May 29, 2018
The “Murph” workout has become a staple of the Memorial Day holiday weekend for supporters of our Military and fitness buffs alike. It’s the perfect workout. It’s tough, gut wrenching, seems like it will never end, and leaves you completely drained when it’s finally done. It takes guts, endurance, commitment, and fortitude to get through, and embodies everything its namesake, Lieutenant Michael Murphy, lived and represented. Which is probably why it was one of his favorite workouts.
As with many things on Memorial Day, it’s easy to get lost in the symbology and forget about the reality, and the reality is that Memorial Day was created to remember those people who died in the course of their Military service to this country. In recent years, Mike Murphy has had a dramatic, life changing, impact on my life. It wasn’t just what he was as a Sailor or a SEAL, not the awards and the accolades, and definitely not the Hollywood fanfare. It was Mike Murphy, the person.
It was Mike Murphy, the kid who got in trouble for fighting at school, but only because he was protecting a kid who was getting picked on by a bully. It was Mike Murphy, the person who valued his family and friends with an undeniable reverence and fierce loyalty. It was Mike Murphy, the man who, despite doing some of the most amazing work the Military has to offer, spent more time asking other people how THEY were doing, as opposed to telling them what he was doing. It was all of these things that make the Murph WOD mean so much more to me than just a patriotic workout, it’s about honoring and giving life to a legacy that resonates with me.
How is it that some people can do the same things, accomplish the same things, hold the same positions or titles, but only a select few are remembered and revered by history? Maybe it’s the way they made people feel, maybe it’s how they stood to someone’s guard, placed the wellbeing of others over that of their own. Maybe it becomes less about what they accomplished, and more about how they lived, the type of people they were, and the impact they had on the lives of others, which is what Memorial Day truly all about at its essence, remembering the people behind the uniforms.
A few things with this: 1.) Don’t forget the reason the Murph WOD exists, to remember the man and the principles he represented. 2.) Your accomplishments don’t make you, you make your accomplishments, so live your life with a set of core values that transcend your accomplishments, and make them worth having to begin with. 3.) Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with the purpose of appreciating the freedoms we have based upon the sacrifices of others, take a moment to reflect on those people, bust your ass on the Murph WOD, and pay respect to those brave souls by taking advantage of the freedoms their sacrifices have afforded you by creating the next story which will transcend time and positively influence others for years to come. -CPT Ryan