Today, the box was supposed to be closed. Nothing. No people there. Coach Jason said he would be available and open the box from 7 AM to 8.30 AM if anyone wanted to work out. The WOD of choice was Murph. About 25 to 30 people showed up. It was amazing. Thanks, Coach Jason for doing this. He did say he wasn’t sure if anyone would even show up and was astounded by the number of participants. He is the first hero of the day.

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

Murph is a hero WOD because Murph was a hero. Here is what CrossFit has to say about this young man’s dedication.

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.

Murph may have been a hero, but I am not. I’m twice his age, plus a bit more and while this is supposed to be tough and way to honor the commitment of this young warrior, it is not supposed to kill the old athlete. I asked Craig about scaling.

Today’s WOD as written by Craig for his old mother:
This is my favorite Hero WOD for many reasons!
Here is what I suggest:
For time:
800m run/walk
50 ring rows
70 pushups, box or abmats okay
150 squats
800m run/walk

*Break up the ring rows, pushups and squats anyway you wish

Example:
Go for your 800m run. Come back.
10 rounds of:
5 ring rows
7 pushups
15 air squats
Go for your 800m run. Look at the clock and be proud to be able to live in America!

It’s supposed to be hard for sure. But it should CHALLENGE you, not DESTROY you.
Murph would never have wanted that. He gave his life so that his friends could LIVE.

I listened to my son even though I thought he was giving me too much of a break. I can do band assisted pull-ups and the ring rows were really easy. I remember when I couldn’t do them at all. There were no legs in this, I was on my heels and it was all arms pulling me up against gravity. I did real push-ups but not really real since they were wormy but it is the best I can do – so far. They aren’t nearly as wormy as they used to be. I will get there. Squats are squats are squats. There was a time when I couldn’t do them, either, but now I can. I can even do 150 of them. At least they didn’t have a med ball to a nine foot high mark included.

My runs were mostly walks. I started out “running” which is really a slow jog and I started beeping (about 200 meters in – okay, less than that but I ran 200 meters anyway) and then I walked the rest of the way. Then I began my sets and worked them with two moves and a rest, two moves and a rest meaning I did the ring rows and the push-ups, rested and then did the squats and the ring rows and rested and then would do the push-ups and the squats and just kept moving as much as possible. I walked the entire last half mile and never once stopped beeping. I hit the door at 39.32.

I felt a little guilty. It wasn’t really even half a Murph and I felt like there was more I could manage. I could get those other 30 push-ups Craig eliminated for his old mother. So I did those when I got back (this is what happens when you walk instead of run – you have enough air to actually think of something other than simple survival) and I finished that at 41.09.

One athlete was wearing the 20# vest. Everyone there was dripping wet even though it was a beautiful morning with the temperature in the high 60s or low 70s and little humidity and both fans on. We were all just working really, really hard – which is the point.

Jeremiah finished a full Murph in 32 minutes even. He is 18 years old. Ricky did a full Murph with a sub 40 minute time, but I don’t remember what. Ricky mentioned he was twice Jeremiah’s age. I’m about 3.5 times his age.

Jeremiah is amazing, simply awesome to watch. But really, if you can’t be awesome as an 18 year old male, when can you be? Ricky was amazing and awesome, too. He was determined. Jeremiah broke the moves into sets; Ricky did them straight through.

Something caught in my head this morning. Everyone there was amazing. Here were many athletes of varying degrees of ability and all working extremely hard on a holiday when it was assumed no one would even show up at all. Since I was in the first wave to start and only did a half, I was done early and got to watch others pushing through. It was inspiring.

I got home and Dick was out golfing (I didn’t know he was going but how nice he gets to have fun, too). So I had quiet time to reflect.

Jeremiah was awesome; I was awesome. I’m not the fastest or the strongest or the best at anything. But I keep coming back and by teeny, tiny increments that are indiscernible from day to day, I’m improving. I’m doing things I couldn’t have imagined when I walked through those doors less than two years ago. Then I couldn’t do squat, literally. I wouldn’t have been able to do this, even a half Murph. I might have been able to finish a quarter Murph with really crappy using legs ring rows, push-ups from my knees, and squats not breaking parallel. But I’m not sure I could have even managed that.

While it is inspiring and amazing to watch the young men (and women) who come in and nail this stuff, it is pretty damn amazing that I’m there with them, struggling and yet not quitting. I hate to be the loser and I’m the loser every time if I choose to compare myself to kids who are younger than some of my socks. But if, instead, I compare myself to who I used to be, I’ve won big time. I’ve faced the challenge and carried on. I wish I could tell Murph how inspiring he was and I would hope that he could see that I’m no slouch, either.

Happy Memorial Day – thank a veteran for the freedom to live free.

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