The crowd grows bigger, as a combination of veterans, service members, first responders and civilians come together to accomplish the mission. It is not going to be easy but in the end everyone will have a stronger bond. A bond of sweat, tears and aching muscles on this special occasion.

They start with a one mile run, then move on to 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and finish strong with another one mile run for good measure. The more experienced can choose to do all of this with a 20lbs vest on, for others just finishing will be an accomplishment.

No matter how you choose to do the work out, it is not about time, but rather the bond it creates and to pay homage to the fallen. This is known as the Murph Challenge, a work out performed across the country on Memorial Day to honor our fallen heroes, it was named after LT. Michael P. Murphy a Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient.

Next Memorial Day, consider the Murph Challenge, it is a great way to commemorate our fallen and connect with the community.

Rush Club Human Performance Center has been hosting the Murph Challenge since 2012 when they opened their first gym. Rush Club has a strong community following because of their strong values and acceptance of anyone who wants to improve themselves.

RCHPC outgrew their old gym and so on May, 28 2018 they opened a new, gym with more space, but the old spirit remained. AJ Richards, the Rush Club founder, owner and Veteran, has created an environment where other Veterans can feel at home while at the same time integrate into the community.

“This is an opportunity for Veterans to relate to civilians and civilians to understand what it’s like to be part of a tribe” says Richards “at Rush Club, we have built a culture with the community”!

Tasha Badder started off as a member of the Rush Club gym, she instantly fell in love with the culture and she then became a coach. “Murph is not so much of a work out as it is a way for us to pay respect to our fallen heroes” says Badder.

As a civilian she might not completely understand Veteran culture but she has a better understanding because of events put on by Rush Club, like the Murph Challenge. She also has a better understanding of what Memorial Day means to the community.

“When you are having a hard time with a work out or falling behind we have people here to build you back up and not leave anyone behind much like the military culture” Badder said.

Tylor Hicks is a service member with the National Guard and also a coach at Rush Club, he started off as a member in 2012. When asked how Rush Club affected him Hicks said “it keeps me in shape which is something I need for the military and we live the 1/23 mentality” referring to a saying they have at Rush Club, put in the hard work at the gym for an hour to be a better person the other 23 hours of your day.

“You show up and you do what you’re told to do, we work out together and compete together and that’s what builds our comradery at this gym” said Hicks.

No matter if you are a civilian or part of some organization bigger than yourself, remember that we all started as tribes at one point in history. Rush Club seems to have figured out the equation to make people of all backgrounds come together, pay respect and continue a tradition we lost as we became more civilized. Now more than ever we need to stick to our human roots and depend on each other, for many Rush Club is that place.


For more information visit: or contact them at 480-544-2446


The pillar in the background is full of stones with the names of fallen heroes on each one. The rest of the set up is to remind everyone that our fallen heroes are still with us.


Some participants of the Murph challenge wear a 20 pound vest just like the legendary and Medal of Honor recipient, LT. Michael P. Murphy did in his workouts.

AJ Richards, owner of Rush Club Human Performance Center grilling some burgers for the Murph participants and the community.

Team picture of the participants of the 2018 Murph Challenge at Rush Club Human Performance Center.