The Murph: Combining physical challenge, tribute

U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Brian Hagberg Team Schriever members will participate in The Murph fitness challenge May 19, 2017. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy created the challenge, a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 body squats followed by another 1-mile run. Murphy was killed in action June 28, 2005, while serving in Afghanistan. Schriever hosts one of many Murph events worldwide near Memorial Day in his honor.
U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Brian Hagberg
Team Schriever members will participate in The Murph fitness challenge May 19, 2017. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy created the challenge, a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 body squats followed by another 1-mile run. Murphy was killed in action June 28, 2005, while serving in Afghanistan. Schriever hosts one of many Murph events worldwide near Memorial Day in his honor.

By Brian Hagberg

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

As Memorial Day approaches, Team Schriever members will again participate in an annual event combining physical fitness with a tribute to a fallen military member — The Murph.

The Murph is an athletic competition named after U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who created the workout. Murphy was killed in action June 28, 2005, while serving in Afghanistan.

“If I had to narrow (my participation) down to one word, it would be tribute,” said Brian Justus, 25th Space Range Squadron. “I participate as a way of paying tribute to fellow service members who have paid the ultimate price.”

“I think events like the Murph are a great opportunity to put oneself through some adversity, to feel a little pain and reflect on the adversity others have faced,” said Scott Bean, 22nd Space Operations Squadron. “Murphy faced extreme adversity in combat . . . and fought with tenacity and selflessness. His example is great motivation to keep pushing when things get hard.”

The event will take place at the indoor running track Friday, with the first participants starting at 6 a.m.

The Murph consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 body squats, followed by another 1-mile run. Participants may complete the calisthenics in any order and the goal is to finish in one hour or less.

“This event is just as much mental as it is physical,” Justus said. “You have to be mentally prepared because at some point during the event, you are going to want to quit . . . and that is simply not an option.”

Finding the right way to cycle through the pull-ups, push-ups and body squats is a major factor in completing the workout quickly.

“I initially practiced with 10 (pull-ups), 20 (push-ups) and 30 (body squats),” Bean said. “Although I could do the reps, I found my time was slower with those counts.”

Justus said he encourages anyone thinking about participating to register, even if just to see where they stand.

“It is a great gut check,” he said. “Even if you can’t complete the workout in the allotted time, it gives you something to shoot for. And if you can complete the workout, you can always go faster.”

Registration is still open; however, only a few spots are left. Those unable to participate may still attend to cheer on and encourage participants.

For more information about The Murph, or other monthly fitness events, contact the fitness center at 567-6628.