I’m doing Murph tonight and I am so freakin nervous and anxious it’s ridiculous. Murph is a work out that was created to honour a soldier who died in battle. So there’s a respect element to Murph. The actual workout is with a weighted vest, run 1 mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, run another mile.
Now for mere mortals we don’t use the weighted vest and for even more mere mortals we scale the pull ups and the push ups. I’ve been practising this workout for the last two weeks, I use a band for the pull ups and I do the push ups on my knees. I know I can run forever. I know I can do the pull ups and the push ups and the squats. There should be no reason for nerves but I am honestly close to throwing up.
I hurt my back so I didn’t do gym or pole since Tuesday and it’s now Thursday and tonight is the night or the afternoon really. Gym and pole would be the usual way I would get rid of nerves. So I have saved my back but my head space is fucked. I’m doing deep breaths and I’m telling myself that I have done a shit load of challenges before.
The problem is I’ve run away from Murph before. When my gym ran it I just didn’t show up and it’s not often unless there are spiders or ghosts involved that I run away from fear. So tomorrow is one year that I have been at this gym. They have open training tonight so that is when I have chosen to do Murph. Two friends are going to join me. I have arranged for cake afterwards. It’s going to be so nice when I write this blog after Murph.
Still before Murph
Allrighty essential preparation before a big event I have gone out and bought a very cute outfit. This is following the philosophy of “if you can’t do something look the part” or “fake it till you make it”. I will also look good if I end up in hospital, see no flies on Trishy!
I have spoken to a very lovely friend who is a mighty lifter and she can do Murph just on the spur of the moment. I always feel better when I talk to her and both of us are looking forward to the post Murph conversation.
The gym might have to close you know? There could be a power outage or maybe a snake could go into the gym? Things could happen. I could have a heart attack after the first round? Just saying.
I think what is freaking me out is that this is my first big thing in a long long long time. I also want to show Murph proper respect, that’s a lot of pressure. Wish me luck?
It’s Friday morning and I am now a person who has done Murph. I got to the gym on time. I set up my station and Sam the coach said he was going to do it too. That was huge. He always has shit loads to do and he said nah I’ll join you – just like that. Brodie came on board, he wanted to do Murph but wasn’t sure he could finish before he had to leave – he did. Samantha the other coach also joined in which meant the world to me because she had been there when I joined. We didn’t expect Lisa because she is always so busy but she walked through those gym doors and I thought my goodness we are all doing Murph.
I explained to them how I was breaking down the workout so one mile run, then 10 pull ups, twenty push ups, sixty squats, for the first five rounds then the last five rounds you only have to do ten pull ups twenty push ups each round because you have done your squats then finish with another one mile run. It was really funny I explained it to each person separately because they arrived at the gym at different times and nobody understood my breakdown. I will do it differently next time probably ten rounds of 10 20 30 but live and learn hey?
Now my Murph was heaps scaled. I used a band for the pull ups and I did my push ups on my knees, trust me I still worked extremely hard.
In my practice I hadn’t included the run. Firstly because I figured I can run forever and secondly because I hurt my back before I could incorporate the run into the practice. So here I was at the very start of Murph doing the run and I was hopelessly out of breath. I thought this isn’t good. I was hoping that I could catch my breath on the squats.
The Universe had given me a good cool day as well as holding my anniversary on school holidays so I hadn’t been to work I was good and rested plus the temperature was cool. I got back into the gym after the first run and I was stuffed and I thought – that’s not good.
So I began, I wasn’t able to get my breath back and that meant I started puffing like a steam train and pretty much kept that up for the first six rounds. Round five – can I keep going? Round six – oh yes I have the answer now, no I can’t. So here I am in the gym, with people around me that know I have run away from Murph before and I’m thinking. Do half a Murph it’s better than no Murph. Just stand up say this is too hard and walk away. I had ordered cake for the finish but the Murph finishers could have the cake. Lisa looked at me and she’d pretty much been keeping tabs through the whole workout, I said I’m done. She said you’re not. I said I feel sick. She said I know. I thought I don’t want to show Lisa that I’m a wusy and this is why I wanted to do the workout at the gym. When I have practiced at home I’ve done a couple of rounds and gone and gotten a drink. A few more maybe one more and does the dog need to come in. Round seven now he needs to go out. Round eight I’ll just put a load of washing on. I think now my practising should have been more rigorous.
Round six I was done. My arms were shaking, my chest hurt, I hated gym, I hated fitness, the next time I had a stupid idea like this someone should give me a big slap.
I’ve been watching this program about people going through SAS training. I am not for a minute suggesting that my scaled little workout is like that but I was reminded of what one of the directing staff said. Apart from entertainment you can learn something from most anything you experience and what he said came back to me in this workout. He said they deliberately exhaust their candidates, push them as far as they can be pushed and then you see what’s left. He said he had been in a very dangerous combat situation, he was exhausted, wanted to be home and he knew he had to get up and get out of that situation. So they needed to know what did these people have on the other side of exhaustion. So round five, round six I was convinced that I didn’t have anything left. If I hadn’t done Murph at the gym I would have stopped. I would not now be a person who has done Murph. I got up and I started doing three pull-ups then another and so. The rounds took forever but I was completing them.
Round Seven Adel took over from Lisa’s encouragement. Lisa is an angel, Adel is more like old testament angel. Right Trish how many reps do you have left? Well get going. Come on three more. Adel I said I’m done. She said I can see that do them anyway. There was no escaping Adel and between her pushing and Lisa pulling and Sam throwing in a cheeky jibe about if you ate meat you’d be stronger, I swore at him for that one, I finished my rounds. I still had to do the final run and Lisa God Bless her had waited to do the final run with me. Then Adel and Samantha came too and I thought, I was going to walk this bit.
My mind was happy as shit that I had done Murph. My body was saying just walk the last bit, your legs hurt, your arms hurt you feel ill and wobbly – WALK!!!! I said to Lisa can we just walk a little. No she said keep going. Murph is run then the reps then another run. It’s not run reps walk this is what I told my poor tired body and that there was cake waiting for us at the gym.
That second mile was the longest mile in my entire life. It took forever but I did it and I now know that I can do Murph and here’s the kicker, this is what crossfit has done for me. When I do a crazy workout like this I get so absorbed by what we are doing I forget that I was ever sick, I forget to take it easy in case something goes wrong I forget the whole horrible time and it’s just me and exercise and good mates and that is worth more than gold. When I did the crossfit open I was still – oh I could hurt myself, I shouldn’t do too much I could bring something on, this never occurred to me during Murph and that is way cool.
Now something else very nice happened.
There was cake and the cake was good. I felt really too ill to enjoy it but cake is cake and this was happy cake. I got myself home. I had already done the animal chores. I did a little facebook – yay me I did Murph and then I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. Here I was post Murph. Two weeks of prep, all those nerves, all that anticipation, nearly not finishing it, sleep was not coming to me at all.
I got up and Lisa had posted some photos. While I was working on Murph Adel had shown me a photo of me and she said you have back muscles. Now I seriously love muscles I really truly do and that was the one thing that made me smile during Murph. So Lisa posts these lovely pictures as a collage and then she sends them to me separately. There is a beautiful photo of all of us, minus Brodie post Murph. That one is going up on the wall. I just wish Adel was in that because she pretty much did it with us. There is also a photo of me doing a pull up and I can see back muscles and they are lovely beautiful back muscles. I thought you don’t know how long you will have these lovely beautiful back muscles – post and be damned! So I did and it was very unoriginally titled “Look at my beautiful back muscles!” So that picture is going up on the wall too, that and the other picture and the whole experience really was a gift in itself.
Crossfit is great for fitness, great for friends and great for mental health. I can’t speak highly enough about it.
Thank you Universe for providing Crossfit Northern Adelaide and my gym buddies who I love to bits.