For those of us in the CrossFit community, Memorial Day is extra meaningful. Not only do we take pause to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, but we celebrate their memory by pushing ourselves beyond our normal workout with the annual “Murph” WOD, in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
Last year was my first Murph, and I scaled it by rowing instead of running, and splitting the middle with The Girl. It really didn’t seem so difficult, so I knew I had to step it up this year. In January, when we wrote our goals for 2020 on the whiteboard at the back of the gym, one of my goals was to run Murph. At the time, I was envisioning my Kilter family members running with me on that last, brutal mile. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic mucked that up. Still, I was determined to do it on my own as if I were in the gym.
I partitioned and scaled the middle by doing 20 rounds of 5 ring rows, 10 pushups (on my knees), and 15 air squats (A.K.A. the “Cindy” benchmark WOD). And yes, I ran BOTH miles without stopping. Ok, maybe some of my running resembled a slow-motion lope, but I did it! And I definitely had some thoughts throughout.
The first mile wasn’t bad at all, other than the sun stinging my vampire skin. In fact, I did it in under 20 minutes (a PR). 10 rounds into the middle I got a cramp in my side. Then, about 15 rounds in, I started thinking Pukie might make an appearance. Thankfully, I warded him off. And as I huffed and puffed my way thorough that last mile, I muttered to myself… little, breathy reminders of why I was doing this: not just honoring those lost, but celebrating my own life, health, and abilities.
Oh, for those wondering, my time was 1:20:27. That’s about a half hour longer than the partner Murph done with The Girl last year, but about 10 minutes faster than I thought I’d get, and I’m great with that.
Now, excuse me while I go eat some bacon.