Cobourg Man Keeps on Pushing for Mental Health

In Editor Choice, Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
He’s always been keen on physical fitness but, until Feb. 23, the push-ups Cobourg resident Chris Dingman is doing are for a bigger cause – mental health.

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s Push-Up Challenge is on, and Dingman has signed up.

“I’ve selected Haliburton-Kawartha-Pine Ridge (CMHA) as the region for the funds I have raised to come back to – our community,” he said this week.

“If you make a donation, you can follow my progress daily,” he added, giving the link as https://www.thepushupchallenge.ca/fundraiser/chrisdingman

“I originally set out as a physical challenge for a good cause. I didn’t think of the fundraising aspect,” he said.

He set a $500 goal, and reached that in three days, Interviewed on Day Six, his total was already $890. He raised his goal to $1,000 – then reached that and reset it to $2,500.

“So inspiring!” he declared.

And all the more important for the bigger cause, which he termed “deeply personal.”

“What started as a simple physical challenge for myself has taken on a greater purpose of raising awareness and helping support mental health initiatives in our community and beyond,” Dingman said.

“At its worst, I have seen friends and colleagues and too many other people I’ve encountered fall through the cracks and turn to suicide rather than seek help. This is my small way of trying to help and be part of something bigger in an effort to bring positive outcomes in our community.”

The challenge was begun in 2017 by a man in Australia named Nick Hudson, who underwent open-heart surgery and suffered such issues as depression during recovery. Over the years, more than 500,000 participants have completed 900-million push-ups and raised more than $36-million for mental health.

This is the first year it has come to Canada.

It works on the principle of daily goals, so you can’t “work ahead,” Dingman said.

“Today’s goal is 60.”

If you can’t make the goal, you can substitute with reps of other exercises, or go back another time and catch up – which he dismisses with his determination to meet every challenge.

“It’s got some teeth in it next week – the goal is 177 one day. I’ll break it up into smaller sets throughout the day and get after it.”

If you’re on board for this important cause, you can place your pledge by visiting https://www.thepushupchallenge.ca/fundraiser/chrisdingman

And as Dingman’s numbers inch up farther past the $1,000 mark, will he change his goal again?

“Who knows!” he said.

“I’ll just keep doing the push-ups!”

As for the long-term goal of shining the light on this important issue, he added, “I’ll keep pushing in February and beyond!”

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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