One More Rep

Posted 5/30/24

One more rep.   Doing one more repetition—a set of push-ups, sit-ups, or squats—even after you hit the wall of exhaustion is what one more rep means. That’s what 220 athletes …

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One More Rep


One more rep.  Doing one more repetition—a set of push-ups, sit-ups, or squats—even after you hit the wall of exhaustion is what one more rep means. That’s what 220 athletes (up from 90 last year) did this Saturday as a Memorial Day tribute to Lt. Michael P. Murphy at the SEAL museum that bears his name in West Sayville. 

The painful workout is a tribute, in fact, to all veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is estimated that 40,000 athletes worldwide complete the Murph Workout each Memorial Day weekend. 

The Museum hopes CrossFit athletes and athletes worldwide make a pilgrimage at least once in their lives to complete a Murph where it all began, at Mike’s House, the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum.

They also honored young Finn for doing one more rep. He does one every day. Bay Shore 10th grader, Finn Schiavone, who was injured at wrestling practice two years ago.  The Museum’s executive director, Chris Wyllie, said Finn’s radiance on entering the Museum “changed his life.” 

Wyllie pointed out that Finn lost his ability to talk, walk, speak and remember.  Finn has fought every day since then to regain things most of his take for granted.  He gives “one more rep” every day, Wyllie noted.  Slowly but surely, Finn is regaining his faculties. 

At the ceremony, Wyllie presented Finn a plaque acknowledging Finn’s the Museum’s Perseverance Award.

“You need to wake up every morning to find the purpose for what you do,” Finn explained with effort when accepting the award. “As long as you’re better than the person you were yesterday, that’s how you know you’re making progress. We are all here for the same purpose,” Finn concluded, “to honor and continue the legacy of Michael Murphy.” 

Raucous doesn’t do justice to describe the crowd’s response to Finn’s inspirational message.

Murphy invented the workout he called Body Armor which consists of a mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups and 300 air squats and then another mile run. 

Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the most revered award there is, for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and above and beyond the call of duty,” as President George Bush explained when conferring the award. 

A selfless leader, Murphy knowingly gave his life by stepping for cover at Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 to make a distress call.  He gave his life so his team could live. 

The LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum, built almost entirely with donations, opened in West Sayville on July 5, 2022 after five years of construction. 

Kaj Larsen flew to the Museum from California last year and again this year to pay tribute to Murphy by answering the Murph Challenge. 

Also, a SEAL, Larsen was there when the Murph Workout was just an idea. He was Murphy’s friend at BUD/S, Basic Underwater Demolition, the 24-week training program all SEALS must graduate from to become SEALs. 

It’s the most difficult training program in the world marking SEALs themselves as the world’s most capable special forces operators. Forty thousand Navy personnel are recruited, 6 percent qualify to go for training and only 1 of 4 of those chosen from the 6 percent actually graduate. 

Within five minutes of meeting Kaj at BUDS/S, Murphy asked him to join him on a mile run to a pull-up bar to train. As he continued to train with Kaj, Murphy eventually figured out the other parts of what became the Murph Challenge, including the mile run back and forth to train and back to their bunk.

Other important people on hand to celebrate the occasion were Michael Murphy’s Gold Star family, mother (Maureen), father (Dan) and brother (John). 

The Museum’s two full-time employees, Wyllie and manager Donna Donohue, who baked two-hundred delicious cupcakes for the event, were on hand to celebrate. So were most of the Museum’s part-time employees, volunteers and board directors. 

Also on hand was the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency director Marcelle Leis, otherwise known as Chief Master Sergeant (Ret), who served for USAF/New York Air National Guard for 24 years. 

The crowd cheered again when the Museum unveiled its newest monument, which honors the 11 Navy SEAL combat assault dogs who died in service or training.  Sitting atop the onyx platform bearing the names of these fallen service dogs is a bronze Belgian Malinois, a monument lovingly crafted by local Tom Fricke. 

“These dogs are so brave,” Maureen Murphy noted.  “I think they should be treated as heroes too… They save lives.” 

Wyllie pointed out these beloved fellow combatants provide accompaniment, friendship and needed support as combat veterans, many of whom have seen a lot, reenter society.

The Museum was grateful to have ace race photographer and overall media guru Zachary Browning ( on hand to create some wonderful media, pictures, videos and drone footage.  Browning’s commitment to the event is spurred on by his wife, who grew up in Sayville, the site of the Museum.


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