A few of us in the office were discussing plans for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I mentioned that I was doing this thing on Monday called Memorial Day Murph (those of you who CrossFit know what I’m talking about). I tried to describe the workout, and I couldn’t remember the movements and rep scheme, so I looked it up. In doing so, I came across this article that talks about “surviving” Memorial Day Murph.
First, I want to talk a little about the article. Doing Murph as prescribed (“Rx’ed,” in CrossFit parlance) is not for the faint of heart (literally — it’s a pretty intense cardio workout). I generally make it a point to make sure I’m hydrated (I do this, anyway) and to make sure that I’ve had something to eat before I attack it. I also make sure that I scale. I am not in the class of Mat Fraser, and likely never will be. (When I was a kid, I had a dream of playing for the Yankees, too. You probably can tell where that went. But I digress.) I have yet to run a full mile; I have enough trouble running a fraction of that. I don’t remember how I scaled it last year; I might have done something like an 800m run (admittedly, I usually end up walking a good chunk of it), ring-rows instead of pull-ups (I still can’t do a pull-up to save my life — I’m working on it), and a reduced number of push-ups and squats. Nevertheless, even scaled down, it still makes for a pretty serious workout. But I will say that if a longtime self-admitted couch potato like me can do it, so can you.
I also want to talk about the spirit of “Murph.” Murph is what CrossFitters refer to as a “hero WOD” — that is, a WOD (Workout Of the Day) that is named for and to honor a hero — in this case, Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. (Memorial Day Murph was even made into a fundraiser.) Hero WODs tend to be intense — moreso than the typical CrossFit WOD. Every Memorial Day, CrossFitters around the country do Murph in the spirit and honor of this fine man who died for his country. It is a way for CrossFit athletes to honor this hero, but it’s also a reminder as to what Memorial Day is about.
And, of course, Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer, and is usually accompanied by barbecue, burgers, hot dogs, and beer. My CrossFit gym is no different; Memorial Day Murph is followed by a cookout, along with plenty of camaraderie. Our gym members are a close-knit group, and I’m sure other CrossFit gyms are similar.
So, I’ll be spending my upcoming Memorial Day holiday hanging out with a bunch of CrossFit athletes while trying not to exhaust myself from a regimen of running, pull-ups (likely ring-rows for me), push-ups, and squats. And a good time will be had by all.