(I found out about the challenge a day late, so I’m post-dating this blog and playing catch up with this post.)
A is for Asthma
For as long as I can remember I have struggled to breathe. Somewhere along the way, my lungs rebelled against the rest of me and decided they would rather not function like a normal, rational, sweet pair like they should. Instead, they seize up when I run, walk up too many stairs, have any sort of stress, or when I have a panic attack. At one point, I thought about kicking them out and telling them to find a new body to take up residence in, but then I realized that breathing in gasps was better than not breathing at all, and I let them stay.
When I was a kid, the challenge was wanting to be normal. I wanted desperately to join in with the other kids as they frolicked about and goofed off on the playground. I learned to cope then, and spent a lot of time inside reading instead of out in the fresh air. Now that I’m all grown up, the challenge is trying to keep myself active and not letting my asthma tie me to my couch. It would be easy to use it as an excuse, to stay in and immobile so as not to have to puff on albuterol or worry about having an all out attack, but I try to push past it. It isn’t always easy, but I feel good about making myself push past my comfort zone and into something a bit scary and unknown.
Recently, I’ve been working out with friends. I even committed to running a race with a group of girls that I’m quite fond of. It’s a stretch for me, but I’m pleased with myself for taking the leap towards better health and well being. Letting go of the embarrassment of my childhood, embracing who I am (asthma and all), and moving forward with my life is a step, and an important step for me, towards happiness and a better future.