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The Counseling Center

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Murph Memorial Recap

Max Liles, Senior Director

It was Monday, May 31st

Memorial Day. 

I am trying to do the right thing and convince my wife that she needs to go to the Memorial Day Murph work out at the TCC Health and Wellness Center; because it’s the right thing to do and I care deeply about her physical well-being. 

In typical fashion, she out-smarts me and all of a sudden, I AM THE ONE driving downtown to do Murph. 

For those of you that don’t know what Murph is, it’s on of CrossFit’s Hero WOD. 

For those of you that don’t know what a WOD is, it’s an acronym: “Workout of the Day”.

For those of you that don’t know what a Hero WOD is, it’s a special workout done in memory of a person who has given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty while serving our country. It should also be noted that those Hero WOD’s are generally REALLY HARD. 


1 Mile Run

100 Pull Ups 

200 Push Ups 

300 Squats

1 Mile Run 

Easy enough, right? 

To add an additional layer of honor and remembrance, our run took us to the Killed in Action Memorial at Tracy Park, where we selected a name of a fallen soldier, and completed the Murph in their honor. 

So there I was, running – which really isn’t that much fun if you think about it. BUT, it was for a good cause and all my people were running with me. 

I get to the memorial; I spend a few moments; I pick a name; I say the name to myself 10 times over; I take off running back. 

About 1 minute into my run back, the thought comes into my head: “WHAT WAS THE GUYS NAME?!” 

I had gotten preoccupied with thinking about the dreaded run back. I started thinking about all the work I had ahead of me. I was in a state of stress and distraction. I forgot. It slipped my mind. 

It occurred to me then that what I was experiencing was a microcosm of what goes on in day to day life: I get stressed. I get busy. I get caught-up. And I forget about the reasons, the very important reasons, of why I am doing what I am doing. 

Luckily, my strategy of saying the fellas name 10 times worked, and despite being oxygen deprived, I remembered. I got back to the HAWC, and wrote the name on the board. In addition to the war hero, I also added a couple names to the board that were important to me. People that I loved and cared about that had lost their lives to drug overdose. 

Jake S. 

Wayne S. 

Shane I. 

(I will never forget any of you). 

Other people followed suit. Names filled up the board. And I realized that while there are 3 names I always carry with me, there were a lot of other people I had gotten busy and forgotten about. 

I broke the work up. 

20 rounds

5 pull-ups

10 push-ups

15 Squats 

And somehow managed to run another mile –but that workout had me thinking. 

Murph did what it was supposed to do. It got people out and active. It honored the individuals that serve our country. It put into perspective what might be a little more important than we give it credit for, and it has left me thinking about some things that might help get through those distracted, busy, stressful times. 

  1. Be intentional. 

I think a lot of times, we lose track of our mission or our “why” because we don’t know what it is or how to get there. As the saying goes “fail to plan, plan to fail.” Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you are going to do something, know why you are doing it. Have a plan. Stick to a schedule. Give people permission to hold you accountable. Do things on purpose. 

  1. Think about the way you think. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is one of the most empirically supported intervention methods out there. It’s simple. It’s practical. & there is a ton of adaptations. But really, it’s simple: How you think is how you feel, and how you feel is how you act. Surround yourself with positive influences. Journal. Ask other people you trust how they interpret situations. Examine your reactions. Say something nice to yourself. 

  1. Set small goals. 

Reading Murph off the board, it might as well of said “This is impossible and you’ll never get done.” But, I’ve trained my brain to not look at the whole picture; rather – just do the next small step in front of me. Worst thing first, just to get it out of the way. Not focusing on the entire semesters work, but “what’s due this week?”, Not contemplating my sobriety forever, but rather for the next 24 hours. Just for Today. I’ve found I can get a lot accomplished in a year if I am willing to do a little bit each day.

  1. Share your memories. 

“As long as we speak their names, our heroes will never die.” 

We encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we continue to share our thoughts and practices in the business of Mental Healthcare. If you or someone you love is in need of behavioral treatment of any kind–reach us at 740.354.6685 or 24/7 on the Crisis Hotline 740.354.1010.

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