced the workout and was blown away with the significance.
The workout was created by Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who gave his life in Afghanistan, and later was depicted in the book and subsequent movie Lone Survivor. If you have read the book or watched the movie, you can appreciate the man he was, but if you read further you understand that he represents all we ask out of our fighting men and women: toughness, determination, and just as importantly, compassion.
This was all explained to us by one of our coaches, Chris Slaughter, who served six and a half years in the Army. He opened up the class by talking about the person Michael Murphy was and the significance of honoring soldiers who have given their lives for the country. Slaughter’s words not only prepared us for what was ahead, but gave a perspective to what the workout and Memorial Day were really about.
“I think it is important on hero WOD days as a coach and a veteran to remind the public what we are doing here in honoring the fallen,” said Slaughter.
After our briefing we started getting ourselves ready, and before long the clock hit zero signaling that it was time to begin.* Wanting to share the experience, I actually tried to take notes throughout the workout in order to fully capture my experience.
0:00 – running isn’t that bad – I should do well in this
0:45 – running is the worst – why is everyone faster than me?
8:00 – oh hey, I just jogged an 8 minute mile…this can’t be that bad
9:42 – first round through – WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO? I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS.
13:50 – got through the first 5 rounds – failed my first pushup. Time for plan B.
16:08 – my mouth is a desert – I need water. Also Plan B isn’t working…back to Plan A.
21:18 – Oh hey, I’m halfway done…wait, I’m only halfway done?
23:30 – SECOND WIND!!!!!!!!!
28:42 – I literally have not thought of anything in 5 minutes…also I’m 3/4 of the way through
29:38 – My friend in front of me just left for his mile run. He is the worst person I know.
33:10 – FAKSHFJKASHFKJASGFJHGFAKJHSFKJHA
34:21 – Last set…what are arms? I can’t feel them.
35:24 – Time for a mile run.
***I immediately run the wrong direction and inadvertently take a shortcut. At this moment I come to the realization that yes, I am suffering, but this is nothing compared to what Murph went through on that mountain. Turn around and correct mistake.
40:05 – 800 meters in I begin to feel better and pick up the pace.
44:50 – FINISHED. Sit on the ground and watch others continue to work. Realize how amazing it is that 30 people are going through a hell of a workout in order to pay respect to those who have fallen. Sinks in that this is the smallest possible thing we could have done for our soldiers.
While Murph is just a workout and CrossFit Dillworth is just a gym, today they were both much more significant. They allowed a group of people to show their appreciation through pull-ups, pushups, squats, and 2 miles of running. In closing, I think the only thing left to say is “thank you” to all those who have given their lives for our country.
*An important note about this workout is that it can be done numerous ways including wearing a weight vest and going straight through 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats, but since I am new to CrossFit, I broke it into 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, 15 squats with no weight vest.