A phrase that is easier said than done when you're an asthma sufferer!
Rewind to when I was 15 years old, trying to sleep on a hot summer night when I was greeted by my first full-blown, asthma attack.
Ambulance, oxygen masks, thinking I was going to die - drama.
It may sound stupid to say, but I don't think you appreciate the everyday functioning of your lungs until they stop working.
Your chest gets tight, you panic, you feel like your throat is closing up, you panic some more, you start wheezing, feel dizzy and every second becomes a focus on the ins & outs of air. Oh, and if like me you also have hayfever and your nose decides to not function too - it's a pretty scary experience.
I take my little blue friend most places, there's one in my gym bag, one in my handbag and a brown horrible tasting one for big, bad emergencies, but it never quite takes away the fear of the "what if''s."
I've struggled on a lot of runs with asthma. My legs are going strong, my mind is focused, when all of a sudden - a slightly tight chest? Hm, try shake it off. Keep on going. Little bit of wheezing? Trying not to panic. Then the shit hits the fan and I've got to stop, normally bent over, trying not to cry, because that just makes the whole thing worse, all the while focusing on getting the thing that keeps me alive to try work again.
It's an on-going struggle and I'm still dealing with the panic that does sometimes ruin a run alone, but eventually that will go.
My point is this - a lot of the time, my runs go fine and I'll never even have to think about using my inhaler. If anything, my asthma has improved amazingly whilst exercising. It's a scary risk every time I step foot outside if I've forgotten it, or if I go in the gym without it, but what I've used as an excuse not to exercise in the past has actually helped strengthen my lungs.
So if anyone is debating whether or not to run, exercise or do sports because you have asthma, just give it a go, be prepared, but keep on going.
Run, Breathe & Be Happy!
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