MUNCIE, Ind. — Local CrossFit gyms will gather to host a Memorial Day fundraiser this year.
In what is known throughout the CrossFit community as the “Murph Challenge”, athletes from across the nation will come together to perform hundreds of partial range-of-motion bodyweight exercises to help raise money for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Murphy, a Navy SEAL, was killed in 2005 in Afghanistan, attempting to take out Taliban forces.
The tradition which began around 2013, brings the community together to perform a workout consisting of a slow, one-mile jog, 100 partial pull-ups, usually done in singles over the course of 20 minutes, 200 half push-ups, and 300 quarter squats. Athletes looking for an excuse for their abysmally slow times will often wear a 20-pound weighted vest or body armor, which offers the added bonus of reducing push-up range-of-motion even further.
“We have more than 50 people show up every year to sacrifice a small piece of their morning to reflect on those who sacrificed everything,” Said CrossFit Trainer Brian Kauffman.
One CrossFit enthusiast, Dan Jenkins, says the fundraiser is a way to honor the fallen.
“He laid his life down for my freedom,” Jenkins said. “The least I can do is spend Memorial Day doing a few hundred shitty push-ups, followed by some Instagram bragging.”