Two weeks ago, as many of us enjoyed a barbecue or fished away off the family dock, a group of hearty St. Michael-Albertville area athletes pushed themselves to their physical limit with a morning workout in honor of a fallen United States hero.
It is grueling, intense, and as physically demanding as any workout ever made, and it’s done in honor of New York native and Navy SEAL Michael Murphy, 29, who died in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
“Murph” was given the Medal of Honor, posthumously, by President Geroge W. Bush.
CrossFit adapted the workout, which was one of Murphy’s own training regimens, to honor those who protect and serve.
“They do this, and more, every day,” said CrossFit STMA co-owner Jaqueline Jensen. “They’re out there doing two-mile runs with 30 pounds of gear on their back. And they’re on the line every day and every night. This is just a way for us to remember them, on a day like Memorial Day, and what they’ve done for our country.”
Teams could split the workout, so they didn’t have to complete a full “Murph.” Pairs would split the runs, for example, then each break out half the number of squats, pushups and pullups.
“Through all of it they were cheering each other on, pushing each other as hard as they could,” Jensen said. “It was great to see. I think what’s unique about an event like this and a workout like CrossFit is you really depend on one another. It builds a community. And we’ve built a great CrossFit here because we just have some great people involved.”
Jensen said 46 athletes participated in STMA’s first-ever “Memorial Day Murph,” and that about 100 more came to cheer on the group and attend a session-ending barbecue and celebration.
The group raised $1,800 and has decided, collectively, to donate that money to a local veteran or veteran’s family in need.
“We’re working closely with the St. Michael American Legion to determine where that money can and will go,” Jensen said. “Ultimately it’s kind of hard because the services do a good job of protecting people’s identity. They’re not just going to let you go into a hospital or VA and find someone. So we’re working to track down someone through a Wounded Warrior project or organization like that.”