May 28th, 2018 was the first time I completed the popular Crossfit Memorial day WOD called MURPH.
Murph is a workout in memory of a fallen soldier Lieutenant Michael Murphy, US NAVY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of his favorites. He named it “Body Armor,” which is why the prescribed workout can be completed with a weighted vest on.
1 mile Run
1 mile Run
Looking at that workout, right now, I can’t believe I completed it, but I did scale the volume. So instead of the 100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups, and 300 Squats, I did 75 pulls ups-150 Push-ups, 225 Squats. Completed both the mile runs, although, the mile to complete the workout, I don’t quite remember how my legs were moving to get around that block three times.
When I first arrived to my gym, I got there a little early just to see what the heats ahead of me were doing and I see athletes going from push-ups, to pull-ups, to squats and what a relief. I seriously thought I had to complete the 100 pull-ups first before I moved on to the push-ups. There are some athletes that do it that way, but so glad there were options.
Options where you were able to scale volume or movement. You were able to modified the movement, from pull-ups to ring rows, or push-ups to modified push ups as well as the run. If you chose to stick to the prescribed movements, you were able to scale the volume.
What is awesome about these high volume workouts, you get to break them up in sets. When you look at a workout like this, at least for me, I thought there is no way I can complete this. Too much of everything.
I had 20 rounds to aim for if I wanted to complete the prescribed reps but because this was my first go at MURPH….I split up my white board to 10 rounds, then another line under 15, then the last 5 rounds on the last line. My goal was 1/2 Murph.
My rep scheme that was also recommended by one of the coaches was 5 push-ups, 5 pull-ups, 5 push ups, 15 squats. Completing that in 10 rounds, would make it 1/2 Murph, 15 rounds would be 3/4 Murph and 20 rounds would be finishing all the reps for each movement.
Before we started, I knew I had a few pull ups but wasn’t so sure about completing so many. I asked the coach, if I didn’t see that the pull-ups were going well, if I could scale down to ring rows. Thank God, I could.
But…..I didn’t. 75 pull-ups later and ripped hands, I completed my first MURPH.
I was fatigued. I didn’t know how much longer my legs would go, squatting, my shoulders were burning during the push-ups and I didn’t know if my ripped callus would let me keep going.
At about round 6, my callus began to rip and I tried to change my grip to keep me from ripping them even more, but that didn’t help but I kept pushing. I wasn’t about to let this small obstacle, stop me from doing pull-ups. I would’ve switch to ring rows, but I felt that I worked hard to gain my strength back for pull-ups, so I was going to keep going.
Murph, for me, was more of a mental challenge. Going in I didn’t think I could pull it of. Didn’t think my body could handle it but once I got going, I just focused on one round at a time and once I got through that round, on to the next.
Sometimes we are so focused on the end product, that we forget the journey.
And the Journey for me during Murph was to not only challenge myself physically for the purpose of honoring a HERO who died fighting for his country, but to also enjoy what my body is capable of and to push myself past my mental barriers. I had to get out of my own way, by making a decision every rep to keep going and tell myself my body could do more.
That memorial day, I focused on what I was doing and my MURPH journey. Although, many people were gone and out of the gym and either done with their mile run or starting it, I decided to keep going 5 more rounds. I completed 15 rounds, and went on to finish the mile.
I did my best, listen to my body, pushed past my mental barriers (and ripped hands) and completed what I thought was impossible.