“Kettle and they will come?” As we placed over 1,000 kettlebells on Dempsey Field Thursday night, we wondered what we would do if no one showed up. But, as usual, UW faculty and staff went above and beyond. We smashed the current record for world’s largest kettlebell workout by over 700!
Personally, Friday tested my strength and gave me a chance to try two new things: kettlebells and breaking world records. But what I will remember most about the event is how thrilling it was to see approximately 1,000 of our UW colleagues come from all over campus and down from Harborview Medical Center to take part in the workout together. I was definitely energized by the spirit of the crowd!
As I ran around the event, I saw colleagues taking selfies and lining up for a photo with Harry the Husky, introducing themselves to President Young, and having a great time meeting some of UW’s student athletes. I heard the UW Band set the perfect tone for our record attempt. And, I saw Marti Young take the stage and lead us through 30-minutes of exercise and make it fun the whole time! Thanks to UW Video’s webcasting skills, Bothell and Tacoma also participated in the workout.
As director of marketing & communications for UWHR, I seize every opportunity to talk about why the UW is a great place to work. And this is definitely one of them. I love that I got a kettlebell and a commemorative Nike Dri fit t-shirt, but the experience of helping to plan an event that required close partnership with many campus departments and recruiting volunteers is what I am really talking about. The Whole U team could not have put on this event without the collaboration, the sharing of expertise, and the good will and congeniality of our colleagues. We had to turn to many, many people for help and at each turn we found colleagues who were willing to lend their knowledge, creativity, time, and yes, even their brawn. (Those 1,000 kettlebells did not magically place themselves on Dempsey field—we had many amazing volunteers that helped late into the night, including President Young!)
Guinness will take approximately eight weeks to review our attempt and certify that we have set a new world record. The event is getting some press coverage and we will post links to stories as they come in. Molly McElroy wrote a great article for UW Today with excellent photos, and Ruby de Luna interviewed Mindy Kornberg for KUOW. Photos from the event will be posted on The Whole U’s Facebook all this week, and your colleagues are already sharing their photos on that page and on Instragram with the hashtag #wholeukettles.
We are so happy that people were willing to take time from their day to come together as a community. The Whole U will continue to sponsor activities by UW, for UW, so please stay tuned. In fact, take today’s poll (upper-left corner of this page) to let us know what record you’d like to break next!