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12-27-16.. The 5 Lessons I Learned From Murph revisited…

Since we are doing the workout Murph on today, I thought it’d be fun to revisit this blog that I thought of while doing Murph one time.  After doing the workout I hope that it makes sense to you, and it’s an enjoyable read.

Originally posted: 6-1-2014

The other day was Memorial Day and we did a workout called Murph, you can see the story of the workout here! Essentially the workout consists of: 1 mile run 100 pull ups 200 push ups 300 squats 1 mile run for time Yes this workout is a beast.  Yes it takes a long time. etc etc. While doing this workout I had a lot of time to think…. yes it takes that long, and I came up with the idea for this blog post.  You can learn a lot of lessons in life from this workout, so I thought I’d share them with you here….

1) Pace yourself

It’s easy to come out flying on that first mile, but if you kill it during the first mile you will be wrecked for the rest of the workout. In life, it’s easy to get excited about something go all out on it and burn out quickly. Murph, like life hopefully will take a long time to complete, so find a pace that can be sustained and keep going hard at it

2) Play to your strengths

In Murph you can break up the middle however you like.  You don’t have to go straight through and start with the 100 pull ups first. You can split up the work. I am not great at pull ups for example, so my preferred method is 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats. When I got tired on the push ups, I started doing 5 pull ups, 6 push ups, 8 squats, 4 push ups, 7 squats. I split things up pretty evenly and was able to continue to move. (caveat, I was able to go continuously for the whole 20 rounds this time with the 5/10/15 rep scheme)

In life we spend so much time trying to focus on our weaknesses. In school for example you may get an A in math and a C in english.

Instead of saying, ‘Wow you’re really gifted at math let’s cultivate that. You may want to look at engineering,’ We say you need to focus more on english. In reality the truly successful people know where they are great and they know where they are weak. Then they surround themselves with people who compliment their weaknesses.

Steve Jobs was gifted at being a visionary and getting people to buy into his vision. He was not a technical guy. That’s why he had Wozniak.

Sure you can improve some in those areas of weakness, but if you are truly gifted at something, cultivate that. Play to your strengths and work to find a way to compliment your weaknesses.

3) One rep at a time

In Murph if you look at the workout as a whole it’s an incredibly daunting beast, but the key to the workout is to keep moving.

In the previous paragraph I talked about my rep scheme, that was so that I could keep moving and not stop. I wanted to keep going one rep at a time and as long as I continued to move the work got closer and closer to being finished.

Life is the same way. It’s important to keep going even when it gets hard. If you are not progressing you are regressing, so find a way to keep pushing forward.

If you working on something big; a large projects, becoming debt free, buying a house, getting a new job, whatever, don’t look at the whole task at hand.  Break it down into manageable chunks and keep moving 1 rep at a time.

4) The last little bit may be the toughest.

Murph finishes with a 1 mile run.  

That may be the hardest 1 mile run I’ve ever completed. Somewhere around 15 times on that run I wanted to stop. Everything in my body was saying, ‘just stop for a second, catch your breath, it’ll be ok.’ I knew that once I started stopping it was all over.  I would continue to stop. Even though everything in me was telling me to stop, I had to keep going. I was so close to the finish line it was critical that I didn’t stop now, or I would’ve wrecked my efforts.

In life, sometimes we go through the biggest storm right before the finish line.  When things get so incredibly tough it’s important to remember that you may be pushing through the last mile. Don’t quit. Keep your eye on the prize and it’ll be worth it.

Sometimes you have to break down to break through.

5) It’s a grind….. but worth it.

Murph is a grind of a workout.  You keep moving and moving and moving, and sometimes feel like it’s never going to end, but the feeling you get when you accomplish it is an amazing experience.

Just looking at all the work you did is so fulfilling, it makes all the pain worth it. Life can be the same way. It’ll kick you in the teeth sometimes.

There can be a tremendous amount of work, suffering, heart ache, struggle, set backs, you name it…. BUT in the end if you continue to strive towards your goals, all of the suffering will make the victory that much sweeter.

Keep pushing it’ll be worth it!

What life lessons have you learned while doing CrossFit?

I’d love to hear them!  Let me know in the comments.





1 mile run

100 pull ups

200 push ups

300 squats

1 mile run

(will scale/modify as necessary)