If you are looking for Team Rubicon, click here
This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hero Workout of the Day

CrossFit Website

Some of you may be familiar with the cult workout community named "CrossFit". The theory behind crossfit is 'general physical preparedness', which is achieved through a workout of the day posted to the website nightly. Basically, the workouts are a giant haze-fest, and tax your body through every channel possible- endurance, strength, power, strength-endurance, balance, etc., using conventional weights, kettlebells, pullup bars, good old roads, medicine balls, etc. One day you could be asked to do 400 meter sprints followed by 50 body weight squats for a total of 6 rounds as fast as you can, the next day you might be asked to do as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of 225 pound deadlifts and 20 pullups.

The cool thing about it is that the crossfit community is packed with military members, many of them from the special operations community, firefighters, police officers and the like. While most of the standard workouts are named female names (like hurricanes...which represents the disaster that you feel like afterwards), many of them have been named in honor of fallen service members from Iraq and Afghanistan. That's why I'm talking about this today.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, so in honor of all that have fallen, my workout partners and I substituted what's called a Hero Workout instead of the prescribed "Fight Gone Bad" workout.

The workout is called the 'Murphy', and it's named in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who was a Navy SEAL team commander in Afghanistan, and killed while leading a 4 man sniper team on a mission. The story surrounding the event has been captured in an excellent book "The Lone Survivor", written by, as you may have guessed, the only member of the 4 man team to survive, Marcus Lutrell.

The team inserted near their objective at night and humped over and through a mountain range to arrive at an overwatch spot overlooking a village in which a high value target was suspected of staying. During the following morning, a shepherd boy came across their position. The team took him alive, and facing a dilemma regarding what to do with him, decided to release him alive, knowing that everyone in the area sympathized with the Taliban and that the boy would notify the Taliban of their presence. Within an hour of releasing the boy, the team came under a fierce attack by a number of fighters estimated at over 150. A horrendous firefight ensued, with the SEAL team losing radio communications with their headquarters. Fighting to reach an extraction point for pickup, every member of the team was wounded by both grenade shrapnel and gunfire. At one point, roughly 60 minutes after initially coming under attack, Lt. Murphey took the team's satellite phone and, realizing that it was their only chance to communicate with headquarters, climbed on top of a mound of rocks, in plain view of the Taliban fighters, and placed a call to his superiors. While talking he was shot through the arm that was holding the phone, he picked up the phone with his other hand and continued to relay his message. He was then shot in the back, but he continued to communicate his team's situation until he finally succumbed to his wounds.

For his actions that day, Lt. Michael Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, the other three members of his team including Danny Dietz and Matt Axelson, both of whom died, received the nation's second highest award, the Navy Cross.

So in honor of all those who have fallen, we threw ourselves into a "Murph"-

Complete the following in consecutive order for time-

Sprint 1 mile
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 squats
Sprint 1 mile

Even when you're about to vomit on yourself after that, you find it hard to complain, it's obvious that things can always be worse.


  1. Well, you going to post your time and did you wear your body armor?

    Also need to plug "Operation Phoenix", a good cause for the Corps. Got my three T's ordered and on the way.

    I picked up on CrossFit from reading your blog, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Might work better if I left the URL behind as well...


  3. The Grunt's Eye View. Life from the dirt side up.

    Nicely done tribute to fallen warriors, Marine.

    Also, a good reminder. No matter how bad it is, or how horrible it feels, it can, has, and will get worse.

  4. Although I have not read the book, I have seen lots about this story and the book, "The Lone Survivor." Your tribute is well placed.

  5. I started following your blog today-as it was linked from Blackfive. I have tributes to Lt Michael P. Murphy over at my blog at www.longislandgirl.vox.com , stop on by (I am friends of his family) God Bless, and thank YOU for your service!


  6. Murph is one of my favorite Hero Workouts. It hurts so good. Every time I do one of these, it's a long, painful, oxygen-deprived meditation on the sacrifices made for my freedom. It's the least I can do to push myself until I puke.