A Memorial Day to Remember

For so many of us, Memorial Day is thought of as a long weekend, a day at the lake, or another reason to cookout with friends and family.  All those things are fine, but Memorial Day is really a day of remembrance.  Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who gave their life for our freedom. In consideration of that remembrance, this year I made the decision to take the Murph challenge.  The Murph challenge is essentially a very demanding workout done in memory of Lt. Michael Murphy.  Murphy was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan.  

The Murph was the toughest physical challenge that I have ever taken.  While I made it through to completion, I was reminded of two very key things during the workout that we should all remember.

One, goals and determination will only take you so far.  I was very determined, had trained hard, and had set some very challenging goals for myself.  However, when your body is tired and you hurt all over, the importance of achieving those goals can easily be compromised if you don’t have a clearly defined purpose that drives you.  I had a twofold purpose that day that was more important than any goal that I had set.  My daughter was there with me counting reps and sets on the various workouts.  I wanted her to see me give it everything I had and never quit as an example for her.  I also wanted to push myself beyond limits as a thank you gesture to those fallen soldiers that gave their life for our freedom.  There was no way I was going to let either of those purposes down.

Secondly, the power of team was so evident that morning.  One of the local CrossFit gyms allowed me to join them for the challenge.  While I wasn’t a member of their team and didn’t know any of them prior to the event, the engagement, energy, and encouragement at that gym was off the charts and impacted me as well.   Those team members brought out the best in each other.  That’s what team is all about – being better together!

It was a great day of remembrance and reminding.  The remembrance of those that gave so much, and a reminder of the power of purpose and teamwork made that day awesome.  We should all be reminded of the power of purpose in our lives, and the power of a team working together for a common goal.  A clearly defined purpose based on people and a team pulling together to achieve that common purpose is the recipe for success.  

Whether you are striving to improve the safety in your manufacturing facility, the engagement level of your students in an academic arena, the commitment to offseason training for your athletic team, or the community impact of your organization, a clearly defined purpose based on “who” and a true team approach will position you well for long-term success.  

Those two things working together can change our life, our business, our community, and our nation.


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