How I celebrate Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is a special day for me for a number of reasons. None of which being that I’m in, or have ever been, in the military.

I have a lot of friends who are faithfully serving our country, putting their lives on the line for our freedom. They’ve fought alongside their friends who have died serving us. They, and their families, have sacrificed. Some ultimately.

Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like to lose a friend in battle. To have to deal with that in the moment, and for the rest of my life. But I’ve got friends for whom this is their reality.

And having a grill-out with some friends just doesn’t seem like an adequate way for me to be reminded that freedom isn’t free. So I CrossFit on Memorial Day. (This may seem like a stretch for you, but hang with me)

CrossFit is special to me because I’ve torn my quad and almost died. And because I just love it.

But on Memorial Day, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Memorial Day Murph


me, at Murph last year

Last year for the first time, I participated in Murph, a Hero WOD (Workout Of the Day), at CrossFit Sola Fide. In fact, Murph is what solidified me as a CrossFitter for life. I was hooked. Pushing my body beyond its limit, in the encouraging environment of community, was just what I needed. Linking it to a real story, and pushing myself right beside soldiers, was almost too much for me to handle emotionally.

Here’s why I’ll be doing the Murph WOD again:

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

So as we celebrate Memorial Day here in the States, I’m remembering, alongside my military buddies, the sacrifice that so many have given.

By doing Murph.

Here’s the workout. Want to join me?

  • 1 mile run
  • 300 air squats
  • 200 push-ups
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 1 mile run

What are you doing to remember?


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dee

    Hey Ben, have you heard of the Paleo diet?

    • Ben Reed

      Sure have. I’ve toyed with it from time to time. Just find it hard to stick with it exclusively.

      Do you Paleo?

      • Dee

        Yeah – It can be tough but I guess it’s the easiest “diet” I’ve been on.