The House Bell

Since the joint opened, we’ve been talking about acquiring a “PR Bell” for the box but it kept falling down the list of priorities (we were doing other things like – moving the pull-up rig; extending the pull-up ring; moving the extended pull-up rig; installing ring mounts; moving the kid’s corral; building jerk boxes; adding additional platforms; so on and so forth).  However, after Gabe passed away (if you’re new or passing by, we’ve written a bit about Gabe here and here) all the coaches had a hive mind moment and realized that now was the time to get the PR Bell put in and that it should be done in a way to honor/memorialize Gabe.

What I didn’t realize was that lots of folks weren’t familiar with the PR Bell.  I wrote this quick bit last night to some friends on FB but thought I’d add a few more words:

It’s a PR for anyone who does anything better than they’ve ever done it – naming it after Gabe couldn’t be more appropriate.

Gabe always worked to be better. Always. He didn’t care that much about being THE best, just HIS best.

Who can want much more than that?

Who can ask for more than that?

…and that’s (just one of) the reason(s) we respected, admired and loved him so.

That bit gets at why our PR Bell couldn’t be more appropriately named but, for you, what’s a PR Bell mean and when do you use it?

Quite simply, you walk on up and ring the PR Bell whenever you hit a personal best (“personal record”) that is meaningful to you.  We’d like you not to ring the bell mid-WOD (c’mon now – stay focused on your time!) but any time before or after (you can even walk over and ring it during your strength/technique work) is fair game.

Everyone comes into CrossFit at a different point along their personal fitness spectrum.  Some folks come in very fit and it is their hope to quality for a CrossFit Regional competition.  Some folks come in far less fit than they’d like and their goal might be to do one pull-up, or squat their body weight one time, or run one mile without being exhausted.

The point is, whoever you are and at whatever point in your fitness you’ve come to CrossFit Merced, every WOD is another step on your journey toward achieving your goals – and whatever the long-term fitness goals you’ve set for yourself (and those goals will likely shift several times throughout your life) you’ll find more enjoyment on your path to those goals if you take the time to celebrate all the small steps along the way.

As coaches then, or as fellow athletes, we want to celebrate with you each of those dozens of small(er) accomplishments you make throughout the process of increasing your fitness but we need your help to do so.

If you’ve been here for more than a couple weeks, you realize much of the value of this place is not in the coaches (though we care so much about each of you), or the equipment (though we’ve some super fun stuff to play with), or the facility – it’s found within the community we’ve built day after day over the last year and half.

When you step up and ring that bell, it’s not about your ego, it’s about you being able to realize that all the hard work you’ve put in is paying off  – and when we get to celebrate those moments together, it reminds others that the hard work they are putting in will pay off for them as well.

It’s one of the greatest parts of CrossFit – the communal pride in your successes serves as motivation and inspiration for others to to do/give/be their best, which loops back around (we hope) to keep you motivated when you’re not feeling at your very best.

Feedback loops of success aren’t found too often in the wild but here’s to hoping the House Bell is another way we can keep such a loop happening at CrossFit Merced.

When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.  – John Wooden 

Here’s to hoping we hear the sound of that bell every day – and I know I will never hear the sound of that bell without also seeing Gabe’s big ol’ smile.

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