There is so much I want to say about this day and this workout. I’m certain that I won’t be able to get my thoughts out coherently, and likely will forget much of what I hope to convey, but I will try.
To begin, I was nervous about this workout. Obviously, “Murph” is hugely challenging.
Also, and probably not so obvious to most of my readers, fallen hero’s hold an importance to me that I can’t put into words. If I made the commitment to start this workout, I was going to finish it. Not only was I going to finish it, but I was going to appreciate every minute that I was working through it, because unlike the man we were honoring and the men that the holiday remember, I could.
I didn’t want to scale it, though that option was available.
I also didn’t want to think emotionally much about why I was doing it before the workout. I just showed up, talked with friends, marveled at how big the turn out was, and warmed up with everyone else.
When the clock counted down 3…2…1… I began the first mile of what would prove to be a journey that was as long as it was rewarding.
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 Air Squats
1 mile run
Time: 72:42 scaled with KB swings@15lbs instead of pull ups
The first mile was actually amazing. I felt really strong, much better than I had felt in the mile we ran on Friday, and felt like I was through it in no time. The pack dropped me completely, but I’m used to being a slow runner and just concentrated on one foot in front of the other. It was a really cool morning, and at one point I remembered stories I had heard about what it felt like to run in the desert. What I was doing was easy compared to what our troops do daily.
My plan to get the required reps was 20 rounds of 5 KB swings, 10 push ups and 15 air squats. I chose a significantly lighter KB than I would usually use as my back is still not 100% and I wasn’t sure how I would feel after 100 of them. That turned out to be a great choice.
The first 10 rounds were uneventful. The swings felt great, the push ups were going really well, and the squats were actually easy. Surrounded by my Crossfit family I didn’t have to dig very deep for motivation or inspiration.
After the first 10 rounds though, the wheels started to come off. Psychologically, I saw many people around me finishing and leaving for their second run. I knew that we had many participants doing “SMurph” aka, a scaled Murph and therefore half the reps and distance, but it didn’t stop me from feeling like I wasn’t moving fast enough.
At round 14 I found that I wasn’t able to string together more than one push up at a time. My arms were completely spent, and every rep was shaky at best.
I won’t lie, I seriously considered quitting. Or at least shaving a few reps off the workout. Who would know? We were all in our own separate world of pain.
I won’t get all deep and poetic on you, but I will say that every time I had those thoughts or considered quitting, seconds later I considered that somewhere a soldier had pushed themselves up one more time to fight for one more minute for a freedom that I had probably taken for granted. Someone had lost their life doing one more push up for my country… for me.
So I did one more. And one more. And one more. I never skipped a rep. I never skipped a round.
In the middle it all gets blurry, but I distinctly remember having three rounds left to go and being surrounded by the next class. These peeps hadn’t started the workout yet, and I pretty much had my own cheering and coaching squad. Everyone had a word of encouragement. Everyone had motivation.
So I kept going.
In my last round of push ups (please God make the pain stop), the camera woman who had been filming the workout came over and asked me why I was there today. My response?
“To honor the troops, to remember the fallen. *grunt pant sweat, one more push up* And because Crossfit is awesome!”
When all the reps were done I was so happy I could have cried. Then I took two steps and realized every single muscle in my body was shaking uncontrollably, and I still had to run a mile.
Surrounded by a herd of Crossfitters with everyone asking how I was doing, I kept smiling and saying fine, but the truth was I could not fathom how I was going to run a mile.
Until the moment I realized that “Crossfit Angel” was standing by my side, I didn’t think I could do it. “Crossfit Angel” is a fellow 6 a.m.er, and frolicked beside me for the entire mile, talking to me and encouraging me every step of the way. I ran more than I thought I would. I walked a bit too. I threatened to hug her when it was over because she was pushing me, and she didn’t scamper off scared.
I crossed the finish line nearly an hour and 13 minutes after I started. Super awesome girl coach was there cheering for me. “Crossfit Angel” hugged me immediately. Super awesome girl coach wasn’t far behind.
I was a giant pussy and started tearing up, and was immediately thankful I was sweating like a wilderbeast and also wearing sunglasses so no one would know the difference.
I stayed until the last person crossed and cheered for them just as folks had stayed to cheer for me.
When it was all over my best friend asked me how I felt via text. My response, “I feel so accomplished and so so dead.”
In hindsight, horrible choice of words. But even as I sit here laughing at my inappropriate self, I’m smiling because I am sure those that I thought of yesterday, those that I honored, would have laughed at that really bad unintentional joke.
Miss you. Miss all of you. And thank you.