'Murph' challenge a unique way to celebrate soldiers
Our House Studios in Ringgold joined gyms around the country on Monday, by hosting a Memorial Day 'Murph' Challenge in honor of Lieutenant Michael Murphy.
Lieutenant Murphy was a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan and was killed in combat in 2005. Since then, the "Murph" has become a way to honor his life, and the lives of other fallen soldiers, on Memorial Day.
Trainer Terrence Banks says he was inspired to bring the "Murph" to Ringgold because of his respect for Lieutenant Murphy and the sacrifice he made.
"I just wanted to share that experience with as many people as wanted to be here today," Banks said. "So it's an interesting day. There's a whole lot of energy and it's just a workout that's beyond us."
The "Murph" is a daunting task. It starts with a one mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 sit-ups, 300 squats and another mile run.
One of today's participants, Sergeant Chad Cooke, gave himself an added challenge of running with a 20-pound vest, like those worn by soldiers in the field. He says that because he's a veteran, completing the challenge has extra meaning.
"Being a veteran it's a moment for me to reflect, and to give back and to finish something that those who have fallen can't finish," Cooke said. "And it just give me time to thank them."
All of the people who came out to Our House today faced at least one additional challenge - blazing heat. Banks says that makes for a tough obstacle in completing the workout.
"You'll have to slow down your run, you'll probably have to slow down your pacing because you can overheat real easy through this workout," Banks said. "And if you blow up in the first five minutes then you'll have nothing to try to finish."
Sergeant Cooke says even with the heat and the added weight of his vest, the meaning of the moment helped him make it through.
"Once I got it on and started doing the workout, I didn't feel the weight anymore," Cooke said. "I just kept the memories alive and kept working and kept driving, and everything just kind of floated away and I was just in motion."
For those who came to Our House today, the work was more than worth it. Sergeant Cooke says he's grateful to all of his friends at the gym who took the time to remember Lieutenant Murphy.
"Whether they completely understand what Memorial Day is about or what the "Murph" is about, to me that doesn't matter because they're here in support of something," Cooke said.
All told, about 60 people at Our House participated in the challenge today.