By Mark Mascetti |Staff Writer|
On Memorial Day, many Americans will utilize the day off from work and school to celebrate with family and friends, while others seize the day and pay a tribute to America’s heroes.
Memorial Day is reserved as a national holiday in remembrance of America’s fallen heroes from active military service.
Members of the CrossFit community nationwide participate in an intense workout named Murph in honor of Navy SEAL, Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
“The workout consists of a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, followed by an additional mile run all while wearing a 20 pound vest, to simulate military body armor, all for time,” said Dustin Sumners, a CrossFit enthusiast.
The workout, originally named Body Armor, was one of Lt. Murphy’s favorite workouts because it not only tests an individual’s physical strength, but also mental strength.
“After completing a Murph [workout], I feel like death. My body just can not take any more physically and I feel like I could lay on the floor for hours,” Sumners said.
“Mentally and spiritually, you get a sense of greatness and pride because you just pushed yourself harder than you ever would in your entire life,” Sumners added. “Your body wants to quit but your mind just keeps pushing and you have to tell yourself not to quit.”
The mission that killed Lt. Murphy and most of his crew mates has become widely known through the book and the Hollywood movie, Lone Survivor.
In June of 2005, Lt. Murphy and three other Navy SEALs were on a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan observing a Taliban village of between 20 to 200 Taliban fighters when they came upon a couple goat herders and their goats.
Lt. Murphy and his men tried to communicate back to their chain of command that their mission had been compromised, but because of their location in the mountains communication devices did not work.
The men were faced with two options: the first was to kill the goat herders in order to buy time to safely make it home, and the second was to let them go, knowing they would notify the Taliban and probably be caught in a gunfight.
In accordance with the U.S. Rules of Engagement, Lt. Murphy let the herders free knowing they would get into a gunfight while outnumbered.
Shortly after the troop found themselves surrounded by a large group of Taliban fighters, the encounter led to an all out gunfight. After an exhaustive battle, Lt. Murphy and his men were nearly killed.
Lt. Murphy knew if he didn’t get radio communications, all of his men, including himself, would die.
He then made the decision to put his life on the line and expose himself to enemy fire in attempt make a radio call.
Lt. Murphy used a satellite phone to call his headquarters to notify the command for backup upon a ridge, and was struck multiple times by enemy fire while making the call.
Lt. Murphy died shortly after making the call. However, his actions led to a quick reaction and a force was quickly enabled and en route.
The force that came to aid was shot down mid-flight and was never actually able to help the team.
After his death, Lt. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during the fight.
Marcus Luttrell, Lt. Murphy’s crew mate, best friend, and lone survivor of the mission, lives to share the story and life of his friends.
Anyone interested in participating in the Murph workout of the day (WOD) can sign up at a local CrossFit gym or go to a local track and run four laps for the first mile, do the pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and finish the last mile for time.