AN INTREPID GROUP of young students will be sweating out a particularly grueling CrossFit workout on Memorial Day in honor of fallen Navy SEAL. Pictured front row,from left, Gio Avila, Lauryn Belanger; back row, Karla Najera, Kathryn Bradford, Sareni Garcia, Grace Schatz, McKenzie Shaw, Halle Haskins, Aiden Telles, Eman Quevedo and Sophia Pullen. Contributed photo
In an unusual observance of Memorial Day, a dozen middle schoolers will do a particularly grueling CrossFit workout in honor of a fallen Navy SEAL and all veterans.
The workout, called “the Murph” is named after Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who died in 2005 in a firefight in Afghanistan.
“The kids are researching this man who gave his life serving his country,“ said The Dalles Middle School teacher and CrossFit trainer Hailey Elliott. “It’s a huge thing and the kids are commemorating him — and all soldiers — with a workout on Monday.
“They’re pretty stoked about doing it,” she said. They will do the workout at CrossFit The Dalles at 6:30 p.m. on Memorial Day.
“There are going to be times in this workout where they’re going to want to give up but they need to keep going to honor this man — he didn’t give up,” Elliott said.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation‘s highest military honor. Marcus Luttrell, the only surviving Navy SEAL from the firefight – which saw four SEALs take on 30 to 40 Taliban — wrote a book about the incident, “Lone Survivor,” which was also made into a movie of the same name.
Murphy, the leader of the SEAL team, risked almost certain death by exposing himself to enemy fire to call in their position so they could be rescued.
He was shot in the back while calling in their position, dropping the transmitter, but he returned to cover and continued fighting. He was eventually killed in the two-hour firefight.
Murphy worked out with CrossFit, Elliott said, and his particular workout, “The Murph,” consists of “running a mile, doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and another mile run, all with a 20-pound weight vest on.”
The workout is so grueling that lighter versions are called the “Half Murph” and even a “Quarter Murph.”
“I cut it into a quarter, they chose to cut it in half. And there was no convincing them otherwise. [I said] ‘Kids, even a quarter of this thing is intense,’ and they were like, ‘No, we’re going to cut it in half.’”
The workout will be modified for the kids, Elliott said. In fact, “It’s modified for everybody, because I can’t do that and I’ve been doing CrossFit for a long time now.” The students, who are part of a new class at CrossFit The Dalles called CrossFit The Dalles Kids, include a few high schoolers also. An adult class at CrossFit The Dalles is going to do the full Murph workout before the kids start theirs, Elliott said.