Murph: My Memorial Day Workout

Murph: My Memorial Day Workout

“Murph” is a workout named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a US Navy Seal who was killed in combat in 2005.
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On Monday May 28th, 2018, the United States celebrated Memorial Day to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the military. I will be honest, because I spent the majority of my childhood in countries outside of America, I didn’t fully understand the importance of the day until relatively recently.

There are many traditions associated with Memorial Day from memorial services to the annual Memorial Day Concert to something as simple as a backyard barbeque with family and friends. This year, I wanted to get involved in something that combines my love of health and fitness with the special reason for the celebration. At CrossFit gyms around the U.S, Memorial Day means programming one of the toughest “hero” workouts: Murph.

A “hero” workout is a workout named after a member of the armed forces who died serving in the military. CrossFit has many hero workouts that are completed by gym members on a regular basis but every year on Memorial Day all CrossFit gyms do the same one. “Murph” is a workout named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a US Navy Seal who was killed in combat in 2005. Murphy nicknamed his favorite workout “Body Armor” but since his death it has adopted his nickname.

The workout consists of a 1 mile run followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 air squats, and is finished with another 1 mile run. It is challenging and long. However, almost anyone can do it because it is scalable. People do ring rows instead of pull ups, push ups on their knees, and if running is not an option, the bike or rower can be substituted.

This year I decided I wanted to give Murph a try. I had seen people post about it on Instagram and Facebook in past years and every time I was more curious. It seemed difficult, almost impossible, but because I wanted to see if I could complete it. My main goal was to finish it in under 1 hour. I knew realistically that I couldn’t finish 100 pull ups without assistance so I decided to use a resistance band, and I also knew I would need help on the push ups so I decided to do all 200 on my knees. It was challenging regardless.

I arrived at CrossFit Odyssey in Dallas to do Murph and the gym was packed. There was probably 40 people there all ready to complete this tough workout. Everyone had their own unique approach to the workout for their current fitness and skill level. John and Ellie, the head coaches and owners of CrossFit Odyssey, walked us through a warm up and the different strategies they recommended to complete the workout. Then we started.

It was easy to start out way too quickly on the first mile but I did my best to pace myself. We probably looked ridiculous as a herd of people running down the busy street but it was fun to run alongside people I had never met before. We all had a mutual understanding of how much it was going to hurt and everyone was so encouraging.

After finishing the first mile in a little over 9 minutes, I started 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. The first 10 rounds were relatively easy but by round 14 I was starting to feel fatigued in my arms and shoulders. But I powered through at a slightly slower pace and headed out on the second mile run. The first quarter mile was painful. My upper body was still blown up from all the push ups and pull ups so I spent a few minutes trying to make that pain go away while attempting to run at the same time. Once I found a rhythm, all I had to do was convince myself not to walk. The sun was strong at the this point in the day and the humidity was especially bad which made it harder to breathe. I ran back into the gym at 54 minutes 1 second. I completed it in under an hour.

It was such a great feeling to complete a workout, a few years ago I never would have been able to even attempt. But it felt even better knowing there was a reason behind the workout and that there was a specific person it honors. Although I am a US citizen, I always felt a strange disconnect to the United States while I was living abroad. For some reason being a dual citizen, while an amazing privilege, I feel pulled in two directions at times. However, spending Memorial Day completing Murph reminded me of my american nationality and of all the sacrifices the men and women of the military have made. If you are looking for something to do next Memorial Day, I highly recommend Murph. It is both humbling and empowering.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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I Struggle With Cystic Acne, But I Am No Longer Letting It Define How I Live My Life

Acne is a common struggle for a lot of people, but don't let it be how you define yourself.

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You only get one face and that's it. Your face is how others identify you, recognize you, and ultimately know you. Faces can bring back memories, good and bad. Faces have the power to inspire millions, express some of life's most difficult emotions, and show the joy that is so contagious it influences others.

What do you do when that canvas has been tainted? When the one thing that most people know you by, is the last thing you want them to know you by? Struggling with acne feels like a never-ending battle and it's so easy to want to give up and let it take over your thoughts and emotions. I have been wrestling with this sense of defeat for a few years and I don't think I'm the only one feeling this way.

Cystic acne is defined by Medical News Today as, "a severe type of acne in which the pores in the skin become blocked, leading to infection and inflammation."

I have determined that my cystic acne is caused by an imbalance in my hormones. Which makes it extra prominent during "that time of the month." It wasn't always this way; back in high school, I had small breakouts here and there. Unlike today it was nothing that made me want to skip class. Gradually my acne got worse and I didn't know why.

As I went through my college career I would have weeks where I would break out and then my skin would start looking better; only for it to break out again a week later. I am sure we all know the feeling of finally seeing a good skin day, then waking up to a huge zit forming on your chin. Nothing humbles you more than acne can. Wearing a cute outfit? Having a good hair day? That's nice, I bet it'll match well with a huge pimple as an accessory. *dramatic sobs*

Then I met my boyfriend, and if you are in a relationship and struggle with acne I am sure you know where I'm going. No matter how many times he says, "babe, you look gorgeous even without makeup" I still won't believe him. See here sweetie, either you're blind (which he's not he has impeccable vision, damn him) or you're lying because you can clearly see all the scars and pimples ALL OVER MY FACE. But thanks honey for trying to make me feel better! :)

I've come to realize this post is mainly a long list of me complaining about the struggles of having acne. But I know there is someone reading this that is hopefully saying to themselves, "Oh thank God I am not alone!" I have gotten to a point where I still don't know the best way to deal with my breakouts, but why should I let it steal my joy? Why should I let my acne cause me shame and discomfort when I know myself I am working to improve it.

In this season of my life, I want to learn to not hold myself back from being who I truly am just because I have acne. Yes, some days are REALLY hard and I can't even leave my room because I don't want people to see my face. But who knows how long it will take me to find a reliable cure. Months? Years? So why should I put my life and happiness on hold?

I want to encourage you to make peace with your appearance. Sometimes you can't control how you look and that's okay. This is all apart of the grand scheme of learning to love yourself, just as you are. Because I promise there is someone out there who sees you for who you truly are. And guess what? They absolutely adore you.

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