Lieutenant Michael Murphy has gone down as one of the most distinguished Penn State alumni after the Navy SEAL died during an operating in Afghanistan in 2005. Lt. Murphy continues to be honored (at Penn State and otherwise) as a hero, and he has gone on to receive several posthumous honors from including a Medal of Honor, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart.
Lt. Murphy’s legacy will continue to be honored this weekend with Omega Delta Sigma’s annual Warrior Games and spaghetti dinner benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. Lt. Murphy was an avid fan of Crossfit, a fitness and exercise program known for its intense workouts that combine multiple disciplines of strength training. Murphy himself performed a Crossfit workout he called the Body Armor, later renamed the Murph in honor of Michael Murphy. Four years ago, the newly founded Omega Delta Sigma, Penn State’s own co-ed veteran’s fraternity, honored Lt. Murphy by creating the Warrior Games.
According to Mike Johnson, president of Omega Delta Sigma and member of the US Navy, the fundraiser holds a special place in everyone’s hearts because it benefits a cause that they have seen firsthand helping service members.
“We continue to support Wounded Warrior Project because we are all veterans, it is something that hits really close to home for a lot of us. Most of us have been deployed and had friends who have been hurt and been a beneficiary of the program,” said Johnson. “It’s a way for us to give back to an organization that helps people similar to us.”
During the Warrior Games, which will take place on March 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at LionHeart Gym downtown, each participant or team of four will complete a Murph, which consists of a one-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and a final mile run to top it off. For those who might not be in military shape, participants can also complete a half Murph (half the totals) or a quarter Murph (a quarter of the totals), both of which still include the two mile runs.
“From day one, CrossFit has embraced our men and women in uniform, and we have chosen to honor the heroes who gave their lives to keep us and our country safe. ‘Murph,’ is one of the most revered or sacred hero workouts that CrossFit has named,” said Jeff Walsh, manager of the LionHeart gym. “With links to our area as a former PSU graduate, it was an honor and a privilege for us to help by hosting the event at our facility, volunteering our time and honoring a man’s sacrifice by completing one of his favorite workouts as an individual or team surrounded by a supportive community.”
If you aren’t a Crossfit enthusiast and 200 pushups doesn’t quite sound like your ideal Saturday morning, you can also attend Omega Delta Sigma’s spaghetti dinner at the State College VFW this Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased ahead of time for $5 or at the door for $7.