KALISPELL — Because Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start to summer, many take the time to barbecue or head outdoors.
Others use Memorial Day for a different purpose, in honor of a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“It's the perfect Memorial Day workout. It's CrossFit tradition like across the United States of America, so not just here at Iron Hawk CrossFit in Kalispell, but all of the affiliates here in the valley and throughout the country are performing this to honor our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day,” said Lisa Levdansky, Iron Hawk CrossFit owner.
The Murph Challenge is a grueling mental and physical workout to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. It consists of a one mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and another mile all while wearing a 20 pound weighted vest.
“We're very proud of our accomplishment today, and just proud to be Americans and honor those who served,” said Levdansky.
The Murph began in 2005 in honor of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy who was killed in Operation Redwing in Afghanistan at just 29 years old.
The challenge serves as a fundraiser for scholarships as well as a Navy SEAL Museum.
“I felt honored to be able to do it, honestly. When I was doing it was kind of like did you make it through, were you able to push through, you're doing this for so much more than just being tired. And I really just loved being able to do that was I super sweaty and gross? Yes. But I was able to push through,” said Chelsea Cochran, who is a CrossFit enthusiast.
While some choose to honor this day with friends family and food, others take on the Murph.
“So unlike barbecues and beers we have like bananas, potassium, and caffeine and coffee. So this is a great way to kick off the summer for us. It's kind of just like a great thing because people bond over like shared celebration and shared suffering, which you get both. So it really brings a sense of togetherness for us,” said Levdansky.
Anyone can do the Murph or a portion of it, with or without the weighted vest to amp up their physical fitness and be a part of this rememberance tradition, but if you would like to learn more about the Murph or do the official challenge you can visit themurphchallenge.com.