Three Northern Ireland women have put themselves through a mammoth physical test of endurance to raise awareness of positive mental health while also raising funds for local charity, Action Mental Health.
Megan McCluskey, Kyla Phillips and Claire Sharpe recently completed the gruelling MURPH CrossFit workout to raise money for Action Mental Health, symbolising the mental challenges many people endured during the lockdown.
Two of them did the MURPH challenge last year as part of their home workouts and decided to repeat it this year, to help mark the recent focus on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week.
The traditional MURPH workout starts with a one-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups and 300 air squats, all rounded off by another one-mile run. However, to accommodate people doing out the workout from home, the trio modified the pull-ups to burpees.
Kyla explained: “As we approached the challenge, we launched our very own nomination challenge,” she said. “We asked people to take up the MURPH challenge, in aid of Action Mental Health, and to donate something to AMH and then nominate five friends to do the same, via social media.”
“The aim is to complete the challenge and then tag and nominate 5 friends to also take the challenge or make a donation. I created the #murphformentalhealth, and reached out to a few friends to complete and nominate and then we took the challenge ourselves. The reason for choosing the MURPH challenge specifically is that even though it is a tough challenge, when broken down into sets/ segments it can be completed, just like battling issues with your mental health. If broken down into steps, when you take it one day at a time, you can overcome your challenges.
“On a personal level, I feel it’s important for us to openly talk about our mental health and spread awareness that #itsoknottobeok. In the past I have battled with depression and most recently anxiety, especially throughout lockdown.”
Claire Sharpe said she couldn’t resist joining the challenge when Kyla asked her on board. “Mental health is something I hold close to my heart. I know so many people who have been impacted by a mental illness that could’ve been made easier if it wasn’t considered so “taboo” and they were comfortable to talk about it,” she said.
“I did the challenge to raise money for a great charity and spread awareness. In Northern Ireland it’s something that is so common, particularly during the pandemic, we all need to do our bit to make sure that our family and friends have the support they need to live happy, healthy lives.”
Megan McCluskey, agreed, adding: “Since being in lockdown I’ve seen a lot of people close to me struggle, including myself. I find it difficult to open up and talk about my own personal anxieties. There still seems to be a stigma around mental health, so by talking more about it and raising awareness, I want to help break down those barriers. By doing this #murphformentalhealth challenge, I hope other people will join in and help us raise awareness and money for a great charity like Action Mental Health It’s a big challenge, but we hope that lots of fitness enthusiasts and CrossFit fans out there will get involved and help raise money for this brilliant charity.
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/murphchallenge