So Monday is Memorial Day. A number of Crossfit boxes around the world will be performing the traditional hero WOD Murph over the weekend or on Monday itself.

For the unfamiliar, the workout consists of:

Run 1-Mile
100 Pull ups
200 Push Ups
300 Air Squats
Run 1-Mile
*Wear a 20# vest, if you have it.

Murph is a curious thing. There are lots of benchmark WODs. There are dozens of hero WODs which commemorate the lives of service members, LEO’s and first-responders who have given their lives in their service. Murph is different. It’s more than a WOD in the Crossfit community. It’s a phenomenon.

Maybe because its bodyweight this is one of the Hero WODs that lots of us attempt  solo (with or without a weight vest), way before we’re really ready. That’s what I want to talk to you about. I want to make the case for finding yourself a battle buddy.

As a 6 year Crossfit and retired Army vet, let me offer a few thoughts from each perspective.

In Crossfit, we talk all the time about the community. Here’s a great chance to exercise that community. Grab your favorite lifting buddy and split this joker up. Or better yet! Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know and partner up for this beast! 2 miles and 50, 100, 150 reps of each exercise is PLENTY of work for us average Joes and Janes. It’s also plenty of time in which you and your partner can forge a bond.

I promise, if you grind through this one together, you may not be fast-friends when it’s over; but you will be comrades. You will endure a physical and mental battle together. When it’s done you will feel like brother(s)/sister(s)-in-arms. I have completed Murph once as an individual two years ago. I can’t tell you my time. I do however have very clear memories of each person and the WOD all the years I partnered with someone.

Here’s another consideration – remember to check your ego and don’t allow one work out to derail the rest of your goals! Unless you’re the type of athlete that’s crushing WODs as prescribed every day, Murph solo will punish you….for days. Don’t lose a week of training because you shred your hands on the pull ups and demolish your quads and glutes on the air squats. Share the load and play smart. Train to train again another day soon.

In the military, you don’t do anything alone. Just keep that in mind as you grind through this WOD and coax your battle-buddy along. Just as they are going to do for you somewhere around Round 7 of 10 and you’re both 25 minutes into this thing and you’re still not sure you’re going to make it to the finish line. You’ll get there…if you stay together and pull each other through to the other side.

Oh, and in that spirit of working together – on the run – especially that second mile….stay together. I mean really together. Unless your partner threatens you with bodily harm and demands you charge on without them, don’t put on an all out sprint and dust your battle buddy on that last 100M. Poor form. Stay together and cross that finish line side by side. It means something. Trust me.

So there it is. My take on the monster Murph. What are your thoughts?