Bell Yeah! A roomful of UW Bothell faculty and staff took part in a tri-campus call and response as they lifted, twisted and curled their way toward smashing a Guinness World Record – World’s Largest Kettlebell Workout. On January 24th, approximately sixty staff and faculty clad in gym gear gathered in Husky Hall to join in with 1,100-plus other UW employees spread across all three campuses to break the record. Under the live televised guidance of Marti Young, fitness enthusiast and wife of UW President Michael K. Young, participants worked through a series of stretches, curls, and squats. As participants worked out to the music, Young kept everyone excited. When she yelled, “Bell!” the crowd from all three campuses responded “Yeah!”
According to Guinness, the previous record was set in November of 2013 in Arkhangelsk, Russia by 300 athletes at the International Confederation of Kettlebell Lifting Masters and International Kettlebell Triathlon Federation. With more than three times as many participants in attendance, Friday’s workout is likely to take the place of the previous record.
The workout included a certain rhythm that may be common in kettlebell workouts for newcomers. First there was a thud as a cast-iron weight slipped to the floor, and then there was laughter.
“It was a great time,” exclaims Sofia Piel, graduate staff assistant for the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. I haven’t laughed that hard in months!”
This collective feat is part of The Whole U, a new set of services designed to enhance the faculty and staff’s quality of life as a part of their employment with the University of Washington. The goal of The Whole U is to foster community, share ways to stay healthy, and promote the great benefits and services available to UW faculty and staff. The program launches with employee discount programs for gyms and health food services, an events calendar, and a tool kit to help start up new groups or activities.
Making an effort to support faculty and staff translates into an improved student experience as well, so The Whole U is an initiative that benefits every aspect of the university experience.
“I think it’s good to see the UW take an interest in well-being as a whole,” said Linda Watts, Professor of American Studies at UW Bothell. “Health isn’t something you can define in part. It has to be considered holistically.”
To learn about The Whole U, click here.