Memorial Day might be the most solemn of American holidays, being less about celebration and more about remembering the sacrifices the military has made for the country.
The military and law enforcement officers (LEOs) have a special role in the world of CrossFit® and functional fitness, which is exemplified by the Hero WODs, workouts that are dedicated to fallen soldiers. Used to commemorate the lives and achievements of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, they’re intended to be gruelling, exceptionally difficult challenges, and “Murph” is perhaps the most famous of them all: a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another 1-mile run. Often, it’s performed with a 20-pound weighted vest.
The WOD is named after Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy, a United States Navy SEAL officer who earned the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan and was killed in action by Taliban forces in 2005. Performing “Murph” on Memorial Day has become something of a tradition, and over the past few years the clothing company Forged (which is not affiliated with CrossFit®) has raised $800,000 for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation through The Murph Challenge. Participants can pay to sign up and post their times on the site, and in return they receive some merchandise and the knowledge that a portion of their payment goes toward the foundation.
This year, the workout got some serious name recognition when two high profile actors took part.
Chris Pratt and John Krasinski
Starlord and the man who was once very, very nearly Captain America both finished the Murph Challenge together this Monday. Pratt has always been outspoken in his support for the armed forces (and this wasn’t his first Murph) and called Lt. Murphy “one of the many, many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country that we think about and honor today, Memorial Day.”
We haven’t seen numbers but we’re willing to bet that these two asking their followers to grab a shirt from Forged, which donates a portion of their profits to military-affiliated non-profit organizations, made for a seriously effective fundraiser.
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Oh boy after being really inconsistent in my workouts coming back to @Crossfit #murph is a recipe for disaster. Did ok but 5 minutes off my PR of 31:56. @crossfitmountkisco Run 1 mile do 100 pull-ups 200 push-ups 300 air squats then run another mile. Was excited to have Kai run the last mile with me to keep me going. #crossfit #memorialdaymurph
Donald Trump, Jr.
The oldest child of the President of the United States wrote on this Instagram post, “Oh boy after being really inconsistent in my workouts coming back to @Crossfit #murph is a recipe for disaster. Did ok but 5 minutes off my PR of 31:56.”
The actor, best known for his roles on The Walking Dead, The Day After Tomorrow, and One Tree Hill, specifically pointed out that he was inspired by Pratt and Krasinski in two Instagram posts. When he was finished, he could only gasp, “Thanks John and Chris, and especially Mike Murphy, for the inspiration. That was really hard. Happy Memorial Day.”
The celebrity with perhaps the most well-filmed “Murph” on Instagram is Shawn Booth, a personal trainer who is best known for winning The Bachelorette two years ago and, unlike most winning couples on the show, actually staying together with his fiancée Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Featured image via @johnkrasinski on Instagram.