Why You Should Complete the Murph Challenge
By Dee Josey
If fitness is a part of your life, you have probably come across the traditional “Memorial Day Murph Challenge.” I have completed this workout every Memorial Day since 2012, and this is my (lacking a law degree) case on why you, too, should make it a point to complete the Murph Challenge.
The 1/148 Infantry Battalion was deployed to Faryab Province in 2012; I was attached to their support company during this time. On April 4, 2012, my unit lost three amazing men in Maimanah, Afghanistan. I complete the Murph to honor those men who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure my safe return home to the land of freedom and opportunity.
What is the Murph Challenge
The “Murph” is a grueling “hero” workout that tests your mental and physical strength. This particular workout was created to honor United States Navy SEAL officer, Lieutenant (Lt.) Michael P. “Murph” Murphy. Rumor has it this was his favorite workout to complete while he was on deployment.
The Murph looks like this:
1 Mile Run
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Air Squats
1 Mile Run
Traditionally, this workout is done unbroken in a weighted vest; however, there are many scaled versions. For instance, the run can be traded out for a 2000m row, the pullups for TRX rows, and the pushups can be inclined or from the knees. You can break the workout down any way you want. The most common way is to break it into 10 rounds of 10 pullups, 20 pushups, and 30 squats. Do it alone or split it among your friends.
The only wrong option is not doing it.
Who is Lt. Murph
Lt. Murphy was the first Navy soldier since the Vietnam War to be awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his selfless service and courageous actions in Afghanistan. He sacrificed his life to save his brothers’ during Operation Red Wing, a 2005 SEAL scouting mission gone wrong behind enemy lines in the Hindu Kush. A true leader, Lt. Murph led from the front, putting the lives of his soldiers above his own.
If you want to read the entire story of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, please visit the U.S. Navy's website.
Operation Red Wing was turned into a movie, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg.
60 Minutes interviewed Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor from Operation Red Wing. He talked about Lt. Murph’s heroism here.
Why Complete the Murph
Completing the Murph Challenge is a way to honor and show appreciation for everyone who gave their life to protect ours. The Murph will help you begin to understand the mental and physical sacrifices others make to keep you safe. It serves as a reminder to live your life to the fullest.
This is a tough workout, and you will have to dig deep inside to complete it. There will be moments you will want to give up. When this happens, dig deep and call on the strength from our nation's’ heroes to get you through it. You will get through it, I assure you.
Dee’s Concluding Statement
Memorial Day is a special day in American culture, especially in Ohio. It represents freedom, family, and fun. After a long, cold winter in Ohio, Memorial Day is here to give us hope for a wonderful summer season. Many adults have the day off work, kids are out of school, and the day is spent with family. It is a great day.
Memorial Day is also a day to remember those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.
I urge you to celebrate your day with your family while honoring the reason you are able to have such freedom.