February 23, 2024

Honoring veterans through hard work

Gyms around the United States honor veterans Memorial Weekend by participating in The Murph Challenge, and Creston’s CrossFit TYL is no exception.

On Saturday, CrossFit TYL will be hosting two rounds of The Murph Challenge. This challenge is named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who lost his life in 2005 when fighting to save his men in Afghanistan. Posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, his story is memorialized through this challenge.

The Murph Challenge is traditionally held on Memorial Day, though many fundraise and participate throughout Memorial Weekend. Chris Doster, owner of CrossFit TYL, explained how his gym first started doing the challenge.

“We found out that it was an annual tradition for CrossFit gyms around the world to honor veterans by doing this Murph memorial workout every Memorial Weekend,” Doster said. “I actually started doing it 10 years ago. We did it a year or two before I even opened my gym. It’s just an interesting way to suffer through something pretty hard but also seeing that he was going through something much harder than anything we’ll ever go through.”

The full challenge is made up of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and a final one-mile run.

“That version is not beginner friendly,” Doster said. “Doing the whole version- I would never actually have somebody come to the gym that hasn’t worked out in a while do that, that’s not safe. There are definitely beginner-friendly versions available.”

Doster explained the event is open to everyone, including families. Sometimes each family member will work together to complete the challenge, while others will do modified versions of the work out.

“They can walk it if they want to,” Doster said. “Instead of pull-ups, they do it with light dumbbells and light dumbbell curls, or these ring rolls. Then there’s knee push-ups or wall push-ups.”

Doster said the modified versions of the Murph Challenge represents what regular CrossFit training is like.

“Some of my athletes that aren’t as strong and fit, they will just do a half of the Murph,” Doster said. That’s how basically all CrossFit workouts work, this is just an extreme example because it’s a hero workout. That’s how we would scale regular class workouts for people who are just starting. We scale it to where it’s appropriate to where they’re at on their fitness level.”

CrossFit TYL will host two waves of the challenge, at 7:30 and 9 a.m. Along with the challenge, they will be hosting a parking lot party, including vendors, inflatable and yoga. Merge Yoga is at 11 a.m. and costs $15, while the vendors and inflatables will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Some of the vendors include A Glass Act and Denton Farms Soapery, among others. Sponsors for the event are The Paisley Rose Boutique, Beggin’ for an Eggin’ and Tristan Pafford of CrossFit TYL.

The gym has a number of events leading up to the parking lot party. Free classes will be offered all week, with all donations going towards Veteran of the Week. Other events include a painting class at 7 p.m. on Thursday ($15 fee) and a game night at 6:30 on Friday. Registration for all events is requested and can be done online at https://form.jotform.com/231375443254050.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.