How Murph Showed I am the Master of My Fate

master of my fate

Murph is a way to honor and remember. And a “rite of passage” in the CrossFit world.

My gym did Murph on Saturday at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Athletes were everywhere, squatting and pull-uping and suffering together. This is only my second year doing Murph, and while I wasn’t as nervous for it this year, I was still wary. I decided to attempt it doing all the movements RX in the typical 20-round Cindy version – coming off of two weeks being gone, mind you.

Round 12 and my hands ripped. Having even worn grips, I was frustrated at tearing my hands. Honestly though, they had torn earlier in the week, so really my hands were just in a horrible state overall.

Seeing my face, my Coach came over. “Go to sit ups,” he said.

I wanted to argue. I wanted to keep doing pull-ups and finish out Murph in order to accomplish what I had set out to do, even if it meant sacrificing my skin. But I knew deep down that would be stupid. My Coach had prefaced the workout that morning with, “Don’t destroy your hands. It’ll ruin the next week of workouts.”

While I preach longevity, in that moment I wanted to throw it out the window just to reach my goal. But, after a short inward battle and remembering my performance on one workout doesn’t determine my status as an athlete, I nodded to my Coach reluctantly and swapped my pull-ups for sit ups.

I think it’s hard, both as an athlete and a Coach, to try and work through this daily battle. I’ve talked to Kenny Kane about longevity for an hour and how important it is in this business. Yet athletes on Saturday were pushing through torn hands and pain just to finish the workout; I was nearly one of them. As a Coach, you can only do so much to stop athletes from hurting themselves. Our Coach had warned us, gave advice to athletes to stop and still they persisted.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is while you can yell and scream about longevity, about staying healthy, ultimately it’s the athlete that has to decide. You can tell them not to do something, but ultimately they must choose not to do it. We want our people, your members, to be safe, but you can’t take blame for the decisions they make. You are a presenter of information, a person to coach them through fitness and life; you are not making their decisions or choosing what’s best for them.

Murph was just a reminder that ultimately I am the master of my fate (Invictus anyone?), the captain of my soul. And you as the owner can only be the master of your own.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at