Memorial Day Murph

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” ― Mark Twain

There’s an annual workout in the Crossfit world called the Memorial Day Murph. It is named in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. In boxes around the US, athletes gather and perform this WOD in honor of Lt. Murphy and those who serve. It’s not an easy workout. It’s a beast. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, you’re encouraged to wear it.  And people do.

All day yesterday and even this morning, leading right up to the actual workout, I was, well, scared. Full of anxiety as I drove into the parking lot. How am I going to do this?

And then I thought about what a soldier might feel; When leaving his family behind, his first steps into battle. The incredible fear he must find the courage to swallow. The absolute unknown of what lies ahead and the total and utter certainty of it. Whatever it may be. It was almost too much to imagine.

Would I ever possess such courage? Here I sit afraid to do some squats and run for an hour? By comparison, its ridiculous really. But fear is a very personal thing. And it comes in all shapes. Whether physically standing in front of you, or creeping through your thoughts when least expected. It’s there. And it can take hold of you.

This morning the sun was shining brightly in upstate NY. And as I watched the parking lot begin to fill, and other athletes get out of their cars and walk towards the gym, I knew I could too.

WOD:

I. “Murph”

For time:

1 mile Run

100 Pull-ups

200 Push-ups

300 Squats

1 mile Run

Completed: In 61:52.

I’ve been talking about Crossfit to friends and family for some time now. In fact if you ask them they might actually tell you I won’t stop talking about it. My brother brought his daughter today and very graciously watched and cheered. He called me later in the day to talk about it and see how I was feeling. ‘I’m really sore,’ I said. And I am. Really sore. But never before CF have I thought I would be capable of such things as were done today. I used to have a tendency to quit. To lag in the middle of large endeavors, and then just let it all fall a part. But somehow not any more. No matter how fearful or full of doubt I become. Over the last seven months I’ve learned that I’m quite capable, actually.

For me it just comes down to putting one foot in front of the other, and then across the triple wide, and then through door.

What we face is never, ever, bigger than what we are capable of doing.

No matter what might be creeping through your head; show it the door and get right back to the work at hand in front of you.

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