Donovan Kernizan

The Kernizan Family’s way of avoiding the “Quarantine 15” — regular exercise.

Avoiding the ‘Quarantine 15’

Day 30, 31, 32…I don’t even know anymore at this point. These past few weeks in quarantine have been the most boring time period of my life. And my options for keeping myself entertained, with no contact with the outside world, gets slimmer every day. My new normal has consisted of waking up in the morning, making a fresh Belgian waffle from scratch and heading to my basement to watch TV.

Since I have classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I usually use the TV on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. From Netflix action movies to streaming YouTube videos of gamers competing in the newest games out or playing NBA 2K20, the newest version of a popular basketball game, this new normal has somehow transformed me into a lucky prisoner in my own home — thanks to technology. 

I live with my older cousins Daniel and Nathaniel, twin guys who are 22-year-old soon-to-be college graduates (shout out to all the May 2020 grads) and they are pretty physically fit. They’ve played basketball and run track growing up and still remember certain drills and workouts they used to do with their teams.

Suddenly one day recently, I heard Daniel calling my name from the top of the staircase while I was playing video games: “Ayo, come upstairs! Go change your clothes and come do this workout!”

As unexpected as this was, I was excited to work out because it’s something I actually enjoy but don’t always have the self-motivation to do on my own. So there I was, hustling up three flights of stairs to my bedroom to change, then jogging back down to the first floor to meet him for the “Push.”

The “Push” is a workout that strictly works your upper body, so it’s filled with different kinds of push-ups and core exercises. Before we warm up, the full workout is written in red on a medium-sized whiteboard that we have in the house. The whiteboard sits comfortably on an old wooden chair with the most uncomfortable orange spring cushion. The “Push” is our guide. And the workout isn’t over until it’s over.

Normally to start our workout, Daniel makes sure I know the proper form for each exercise. If I don’t, he helps me through it. Motivation to complete each exercise comes in different forms. There’s rap music blasting from our bluetooth speaker. My younger sister will sit on the staircase or in the dining room keeping time for us. And there will be my mom recording to most likely post on Facebook or somehow embarrass me later on with.

These upper body workouts are no joke! I hear my elbows cracking, arms shaking, shoulders burning…and I’m convinced I’m doing something right. But here comes Coach Daniel in the background proving me wrong: “Donovan, you aren’t doing the push-ups correctly; your feet are too close, you need to breathe, your back isn’t straight…tighten up!”

As frustrating as the criticism is to hear, I’ve grown to understand that they are actually trying to help me instead of tearing me down. As much as I like to play games and be active, I haven’t been on athletic teams or played organized sports like they have. It’s a whole different ball game when drills are involved.

But I’m glad Daniel called me up from the basement that day and added something new to my quarantine daily routine. It still sucks to be inside, but at least I can try to avoid gaining the “Quarantine 15” that everyone talks about. Until the world opens back up, “the marathon continues” as the famous rapper Nipsey Hussle once said. Hopefully freedom rings soon but until then, I’ll have to be patient and just wait it out.

This is part of a continuing blog tracking the highs and lows of life in the St. Benedict’s community as its members weather the effects of a worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

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