I've been around CrossFit for a while now but never had the opportunity to give the legendary "Murph" Hero WOD a try. If your not a little nervous going into this workout then either you don't fully understand what's about to happen or your insanely in shape. Unfortunately I'm not insanely in shape and I knew exactly what this workout is all about!
Having been an avid CrossFitter for a while I've completed the benchmark girl "Cindy" before and that helps get you somewhat ready for Murph. Cindy is for total rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10, push-ups and 15 squats completed within a 20 minute time cap. In typical CrossFit fashion the workout is exceptionally deceptive in its design. So too is Murph, who can't run a couple miles and do some air squats with some pushups, right?
I was pretty confident beginning the hero WOD, being surrounded by my fellow CFB friends eased the nervousness of the situation immensely. I paid particular attention to everyone's faces as they warmed up, the stony look of fear on some, a few making jokes to lighten the blow that their body was about to endure. In typical style, I remained reserved and focused on stretching, getting my music ready and whispering to myself that I better not quit.
As the clocked counted down from 10 we set off and kept a very good pace on the first mile. I settled in running side-by-side with my white board opponent from the 5:30AM class (Van). We sustained a great pace and headed back indoors after that mile feeling pretty darn good. I broke-up the workout into rounds of Cindy, as mentioned before - 5, 10, 15 of pull-ups, pushups and squats. I had been warned by veterans that the hardest part isn't late in the workout, its right at the beginning. Right when the lactic acid begins building and your lungs start struggling to sustain a solid flow of oxygen into your blood stream. For me this was at round 3, my mind started suggesting that 17 more rounds was crazy and your lungs will not keep up. I struggled with the idea of "pacing" and taking it easy to glide through until the final mile run. But I resisted, I fought through and as John said during our warm-up session, "Lt Murphy never quit, so we don't quit!" I repeated those words to myself fighting through rounds 4, 5, 6...until settling into a groove.
Finally reaching round 10 my mind had broken free of the "flight" mechanism and committed to fighting through to the end. My muscles now burning I kept going and feel like I finished those last 10 rounds faster than the first. Through liters of sweat and dousing myself in water repeatedly I finally headed out for the final one mile run. Its hard to describe the pain at this point, my lungs on fire, my quads screaming and I had to push hard to finish in a time I would be happy with. Running, walking, jogging and walking some more - this last mile was twice as long as the first.
As I rounded the final turn I put on the jets, in my head I was sprinting but physically I was no more capable than attaining the brisk pace of a large skipping motion. Crossing the finish line exhausted with a huge smile on my face, endorphins and adrenaline racing I didn't collapse as I thought I would. I was there standing and instinctively began cheering on those that remained fighting their own battles.
I couldn't believe I finished in the time I did, never in a million years would I have ever pushed myself like this. For everyone around me that day I cannot thank you enough, the determination and grit shown by our CrossFit family was truly inspiring!
~See you on the white board - Coach Jon
If you missed it a reporter from Brownwood News was there on Memorial Day and put together a very nice write-up, see the link below.