Memorial/Hero Workouts are at the Heart of CrossFit


CrossFit Amesbury, Amoskeag CrossFit, Battle CrossFit, Breathe CrossFit, Ever Proven CrossFit, CrossFit Route 1a, White Mountain CrossFit
Crossfit gyms do MollyWOD

When Molly was nine years old and still rather pudgy, she completed a hero workout with me on Veteran’s Day. I scaled it for her and explained what hero workouts were and why we did them. That the movements in them represented both the characteristics of the fallen and the qualities they wanted to share. One of the most famous is “Murph”. My favorite is “Marston” which is in honor of my lost friend Blake. I was so touched by Molly’s reaction to her Hero Workout experience that I wrote a blog about it. I called it “Molly’s First Hero Workout”.

Little did I know at the time that it would be her last.

We call the first week of May death week. It’s ugly, I know, but Molly entered May alive and was dead before the first week ended. Each day from the first to the seventh has its own variety of emotions and memories attached to it. While managing it becomes somewhat more manageable as the years pass, it still (and likely always will) suck. It has taken us eight years, a metaphorical first 8 days of May, to begin the process of repurposing death week. 

This year we did it with The MollyWOD.

Shortly after Molly died a friend of mine made up a CrossFit Memorial Workout for Molly. The MollyWOD requires no equipment and can be easily modified for all ages and ability levels. It is inclusive. This workout represents Molly’s desire to make sure everyone had a place where they felt comfortable. We (meaning my home gym in Concord) have done some sort of MollyWOD every year since she died. 

This year we made it an event,

Six gyms participated. They all made The MollyWOD their work out of the day. Across southeast New Hampshire and across the border into the north shore of Massachusetts people who had never met Molly, and many who have never met me participated in her workout. They learned about her and talked about her. They recorded their efforts and shared on social media. They raised money. 

I cried most of Saturday.

Not sad tears, (although all tears have a touch of melancholy) but tears of gratitude. I want people to remember Molly, or to get to know her, just as much as I want her foundation to make money. All of those people in all of those gyms were introduced to my Molly. They learned about her. They donated to her foundation.

It made the fourth day of death week a little better.

I am calling April and May “The Season of Molly”. This will be a time of year that we seek donations and do fundraising events. We will give awards and scholarships. We will celebrate what she stood for, and we will mourn all that we did not get to see her do. Like every season there will be warm moments and cold ones. 

It will make the transition of winter into spring a bit easier.  

At the end of the day, all I really want is for Molly to be alive and well. I can never have that. So, when six gyms from a worldwide gym brand (CrossFit) join together, from their individual locations to honor the child of a fellow athlete/coach/CrossFit sister, I am comforted, and the pain in my heart is eased. 

Molly’s words after her workout come to mind. “When I was tired Mommy, I just thought about Michael McGreevy and then I could keep going”. Who knew that just over three years later, people would be thinking about her.

This is community.  

CrossFit Amesbury, Amoskeag CrossFit, Battle CrossFit, Breathe CrossFit, Ever Proven CrossFit, CrossFit Route 1a, White Mountain CrossFit.

This is CrossFit.

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