MD Murtagh

I joined North Durham Crossfit after training as a competitive powerlifter for almost 5 years because I wanted to feel athletic again. Powerlifting is highly specialized, and to get good at it, my training became more and more sport specific over time. While powerlifting was increasing my absolute strength, it came at a high cost: losing mobility, agility, speed, endurance, and conditioning. Joining this gym meant taking a step back from powerlifting and rebuilding my base, working on improving my general physical preparedness, cardiovascular conditioning, and coordination/balance skill sets. Crossfit is more of a generalist’s game and part of its challenge, and appeal maybe, means being open to variety and adaptability. Ultimately, I joined this gym because it was a new environment to experiment with returning to that side of myself and to begin thinking about fitness as self-care again.    

My biggest accomplishment so far actually has little do to with physical training. Because the environment at North Durham Crossfit is very open and chill, I’ve been able to identify openly as myself, as a trans athlete, for the first time in my life. This has been very difficult for me for obvious reasons probably, but I’m on a path right now where I value being honest about myself and having integrity more than I value winning competitions; and of course, aligning these values with  daily practices, one of which has become training with my new community at North Durham Crossfit. 

I’m now working on becoming the best version of myself possible. In some sense, that means getting faster, stronger, more fit; but it also means challenging myself, as an introvert, to introduce myself to new people, to become a supportive member of a larger community, and to show up for myself and others. If you’re looking for hard and fast things I’m working on right now tho, I would say I’d like to get double-unders and muscle ups in the next few months, and would also like to hit #315-225-405 on my S-B-D.

My favorite North Durham Crossfit memory so far is probably the Crossfit Open 2020. We’re still in the midst of it, but I love coming in every Saturday morning and witnessing everyone give their all in those workouts, and cheer for everyone else. It’s been great to watch the community rally around friendly competition #teamfruitsalad

What motivates me to continue training at North Durham Crossfit is that I want to live a long, healthy, high-quality life and I think taking care of my body is part of achieving that. Investing in myself by taking a break from the high stress and high demands of graduate school at Duke feels like I’m choosing my mental and physical health first, which has not always been an obvious or easy choice for me.