5.27.2013- Memorial Day Murph

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.

“Murph”

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.

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