Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Murph

I wrote this exactly one year ago as I was gearing up to attack my first crossfit "Murph" WOD.  That very same day, I began reading The Lone Survivor, possibly one of the most influential books I have ever ever read (DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE- read the book!!!)

Tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day.  It is a day to specifically honor those who have fallen to protect us and our freedoms.

It seems to me that the true meaning of this day is not understood by most, and admittedly, I will include myself, until recently.  Most people look at this day as another free vacation day from work or a chance to have a BBQ to kick off summer.

In this great country, America, in which we live, we are so sheltered from so many things that go on in the rest of the world.  Our reality is skewed by the delivery from the nightly news report or a quick article we read online.  Most of us do not even realize how fortunate we are for so many things.

These things we would not have if our brave men and women did not stand up for us in battle and protect us from evil, from dictators, from selfish rulers, from malicious people.  

A few years ago, I read a book about an American hair dresser that moved to Afghanistan to secretly teach women how to do hair and how to wax.  Awful things were happening to the women in the story, and then she mentioned the year, 1994- this was the year I graduated high school.  Then it hit me… while I was worrying about what college to go to or who to go to prom with, girls were being forced into marriage and women were not allowed to learn.  War was happening, but in my safe country of America- tanks and bombs were things I did not have to worry about.

These are things we do not have to worry about because of brave men and women who serve for us, who have served for us, and who have died for us.  

We can pick up a Newsweek or a Time magazine and read about what’s going on, but then we put it down and we can forget about it, because it is not our reality.  Reality is some day our sons or daughters may be the ones going overseas to defend our freedoms.  Reality is we enjoy our freedom and we want to keep it.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”- General George S. Patton

Take the time tomorrow, even a brief moment to thank a hero for the freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted.  Problems like the apple TV not working in my bedroom and having to walk down the stairs to the living room to watch TV pale in comparison to not being able to sleep at night because you hear bombs going off in the distance.

Amongst us, we have many heroes- thankfully none of whom we need to mourn tomorrow- but they put themselves at risk for us in their daily jobs.  Firefighters who will go into homes to rescue us and our precious belongings- sometimes they don’t make it - we honor them.  

We honor police who risk their lives keeping us safe in our community, safe from theft, attack, drugs.  They risk their lives with the most gruesome of people so that we can sleep safer at night.  

We honor military for they go to places we cannot even imagine going, they experience such tragic things, we can’t really understand.  We thank them for their bravery and honor in defending our country’s name.

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:  their courage nerves a thousand men.”  Minot J. Savage

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and we have a lot of fallen heroes to be thankful for.  You do not have to know one personally to thank them.  You could visit a cemetery and place a flag or flower on a tombstone, you could thank a parent who lost a child fighting for us, you could place a picture of a lost loved one on display at your bbq and share their story, you could read online about one, you could just take a moment of silence and be thankful for all the freedoms you have, and just be proud to be an American and wave your flag high.  

I encourage you to take a moment tomorrow to stop and look around, look at what you have- be grateful.  Life is precious and short, and no matter how bad you think you have it, you are alive and you live in America, land of the free, home of the brave.  Thank those brave people for all you have- because we all have a lot to be thankful for.

Work hard and always be proud of what you do.  Do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right.  Push yourself harder than you thought you could.  This week, you step foot into the box to do some hero WODs and when you think you can’t go on, you stop take two breaths and you push on.  

These heroes we celebrate, they were human just like us- they did not wake up and say “hey I want to be a hero”, it happened and in that moment, they did what was right.  A hero lives inside each and every one of us- exercise your potential each and every day so that when your opportunity arises, you will be ready!

We are training too, we are training for life, for something greater than we know- if I have to carry my kids out of a burning house, I want to be capable, if I need to save my drowning child from a pool, I want to be capable, if I need to fend off an attacker, I want to be capable, if I have to run to escape danger, I want to be capable, if I want to spend my life enjoying every minute, I want to be capable.  

Take the time this summer to read a book about a fallen hero- find the whole story behind them.  There are so many incredible stories out there, I encourage you to read one and be inspired.

"The Murph"
WOD:  1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run

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