Honoring Memorial Day

It was another Memorial Day, and in the spirit of what the day represents, and to join thousands, if not millions, of other Crossfitters across the nation, and even around the globe, I participated in the Memorial Day Hero WOD “Murph”.  “Murph” isn’t your typical workout.  Most Crossfit WODs focus on a strength portion and then a met-con (metabolic conditioning).  But “Murph” is a hard-ass chipper- meaning it’s a long and grueling workout.  It’s a mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats, and finished with another mile run.

Why do we honor Memorial Day by doing such a difficult challenge?  Because every day, hundreds of men and women fight for our freedom.  They risk their lives so that we can remain the land of the free, or so that other countries can have a taste for freedom.  Lt. Michael Murphy was such a man.  He served to protect those he had never met, and he paid the ultimate price.  While “Murph” honors Lt. Murphy specifically, it is the workout of the day across the nation on Memorial Day to honor ALL the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect everything we hold dear.  It’s an incredibly difficult and challenging workout for a good reason- to remind you when you want to give up or slow down that those who fight for our rights do not ever give up.  To complete this workout is to honor Murphy and everyone else who has ever given their life in service for their country.murph3-582x319

I am not in my best fitness shape currently.  Last time I participated in “Murph” was 2014, and I finished in 58:17.  I was able to do all the squats prescribed, and I finished my first mile in under 10:00.  This year, I was not so fast.  I substituted sit-ups for squats because doing just 1-2 bothers my knees now, and while this workout is about fighting through the fatigue and mental anguish, it is not about killing yourself.  However, I finished.  I was dead last, but I finished.  I’m even more proud of my husband, who went through the workout completely Rx (prescribed- unpartitioned sets and wearing a 20 lb vest).  Our times might have been considered by some to be dismal, but that’s not the point.  The point is we did it.  We did not give up.

There’s another reason I find “Murph” to be an interesting and note-worthy workout.  As I develop and find a path for EarthFit, I often look at workouts and try to figure out how to make the exercises “EarthFit”, in other words, create natural movements, use recycled or natural equipment, or simply move the workout outdoors.  Some workouts are super challenging.  I finished watching the Crossfit Regionals and the workouts they performed are incredibly difficult to meld into EarthFit.  Using machines and barbells is difficult to translate.  But “Murph”?  With the only challenge being finding an accessible place to perform pull-ups outdoors (and as a common or easy solution, I suggest using a playground at a park- monkey bars are a perfect substitute for pull-up bars), “Murph” is completely transferable to outdoors.  Since it consists entirely of body-weight movements, there is no necessity for subbing natural equipment or creating your own weights from cat litter containers or milk jugs.  In fact, Chris and I practiced for “Murph” earlier by doing a half-Murph on the Thursday before, doing the entire workout at the South Whidbey Sports Complex, an outdoor soccer park with a kids’ playground in the epicenter.

I did not celebrate Memorial Day with a grill-out or summer party.  It’s Monday, so that means I practice not eating meat for Meatless Monday.  I rewarded Chris by making a vegetarian pizza for him with goat cheese, fig, and walnuts.  And the highlight of my afternoon was picking up our very first farm share from Ebb Tide Produce, which had a vast amount of green veggies for us to enjoy this week.  I’m already planning the salads, stews, and wonderfully green meals we’ll be enjoying.

Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave their life so we can continue to enjoy the pleasures of pursuing our happiness.  It is my right to use that freedom to write, learn, teach, and share about this wonderful Earth, and how we can grow connected to it in healthy ways, for ourselves and for the planet.  Thank you, for continuing to fight so that I may have the right to continue mine!


100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 98: Why I’m Here

The last few weeks I feel I’ve drifted a bit away from the physical aspects of EarthFit and have been focused on the mental/psychological aspects of our health and well-being. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily, it’s merely an observation.  But it’s an interesting one.  I have found myself seeking out excuses to be alone, take naps, skip workouts, binge snack, and basically revert to old habits of (non)self-care.   Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 98: Why I’m Here

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My husband and I have been on the island for nearly a month, but we haven’t had much opportunity to actually see some of the sights.  We’ve been to Greenbank Farm, Deception Pass, and Ebey’s Landing on previous visits, but somehow we felt it would be different to experience some of these places as residents.  So, we decided it was time to go exploring our new neighborhood, as the new kids in town. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 78: Exploring Our New Neighborhood

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 68: Taking off the Training Wheels

I hate it when my husband is right.  I mean, I’m okay that he’s right when we’re in agreement, but when he tells me something I’m not prepared to hear, or scared to hear, in this particular instance, well, you’ve heard the term “Hell hath no fury…”? Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 68: Taking off the Training Wheels

EarthFit Special- A Magical Evening With Loreena McKennitt

My favorite musician is a Scottish-Irish Canadian who sings ballads and poetry with the most ethereal voice I’ve ever heard.  I don’t use that word often, “ethereal”.  In fact, I think the only time I’ve ever used that word is to describe my favorite music artist.  Last night we had our third chance to see her in concert, and we got to spend another magical evening with Loreena McKennitt. Continue reading EarthFit Special- A Magical Evening With Loreena McKennitt

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 50: Glass is Half-Full

As we hit the half-way marker for my 100 day writing challenge, I want to reflect on some things I have experienced.  While I am not where I’d like to be fitness-wise or professionally, I am hopeful that my physical location and momentum to write will help inspire good choices and motivation to reach my goals.  I have spoken before about focusing on the positive, so I’d like to see my glass as half-full at this half-way point in my challenge. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 50: Glass is Half-Full

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 32: Good Form, I Say

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100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 25: Giving with the Heart

If you are a devout and dedicated EarthFitter, than you may be aware that a main component to EarthFit is what I call “Experiencing Nature”.  Getting outdoors and connecting to the earth in healthy ways is the core of EarthFit, and there are dozens of ways to foster a better appreciation for nature and the environment Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 25: Giving with the Heart

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 22: Carrots and Sticks

I’m starting an experiment today that goes against what I preach for Zookeeper Fitness.  I just finished a book called “Carrots and Sticks” by Ian Ayres and in solidarity of trying new things, I have decided to enter into a Commitment Contract on their website, stickk.com to ensure that I finish my 75 entries of 100 Ways of EarthFit.   Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 22: Carrots and Sticks