“The Murph Challenge” honors memory of U.S. Navy SEAL

ATHENS Ala. - Every Memorial Day people across the country take part in The Murph Challenge, a fitness challenge in memory of U.S. Navy SEAL, Michael P. Murphy.

The challenge consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, then another mile run.
"My last lap in the run I just kept thinking honestly my legs were so tired, and it's so hot, and I'm sweating so bad," said Brittany Olson, a fitness instructor at the Athens Rec Center. "I just started thinking of everything I'm thankful for that being born in this country has given me and allowed me to be a part of . and seriously that's what got it done."
Brittany Olson hosted the challenge with fellow fitness instructor Shelby Newton at the Athens Recreation Center.
"It just really puts things into perspective of what is this holiday? It just makes you take a step back and remember It's not just about the barbecue and going out on the river," said Shelby Newton, a fitness instructor at the Athens Limestone Wellness Center. "There is a huge meaning behind it.
The Murph Challenge is in memory of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a U.S. Navy SEAL.
"His family put together a foundation, and on Memorial Day gyms across the nation get together and do this challenge together," said Olson.
For his selfless actions during the war in Afghanistan, Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
"I know what we did today, an hour workout, does not even compare to what our soldiers go through," Olson said. "But it does kind of get you in the head space of oh my gosh this is so hard like I can't imagine what they go through for us. and it really does just put you in a place of thankfulness."
Olson and Newton joined others from around the area working hard to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They said they plan to host the challenge next year and expand it even further.

The Murph Challenge raises money for a scholarship fund. Since 2014 they have raised over a million dollars in memory of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy.

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