Upstate community members complete Murph Challenge in honor of fallen Navy SEAL


SPARTANBURG, SC — Niquee D’Onofrio was tired. The skin on her palms was blistered raw and falling off. She would not quit, though. She was only halfway through the 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats. Even after that, she had one more mile to run.

She broke the workout into sets: At first, it was five pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats. But now, by halfway, she had increased those numbers to 10, 20 and 30, respectively. After each set completed, she would mark a tally on the floor under the pull-up bar with white chalk.

D’Onofrio was one of about 25 people Monday to complete the Murph. The challenging workout, held at CrossFit gyms nationwide, consists of 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats, sandwiched on each end by a one-mile run.

The workout is commemorative of U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2005.

According to CrossFit, the workout was one of Murphy’s favorites, one he would complete wearing his body armor. Hence, the name, ‘Murph.’

“In our world, we call it paying the man,” Michael Hamrick said. Hamrick was directing the Murph at the YMCA, located at 501 Willis Rd in Spartanburg. “We’re paying him respect. We give a little bit of our blood, our sweat, our tears and just taking some time to remember everything Memorial Day stands for.”

It is a cause meaningful to D’Onofrio. Several of her family members serve the nation in the armed forces.

So for them — and for the challenge — she kept pushing forward. She pushed through her last set, for which she dropped back to five pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats and powered through the final mile of running.

Disappointingly for her, the final mile was noticeably slower than the first. However, completing the challenge for the third-straight year brought her pride.

“I had to modify the first two years,” she said, referring to the exercises. “This is the first year I didn’t modify.”

She said it felt good to see that improvement. Then, she went home to shower and nap.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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