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Local CrossFitters pay tribute to fallen Navy Seal

Posted at 4:29 PM, May 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-25 19:33:14-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Navy Seal, who died in the line of duty is being honored in an interesting way this Memorial Day, honoring Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.

CrossFit gyms across the country are paying tribute by naming an intense workout after him, including right here in Grand Rapids.

The Murph Challenge is described as a benchmark workout, showing endurance much like Lt. Murphy did.

"We only do this once a year. It can leave such a shadow of pain and just over training throughout a week, that we only do this once a year," said Nathan Bass, 8th Day Gym.

Nathan Bass over at 8th Day Gym in Grand Rapids said that the Murph Challenge is the most extreme hour long workout they host of the year, consisting of a mile long run, immediately followed up with 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and if you are still able to move, another mile long run.

"Definitely grueling and painful. I mean a one mile run, the second mile run after 300 straight air squats, it's a good half mile before you even notice weather your legs are there or not," said Bass.

The inspiration behind it is US Navy Seal Michael Murphy. On June, 28th 2005, Murphy's four man team came under fire by dozens of Taliban militants. Clearly out-numbered, Murphy's group was able to stand their ground, injuring several Taliban shooters. In the hills of Afghanistan, Murphy wasn't able to get reception to call for help. Putting his country first, Murphy stepped out into the open without cover. A successful connection was then made to headquarters, requesting emergency back-up. Moments later, he was fatally wounded.

"I can't imagine what he might of been the through, but it's definitely grueling and long and just painful," said Bass.

It's not only physically exhausting, but also mentally straining.

"The length is the challenge. Most of our workouts are a lot shorter and so you see those big numbers of reps and the amount of time it's going to take you and it's really a mental challenge of just keeping yourself moving. Keep going, but it's all worth it in the end," said CrossFitterRyan Trierweiler.

Monday's turnout, much more than typical days according to Bass, with CrossFit enthusiasts paying tribute.

"It's a way for all of us to get together on Memorial Day and celebrate those who served for us. Get a good work out in," said Trierweiler.

You can donate to the Lt. Michael Murphy Memorial Scholarship by clicking here.