One of my favorite CrossFit workouts is the 12 Days of Christmas WOD. The beauty of this WOD is that you can use any 12 movements of CrossFit and mix and match to create a workout that will beat you up.
It’s performed like the song. You start with one move, such as a deadlift. Then you go on to two reps of a move, such as a hang power clean, and then you repeat the one movement, the deadlift. Then, you progress to three reps of another movement, say a push jerk. Then you repeat the two hang power cleans and the one deadlift. You do this until you get to 12, which would then be your final round.
By round seven and eight, you are dying, that’s for sure, especially if there are a lot of heavy barbell movements.
For me, I enjoy workouts that beat the crap out of me and that are long. Those are my favorite.
I did this workout by myself in the garage and then I dropped in at CrossFit Cheyenne to do theirs. It was a great time, and I wish we’d do this more often than once a year!
For the last five years, I’ve done CrossFit Hero Workout Murph, in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, on or near Thanksgiving. This year, I seriously considered not doing it. No CrossFit gyms that I knew of was doing it because of COVID. And I’m trying to take it easy on CrossFit so I can heal and come back better.
However, I had to. My first CrossFit workout ever was a half-Murph, and I still remember how it beat me up. It has special meaning to me.
So I suited up. I put on my vest, warmed up my garage, and got ready to go. Admittedly, I didn’t PR (I wasn’t really trying to). My run sucked, which it has ever since that heavy 10k I inadvertently did. The pull ups were a lot harder than I thought they’d be (it took me three days for my arms to recover). But I felt really good afterwards.
I couldn’t let this Thanksgiving tradition die when it seems like so many other traditions are dying around me. God bless Lieutenant Murphy, his family, and all of the service men and women who fight for our freedoms that we cannot let erode away.
That’s the word that can sum up this CrossFit Hero WOD.
The challenge is mental, not necessarily physical.
The CrossFit workout is:
1,000 Box Step-ups on a 20 inch box wearing a ruck sack (45/35 lbs).
This CrossFit workout honors Chad Wilkinson who tragically took his own life on Oct. 29th, 2018, due to the effects of war serving our great nation. He had PTSD and blast wave injuries and was an active duty SEAL.
The Story Behind the CrossFit Hero Workout Chad
At the time of his tragid death, he was training to clim Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America, by doing 1000 step-ups wearing a backpack.
Dave Castro posted the workout on December 14th, 2018, and this workout has taken on a life of its own, becoming an official CrossFit Hero WOD named in his honor. It will probably become a Veteran’s Day tradition in a lot of CrossFit boxes every year. Fitting.
Raising Suicide Awareness
As sad as this it, it points to what is great about CrossFit and what draws so many together. Hopefully, Chad’s death will raise awareness of suicide and maybe save someone else before it’s too late.
No doubt this CrossFit Hero Workout has been one of the hardest I’m done in a long time. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes with a weight vest. The 400-700 was the hardest of all. Once you get to 800, it seemed easy because the worst was over.
Take the time. Honor Chad. Thank a veteran. And spread the word of suicide prevention.
After five years of CrossFit, PRs or personal records, are hard to come by. So when they happen, they are special, indeed.
Today, we did DT, a CrossFit Hero WOD I’ve written about before. It is:
- 12 Deadlifts (105 lbs)
- 9 Hang Power cleans
- 6 Push Jerks
I PR’ed by over 2 minutes, which was super exciting for me.
When you’ve been doing CrossFit for this long, it’s a constant mental struggle and lots of ebbs and flows. PR’s and CrossFit competitions help to keep me motivated on the days I don’t want to workout at all.
One of my all-time favorite CrossFit workouts is Murph. Murph is a Hero CrossFit WOD, named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy who gave his life fighting for our freedoms in Afghanistan in 2005. One of the best things about CrossFit is these Hero Workouts. I’m still working through them, but to honor the fallen, and I can’t think of a better thing.
It’s tradition to perform Murph on Memorial Day at CrossFit boxes around the country, and it’s always fun. This year, I did it at 5 am, and although I did not PR, I did well. My daughter completed her first full Murph this year, so it was great.
The CrossFit Murph Workout consists of:
- 1 mile run
- 100 pull ups
- 200 push ups
- 300 air squats
- 1 mile run
It’s a killer workout that requires mental fortitude and desire to finish. For me, it’s much more than that. It’s about celebrating life, our freedoms, and those who have fought and died for them. It’s about remembering how hard life can be, but rejoicing in its blessings as well. It’s about preparing mentally for the worst, and appreciating the best. It’s about community, which is not as it once was this year, but will be happening soon enough.
If you get a chance, do this workout. You won’t regret it.
You’re probably wondering: what does the CrossFit Hero WOD Murph have to do with the coronavirus?
Lieutenant Michael Murphy died for our freedom in Afghanistan, and he has a CrossFit Hero workout named after him, which is something CrossFit does to honor our men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. He also has the honor of being the only CrossFit workout that every CrossFit gym in the United States does regularly every Memorial Day.
That’s besides the point. I did Murph today. It was exactly what I needed mentally, physically, and spiritually at this moment in my life. It was hard. But I did really well. I kept thinking of his sacrifice for our freedoms and how now we are all locked up at home, not free. I kept wondering what he would think about all this…
During the fight of the coronavirus, keep in mind those who fought for us before and the sacrifices they made. While we “suffer” at home, it’s not truly suffering in comparison.
Take a deep breath. This will all be over soon. We will have our freedom back. Not thanks to the stupid coronavirus, but thanks to the men and women of our armed forces, such as Murph.
I’ve just decided if I can’t do anything, go anywhere, or engage in normal, human social behavior, I might as well beat myself up with CrossFit. After all, I don’t have anything to go do that I should avoid soreness for.
Thus, every day, I get up trying to beat the shit out of myself. Thrusters, wall balls, lunges, long runs, bike rides, and dumbbells galore.
What else do I have to do?
There comes a point in CrossFit where you stop setting personal records (PRs) frequently because your fitness is at a high level. When you first begin working out, you develop strength very quickly because your body is not used to it. It can seem like every workout, in fact, is a PR.
However, this diminishes, and then PRs are few and far between.
Last Monday, I PR’ed Annie, which is double unders and sit-ups. Today, I PR’ed CrossFit Open workout 17.5, which was double unders and thrusters.
I didn’t think I would PR either one when I did them, but I did. This is because I’m stronger on thrusters than before, and I’m at a peak, as they say, right now in fitness, after having been blah for most of 2019 with injuries.
Today was a good day, indeed.
It doesn’t happen all that often but occasionally it does: the CrossFit Workout that is so perfect for you it’s not even funny. It was like CrossFit Open 20.3 with the perfect amount of reps. Today was one of those days.
First off, it had overhead squats, which I haven’t been snatching since my thumb injury so all of those felt so amazing. Then it was double unders, which I’m good at. I didn’t want to quit, that was how good it was.
I feel so amazing right now. Workout high, that’s for sure!
As most of you know, I’ve been battling injuries all year. My thumb is still not healed (could be six months from what I’ve read online), and now I caught the first of the school year cold, which has morphed into a coughing frenzy. I went to the doctor yesterday for some drugs, so hopefully that will kick this damn thing to the curb.
I CAN STILL KICK ASS IN CROSSFIT
For the last year or so, I’ve also struggled with CrossFit workouts. Most of the time, I’m only going half-speed and just trying to get through it from a mental perspective. Yesterday, I did one of my all time favorite workouts from the Open, CrossFit Open 17.5, which is:
10 rounds for time of:
- 9 thrusters 65 lbs
- 35 double unders
When I did this back in 2017, I held the best time for women at my box. I love thrusters and double unders. So I was excited for this one, but realistic. I’m sick, and my thumb is screwed up.
However, I beat my time by almost two whole minutes! It was cool to see that when I want it, it’s still there — even if I’m not 100%.