Rock vs. Gazelle in Thanksgiving Day ‘Murph’ Crossfit Games
Let me begin by saying that it's been four days since I worked out and I still can't walk normally.
On Thanksgiving, I accomplished something I never in a thousand years thought I could complete, never mind simply attempting it.
Shape.com gives the simplest explanation on what in fact "Murph" actually is:
"The CrossFit Murph workout itself consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run, all done consecutively. The most challenging part of the Murph WOD is the sheer volume and length of the workout, so, a little strategizing is required to make it through the whole thing."
The workout itself was created in honor of Lt. Michael "Murph" Murphy, who passed away as a U.S. Navy Seal giving his all when serving in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the military's highest decoration.
In other words, a true American hero and badass.
Each year, CrossFit gyms across the country pay their respects to Murphy by hosting a free Murph clinic, and this year I joined the team over at CrossFit Dartmouth on Connecticut Avenue.
This was my very first time doing anything CrossFit style, or at least timed.
With a little help from my friend Jill who is an avid and daily CrossFitter, sometimes completing more than one class per day, I was able to power through this strenuous workout that was so difficult, I personally had doubts of completion.
I was tired, drenched in sweat, looking over at an also tired and sweaty Michael Rock. We both were not loving Murph at that very moment.
"The push-ups are the toughest part," Rock told me before the clock began timing us.
"No way," I replied. "Those air-squats will be the death of me."
I couldn't have been any more right.
We had split up the workout into a strategical fashion of 20 rounds: five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats, with a mile run before and afterward.
Prior to the early-morning 8 a.m. workout, I had just finished a 30-mile (marathon) trek down in D.C. in honor of the 500-mile Mission 22 awareness run that began in Cape Cod and finished in Virginia.
"How tough can Murph be?" I told myself, comparing the workout to the 30 miles.
Honestly, Murph was 30 times more difficult than the long run I had previously participated in and it took way less time to complete.
As my legs were absolute garbage on that final mile run to finish the workout, I came in strong at 1:02:59. Rock joined me only a few minutes afterward around the 1:09:00 mark.
However, although I completed Murph before him, he also did his 100 pull-ups without any assistance, where I had to use a rubber band to help alleviate some of my weight as I was not strong enough to pull my chin above the bar.
Topping off the workout, Jill and I finished with 22 more push-ups to honor the men and women who gave their all and then called it a day.
In the end, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you finish or how you finished, it was about teamwork and comradery more than anything. That was the true purpose behind the workout.
That's what mattered most and it was an awesome (and painful) experience to get to share that with my friends and my boss on a day of thanks, family, and friendship.