I’ve never completed or attempted a MURPH before.

The workout named in honor of Mike Murphy (known as his favorite workout), Medal of Honor recipient and one of several SEALs killed in action during operation Red Wing (and brought to world wide attention through the story told by a surviving teammate, Marcus Luttrell – published and filmed as Lone Survivor).

On Memorial Day 2021, I attempted and completed my first MURPH – having trained for nearly eight months to take on the demands of this workout. MURPH in total is 2 miles of running, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats – all while wearing a weight vest; mine weighed just under 30#. The back half of the MURPH was, obviously, more challenging than the first half. But, I found the back half of the workout to be more satisfying – efforting towards something that had a symbolic and powerful meaning – as I inched closer to the goal.

A deep-seated sense of gratitude washed over me as I thought of the men and women that have, throughout our history, given all to the mantle of freedom. I was very much willing to push forward as I considered what this day meant for all free people. The experience has forever changed the way I understand and approach Memorial Day. That was unexpected and a truly welcomed shift.

Thank you…to those who gave all to ensure that the light of freedom continues to burn bright. I resolve to be more thankful for my freedom, and to remember with gratitude the high costs so many have paid to secure it. I also resolve to remember the families who have paid such a high price in losing loved ones while serving. That is a heavy cost to carry.

If you have not yet done something hard or difficult in remembrance of those we celebrate and revere on Memorial Day, I encourage you to find something that applies the proper taxation on your body, mind, emotions and soul. It’s well worth the effort.

Finally, the current movement to reduce the footprint of the military and to defund the police lies in direct opposition to the sacrifices we honor on Memorial Day. What a shameful thing that is. You cannot be both grateful for the service of others and the sacrifices made to secure your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while engaging in the madness of attacking the very institutions that protect your freedoms at all costs. Those that do…do not deserve the freedom they enjoy.

So, live your life, exercise your freedom, and support and honor the sacrifices made to protect it all. In this, you will find genuine hope, as you realize there are still those among us willing to run to the gunfire to protect those running from it.

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