81-year-old crossfitter completes Memorial Day Murph challenge after 7 surgeries

TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) -- He's considered the oldest athlete and member of Crossfit Igneous in Tomball, but to many, he's a true inspiration.

He served more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, and holds an 8th degree grandmaster rank in Taekwondo.

But for 81-year-old Fred Murphy, he says Crossfit is the secret to his fountain of youth.

"I love exercising," Murphy said. "I mean I love it."

Suddenly, it all came to a screeching halt, and Murphy was forced to stay out of the gym.

"I had seven surgeries last year," said Murphy. "(The doctors) just said it was 'a wide spread infection,' and it was all through my body."

The infection kept Murphy in the hospital for a total of 52 days.

"In Fred's situation, he was in a really really bad place," said Crossfit Igneous head coach Matthew Davis. "The doctor told me after I went to visit Fred, we were in the elevator, (and said) 'If Fred wasn't in the type of shape that he's in, most likely this situation could've turned out a lot different for him."

Murphy returned to Crossfit Igneous last summer, and recently pushed himself in this year's Memorial Day Murph challenge.

It's done in honor of fallen Navy SEAL, LT. Michael P. Murphy. The challenge consists of running a mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, then capped with another mile run.

Many across the country participated, including Murphy.

"You don't stop," recalled Murphy. "If you're dragging, you keep going until you finish what you started out."

Murphy said he hopes to practice enough to where he completes a Murph challenge every month.

"When I get to be 83, I'm going to kick butt," he said proudly.

If you're interested in the official Murph Challenge workout, click here.

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