If you are a CrossFitter, know a CrossFitter, have been around CrossFit in any way, shape, or form, you’ve heard of Memorial Day Murph. Because yes, if you CrossFit, the first rule of CrossFit is to talk about CrossFit. I mean, have you met us?
CrossFit gyms around the world use Memorial Day weekend to complete the Hero workout Murph. It’s even been done twice in the CrossFit games. Once straight through, as written above. So you’d run a mile, do 100 pull-ups, then 200 push-ups, then 300 air squats, then run a mile. The second time it was broken up into 5 rounds of 20 pull-ups, 40 push-ups, 60 air squats, with the mile before and after.
It’s a longer, tougher workout than we normally do in our gyms. It’s one that not only requires physical strength, but a ton of mental strength, as well. I know I’ve fought my way through a few.
As we headed into Memorial Day weekend and knowing we were doing Murph on Monday, it got me thinking about the past several years of Murph for me. How they’ve been, the circumstances under which I’ve done them (or haven’t), and how they’ve helped me through some of the toughest times of my life.
If memory serves, I’ve done Murph every year since I started CrossFit, beginning in 2014. My goal was to improve each year, which I did every year through 2018. And now, looking back, 2018 was the last year I was able to do it Rx, without anything going on with me in the way of pregnancy or miscarriage or postpartum.
In 2019, I fought my way through Murph while going through a miscarriage. The week before, we had found out our baby’s heartbeat had slowed way down and it wasn’t looking like he/she would survive. I went into the weekend full of hopes and prayers that it would turn out different. But when I started bleeding, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
So yes, I still did Murph that weekend. I moved slow and deliberate and it was one of my slowest times ever, but it helped me survive that weekend. Deep down, I knew we were losing the baby, and I fought back tears several times in the workout. But I kept moving, remembering why we were there, remembering and honoring Murph. And sure enough, we found out Tuesday our baby no longer had a heartbeat.
It was a difficult weekend, because I’m pretty sure the only person who knew was Nick. So other than the two of us, nobody knew what was going on. I just put on a happy face and kept moving forward.
Fast forward to 2020. This was the first year I had to skip Murph. I was recovering from birthing our angel baby Kynsleigh at 16 weeks. I hated missing it, but my body was in recovery, as was my heart. But I still went out and supported my husband as he worked through it, all on his own.
And in 2021, I was pregnant with our miracle baby Gabriel. I still completed Murph, but scaled everything but the air squats. I had been working out and prepping for Murph, so I wasn’t worried about the volume of work. I did a 300m sled drag, followed by 20 rounds of Cindy, 5 pull-ups using a barbell, 10 push-ups to a 30″ box, and 15 air squats, finishing with another sled drag.
This year, however, I haven’t been working on my volume yet. I’m back to doing pull-ups and most push-ups Rx, and the air squats are fine. But I haven’t run more than 800m since pre-pregnancy. And I’m not quite sure I can do 100 pull-ups or 200 push-ups, even broken up. And I’d like to be able to move the rest of the week. So I’ll most likely go into it with the mindset of doing half-Murph. And if I feel okay in the midst of it, continue on with the rounds.
But I know the purpose of the workout isn’t about who scaled it or who did it Rx, but it’s about coming together as a community and honoring Murph and so many others who gave their lives so we have the freedom to do what we want to do. I know that mentality has helped me tremendously over the last several years through numerous workouts, life-happenings, and our multiple miscarriages.
I’m thankful for what CrossFit has taught me. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and the community I’m surrounded with. The workouts and the people have helped me through some terrible times.
So if you hear someone talking about Murph and completing the workout, give them kudos. They’ve done something pretty impressive, scaled or otherwise.
And if you haven’t done it yet and want to take it on, CrossFit Chesapeake is doing it today, with heats at 730a, 830a, 930a, and 1030a. Come on out, honor and remember with us, and enjoy a cook-out after.
Have a beautiful week. And enjoy the first part of June.