Memorial Day 2014

Today is Memorial Day.


A day to observe and remember those who have lost their lives serving our country and protecting our freedoms that we hold dear.


We also honor and remember their families and loved ones


Many CrossFitters around the nation observe this holiday by performing a particularly challenging workout in memory of Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in June 2005 in Afghanistan.  


If you want to know more about Lt. Murphy, I would recommend you check out his Wikipedia page here.

The WOD first appeared on the CrossFit main site in August 2005. And it goes something like this:


For time: 
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.


There were about 60 athletes at CrossFit 314 today. We all wanted to complete the WOD – so there were a few logistics to figure out. I ended up sharing the rig with my friend Nikki (who is incredibly strong and fast). We broke our rep scheme like this:

For 1-10 Rounds 
5 Pull-ups

25 Squats
5 Push-ups

For 11-20 Rounds 
5 Pull-ups

5 Squats
5 Push-ups

This scheme helped to keep your legs “fresh” for the 1 mile run at the end. I don’t know that anything would have helped my legs for that final mile, but it sounded like a good idea.

I used the red band for all my pull ups (fearing I would burn out if i didn’t). And majority of my push ups focused on the negative (strict down and worm up). The pull ups were not bad at all…and push ups were definitely manageable – especially with the squats in between.


The squats on the other hand were tremendously difficult for me. My right leg would dominate and started locking up on me. While my left leg’s quad is still weak and couldn’t keep up very well. Those first 10 rounds of 25 squats felt like they would never end. But the last 10 rounds (5 squats each) seemed to fly by.

Going into the workout, I was most concerned about the runs. This was the first time I had attempted to run more than 800m at one time.

Running the first mile in 9:02… I was pretty stoked! But running/jogging/walking (damned near crawling) the last mile in 17:30…. I was pretty disappointed. But there was no freaking way I was going to quit. As my leg wobbled on me, alternating jog/walk (either 50m or 100m), getting lapped by a few people… who always shouted words of encouragement… I thought about saying I couldn’t run and finishing up with a row. Then I thought about Lt. Murphy…his sacrifice… and countless other men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I know that in their last hours they fought through pain and fear. And while I know the scale is nothing comparable… I have proven to myself that I can do more, and be stronger, than I previously thought I could.

That’s what this life is all about. We need to make ourselves better. For ourselves. For each other. We need to fight through pain and suffering to lift up another. We need to silence the internal demons that tell us to lay down and take it easy and see our commitments through to the end.

Overall, this workout took me 61:02. I had hoped to be under an hour…but it wasn’t in the cards today. But now I know I have a time to beat for next year!


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