Murph Challenge 2016

About a 2 months ago; a good friend of mine (we’ll just refer to him as Doc) asked me to stop by to help him find a good spot for a pull-bar in his garage. While trying to figure out where the studs are in the wall, we caught up on careers, kids sports, & family life in general. 

I met Doc (Retired Navy “Field” Corpsman) a few years ago & he has always been pretty intense about living life to the fullest & as patriotic as they come. With pins & rods in his arm to walking around with an artificial hip, Doc can still hold his own.

After figuring out where he might hang this pull-up bar, he said ask “Hey, I’m thinking of doing the Murph Challenge this year and you should do it with me.” I think I replied with a simple “Sure, send me the information and I will check it out.” Not really thinking that he wanted to do it…

Now I had heard of the Murph Challenge as some sort of a crazy cross fit workout that LT. Michael Murphy used to do before he lost his life in combat. 

What I didn’t know was that his family started this scholarship foundation in his honor. This annual challenge (On Memorial Day) was to raise money for foundation remembering the blood & sweat of one Navy Seal that gave the ultimate sacrifice. His Life!

A few days go by & I get a text from Doc saying “You up for the Murph Challenge?” My initial thought was:

2 miles I could do…

The 200 push ups I could knock out…

The 300 squats would smoke check my legs but I could get through it…

But the 100 pull ups, nope I don’t think so. Not doing it, can’t do it, wont’t do it… At 6’2″ 260 plus pounds not happening!

Then to top it off, we are suppose to do this with a 20lb vest on. Heck No! Ain’t no way! I’m no where in that sort of shape.

My text back was “Not Sure”, when is the next one. And he replied with Memorial Day. My next thought was that I might have a few weeks to start preparing for this. I replied with “Sure, I’ll join in on the fun.”

We both got signed up & got our nifty t-shirt, arm band, cap, and vehicle decals delivered just in time for Memorial Day. My wife stopped by Walmart & picked up the 20lb vest.

So the plan was to get it done on Memorial Day but we both had things going on so we opted for Saturday, June 4, 2016. 

And for whatever the reason, it was a expected be a staggering 102 degrees here in So. Cal.We normally see these sort of temperatures in late Aug. or early Sept. so we needed to get this knocked it out before it got to hot. We kicked things off around 0700.

Doc gives me the rundown on the route & we take off. Oh yeah and his 10yr old son Tyler is joining in for a morning of “Embracing the Suck”.

We set our clocks & take off! Now mind you, I haven’t ran anywhere since my days in the Marine Corps. We get down the street about a 1/4 mile & I feel like my chest is about to explode. So I loosen the vest up a bit for some extra breathing room.

We cross the street & make the 3/4 of a mile winded & breathing hard like we just got chased by some Brahma bulls during the Pro Bull Riding event. I get to the park & I’m ready to take this vest off & throw it away.

We catch our breath, get a drink of water, & then discuss how we will split the exercises up. After careful deliberation, we agreed on the splits (10) push-ups, (15) squats, and (5) pull-ups for each round. Then we get On The Grind!

I think we did pretty good until we got around our first hour when we were at around 100 push-ups, 150 squats, 40 pull-ups when it all went to crap. 

About that time, Doc’s wife (Mrs. Traci) showed up with more water & words of encouragement which was exactly what we needed. So we pushed on… 

By now, we are almost two hours in, my hands are starting to lose grip & thighs are on fire. By now, we are over the two hour mark. I have about 40 more push-ups, 30 more squats, & still have like 50 more pull-ups.

So Doc tells me “Heah, we need to leave some squats so we can break up the pull-ups some more. Traci is keeping count for us because we are seriously losing with just us doing it. 

Then Tyler says that he’s done! Really, the ten year old is done. Doc & I are thinking well he didn’t have on the twenty extra pounds either. But seriously, he’s done I feel like stopping. Yeah, Good job Tyler!

So we dig deep to finish up. My triceps are on fire & my quads feel like jello. My hands are shaped like cups from trying to hold on to the pull-up bar. So I take one last sip of water (10) more push-ups, (15) more squats, & (20) pull-ups, I’m done & I tell Doc there is no way I’m running back to your house after this.

We start back to his house & it’s getting hot! We run into this couple asking what kind of training we were doing. We tell them about LT. Michael Murphy’s story & the challenge. And it was Just enough time me to catch my breath…

After catching our breath & getting my 20lb vest back from random stranger. (I offered up for him to try it on & he accepted, I needed a break…Hint Hint)

Finished our conversation with the nice couple & trotted for a bit only to be out of breath again. We figured speed walking might be the best way to make it back to his house. 

So we finally got back to his street & tried sprinting the last 50yds. 

Tired, sore, & out of breath but it was well worth it the challenge. And yes, we finished our very 1st #TheMurphChallenge.

So if you are looking for a workout to stretch you outside your comfort zone, give this one try!

And if you are interested in supporting the LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial foundation then head over to for more information.

Hmm… I wonder if Doc ever got that pull-bar mounted.

Back to the Grind

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