GRATITUDE AND COMMUNITY
For us CrossFitters, Memorial Day is far more than just a day off. Like many Americans, we take the time to reflect on the sacrifices of the brave men and women of our armed forces who gave everything to protect the freedoms we enjoy. But because so many of these heroes belong to our community, we take things a step further. I am, of course, talking about “Murph.” There’s something about doing an intense workout in the middle of a 2-mile run in a vest that makes the weight of a soldier’s sacrifice more intense. The pain and exhaustion tie the mental gratitude we feel for these heroes to a physical act of recognition. Most of all, the “Murph” WOD enshrines the valor of a truly incredible man. If you don’t already know the story of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy and his heroism leading a small team of SEALs against the Taliban, I highly recommend reading up. In fact, we’ve decided to honor him this month in our own small way on page 2, switching out our regular
So often, the CrossFit community is defined by constant variation. On any given day, you can drive to the box across town and they’ll be doing a completely different workout than your own gym. But Hero Workouts are special. On those days, basically every CrossFitter in America is doing the same thing and giving it 110 percent. That’s what makes all Hero Workouts so powerful. They don’t just bring a box together — they unify our community across the country. Being able to come together and show our gratitude not just on Memorial Day, but on all the Hero WODs, is what sets CrossFit apart. Recently, a new Hero Workout has started here in Columbus called “Dyer.” Zachary James Dyer was both a veteran and a popular CrossFit and weightlifting coach here in Ohio, and someone I knew personally. Tragically, he took his own life after a long battle with PTSD. It was a heartbreaking reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by those who have fought for our country well after they have returned home. The community came together, founding a workout in his name. “Dyer” pays homage to Zach’s skill as a lifter, featuring three heavy power cleans, 14 handstand pushups, nine heavy front squats, and two muscle-ups for 23 minutes. At the time of writing, I can report that I am still sore from this particular WOD. We here at O2 are sure you probably have your own local Hero WODs that may not be nationally popular yet. We’d love to hear about the brave men and women you honor in your own boxes and the workouts you’ve chosen to carry on their memory. After all, Hero Workouts make the CrossFit community what it is. I look forward to tackling “Murph” again this year along with all of our readers across the country. To all those in the armed forces at home and abroad, thank you for your service. –Dave Colina Founder, O2
Athlete Highlight feature for a biographic celebration of this American hero’s life.
Back in 2012, “Murph” was the first Hero WOD I’d ever done,
and it was a powerful experience. When I finished that grueling second mile, weight vest and all, it was the first time I felt like a real CrossFitter. I’d done intense workouts before, but this one was different. It made me feel connected to something much larger than myself.
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