Dymond McDonald ’06 isn’t used to sitting still. So, during the unprecedented quarantine situation necessitated by the COVID-19 global pandemic, he and his family are offering new and creative ways to encourage physical fitness.
McDonald, a native of Troy, Ohio, and a former wide receiver on the Wittenberg football team, and his wife Emily have taken to social media to spread their love of fitness. Each morning, Dymond and Emily are joined by their two-year-old daughter Maddyn for brief workouts by the pool at their Florida home.
Each video offers an exercise of the day, such as push-ups, squats, planks, or wall-sits, with the stipulation that the exercise should be repeated hourly throughout the day. Leveraging Facebook and Twitter, Dymond, Emily, and Maddyn offer their friends and family instruction, encouragement, and even a bit of levity at a time when so many are struggling to cope while being restricted to their homes to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“Everyone is looking for things to do to keep their sanity with the current situation,” said McDonald, who earned a degree in sociology at Wittenberg. “Everyone’s routine is out of whack with the stay-at-home restrictions, social distancing, and gyms closed. I wanted to find something that people could do to stay active throughout the day during these challenging times to complement whatever physical activity they may or may not be doing.
“It’s a wonderful feeling hearing about someone giving the challenge a try. Any attempt is better than no attempt. The challenges can be modified to make them work for you, but I encourage people to push themselves past the discomfort. Or, as we Tigers say, Tiger Up!”
Quarantine Challenge Day #8 20 Spider-Man Mountain Climbers every hr on the hr from the time you get up until you go to bed. @EmilyJMcDonald#Quarantine #COVID19 #StayActive #CowboysNationAtHome #GirlDad #WithMyGirls #StayHomeStayStrong #TigerUp #TigerInTraining #Wittenberg pic.twitter.com/GYtZLBPVpX
— D McD (@DymondMcD10) April 11, 2020
McDonald spent almost a decade coaching high school football after his successful gridiron career at Wittenberg, and he is currently on a scheduled R&R from a recent deployment in the Middle East for the United States government. He says he has maintained an interest in physical fitness throughout his life, a passion that Emily shares in her career as an online health and wellness coach. Emily, who accepted Dymond’s marriage proposal on Wittenberg’s famed Kissing Bridge, previously worked as a pediatric nurse for 12 years.
The videos, which started with push-ups by Dymond with Maddyn sitting on his back on April 1, are generating a bit of following. Dymond said family and friends, including many old Tiger teammates, have been participating in the challenges, and the videos are generating positive engagement on both social media platforms.
Quarantine Daily Challenge Day #1. 20 pushups every hour on the hour from the time you get up until you go to bed.#Quarantine #COVID19 #StayActive #CowboysNationAtHome #CowboysNation #ForMyDaughter #GirlDad pic.twitter.com/TdGUQlaUiZ
— D McD (@DymondMcD10) April 6, 2020
"I’m constantly hearing how much better friends and family say they feel as a result of the challenges," McDonald said. "The accountability texts make them more likely to complete the exercises each hour, as we send messages every hour upon completing the exercise. I’ve been thanked for getting them involved because it’s provided that extra motivation to get moving.
"We have all found that the time goes by much faster with our alarms going off every hour now. People have felt inspired and are encouraging their friends to join in whether they follow us or create their own."