Asthma Girl Athlete, YES I am, and don’t try to convince me otherwise!

photo (2) I am angry, as furious as I’ve been in a long time. It’s a slow, deep burn inside me, born from genetic imperfections that make exercise exceedingly challenging but no less rewarding. It comes from the criticism of others about my efforts to persevere in spite of my limitations. It derivates from the people who want to save me during a race from my own lungs, and from the swim group that said we don’t let people play our reindeer games unless they can swim eight lengths without stopping. I don’t have a problem with my struggle to breathe, and by that I mean I still run, I still do CrossFit, I still swim and I’ll still play a sport out of breath if someone will teach me how to play one, I’m not very talented or experienced. What I have a problem with is that everyone else seems to have issue with Asthma Girl Runner, Swimmer, CrossFitter; I was born with these lung issues, they may have worsened over time, but I was born with limitations.
The implication of what people say and do is that I’m insane for pushing, for wanting better than mediocrity, for not running the “easy” pace but pushing myself to run intervals, harder, and walk in between to control my breathing. I’ve done the “easy” run all the way, and it hurt my joints too much, hence my switch to interval training. I ENJOY pushing and then backing off, pushing and then backing off. I like my new style of running, thank you Jeff Galloway, it works for me! Swimming is a challenge to find that “easy” pace, to control breathing but not fatigue the body too much. Somehow I wish I could sprint and walk the pool also, is there an app for that? Seriously though, maybe I can find a swim coach one day to help me find my pool groove. Until then, I will focus on breathing and my kicks and just building my swimming endurance. Today will be day 3 in the pool, so it’s new territory; I have not swum other than recreationally in years, really.
I had a moment, this morning, when I doubted my choice to be an athlete. When I let all those negative “why” voices from others permeate my psyche, when my own negative self-tape started playing that fat girl monologue, the one that says “You’ve always had asthma, you’ve always had a weight problem, you’ll never win, you’ll always…….”. I hate that bitch, I wish I could permanently erase her damn track forever; I’ve had some years of therapy to try, and that’s really expensive when it goes on too long, and I think it loses efficacy. Certainly, today, I am better for it, but I like when running replaced it, and now, swimming, I can really, truly get in my head and work through my problems, there are no distractions in the water, it is such a Zen experience (aside from my crazy breathing, of course). I do feel extremely fat lately, truth. I’ve struggled with my weight again, a lot, since January, when I had a total hysterectomy and had to take eight weeks off exercise. I still have hormones, so I’m not blaming that. My eating habits have been on again off again in terms of eating healthy, and my fitness has been at a great level since Memorial Day, so I’m always waiting for the scale to reflect it. It doesn’t. I’ve broken up with the scale and reunited with her a million times, and I know, because I’m in recovery from obesity, I cannot ever let the scale go, she will always matter, that number represents an important my health, whether I like that fact or not.
As I finish this entry two days later, I feel less fierce, and in a place of acceptance, of who I am, and ready to calmly defend my right to compete. Today is rest day #2, and when I can barely squat to pee, I really hate what working out does to my body, but I know this is part of a process. I recognize it means I need additional day of rest, which athletes have to recognize when they need a break, when the pain is enough that pushing through it is not the right decision. Part of being an athlete is recognizing those signs and taking appropriate action. I love my body and I hate it too; but without athleticism, I would for certain be lost, it is a part of me I do not want to lose, it is more than a tool for health, it is an integral part of my life. I am so grateful I can run, swim, lift, squat, lunge, and even cry through it. I am Kerniec, Asthma Girl Athlete, always learning, evolving, adapting.


2 thoughts on “Asthma Girl Athlete, YES I am, and don’t try to convince me otherwise!

  1. I decided to check this out. Good job. My heart breaks as it strengthens at the same time for you. Don’t ever quit. I lost just under 40 lbs myself while doing insanity workout. In fact, I just finished. I, however have been an exceptional athlete in high school and college. I admire you and thank you for allowing me to be inside your world, even with misspellings 🙂 Good for you. You broke my “blog” virginity. Jeff

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