Last week I had a really awesome track workout. Because of the awesomeness both Sam and I experienced, we decided to go back this morning before class. Now, to be perfectly honest, because I’m in the gym at least one class a week, my exercise train has not derailed as much as it could have potentially during midterm madness [three exams in less than 36 hours is not fun], so Movement Ed, I am grateful for you, as am I for having a job where i can play around in the gym . . . and get paid for it [noodle hockey anybody?].
So this morning, I told my Twitter friends to have an intentional day, and went to school two and a half hours before my class started, and got the exercise train back on the literal track. And despite my breathing not being fantastic (mornings sometimes a little rough), I was determined to make the most of it and try to go kick my own ass out there. Because “K-I-C-K-A-S-S, that’s the way we spell success.” (–Giant, Matthew Good).
Today’s workout? It was hard. I left it feeling more exhausted than energized, and basically forced myself around the track for 45 minutes. I was TRYING. I was trying to be like “Yeah! This is awesome!”. Except it wasn’t. My cousin Dean was there too, along with Sam and I, and the kid just effortlessly basically runs straight out for half an hour (It blows my mind that people can still breathe when they do that, and then I remember that only 10% of us have screwed up lungs. And 50%~ of that 10% of us with asthma do not exercise. In Canada, that amounts to 1.5 million people. And now I have gone and scared myself with statistics about exercise engagement and asthma and want to go change the world.
And you know why half of asthmatics probably don’t exercise? The conclusion I came to on the track today while slogging through 5K:
A thing I hate about asthma? I feel like I can never have a consistent workout because there are about 8000 variables at play.
First it’s dependent on how I feel when I wake up. If I’m a little tight, or feeling a little “off”, I’ll still work out. if it’s anything more than that, I’ll push it off till the middle of the day or evening, or defer it until the next day. How I feel when I wake up in the morning though is also dependent on about a million things: my environment, the weather, the season and my own body. Identifiable variables today perhaps contributing to the not breathing my best: it snowed late this morning, hormones and a basically empty inhaler of Atrovent. So ALL of these things contributed to both how I felt when I woke up, AND how I felt during my workout. During the workout? That’s dependent on how my warm-up goes, how I FEEL about how my warm-up went [if it sucked, I’m less apt to push myself harder], the air quality in the locker room or gym [ex. intense fragrance, how dry the gym air is, etc]. And of course, the stuff I put into my body. So, food, water, and medicine. See the above point about the dead Atrovent, maybe didn’t give the Ventolin enough time to kick in, note that I didn’t eat before my workout, and realize that I forgot my water bottle in my locker? Less than perfect lungs, little fuel stores and probably some dehydration at play. So consistency? Not going to happen. That changes day to day. Once again, I’m sure most of you with any chronic disease can identify with this.
As I am winding myself around the track at the beginning of a sprint [running is a big deal, people. I used to only be able to do a quarter of the track, now I can do a whole lap with a long walking break between], and I’m fighting my lungs, fighting my legs, fighting my brain. Focusing on the breathing, focusing on ignoring the legs, focusing on telling my brain that it is the thing that wants me to BE INTENTIONAL about my choices. And fighting to let the zen that should be running take over.
The realization comes at this point.
If you don’t push through the shit, you don’t grow.
I run. I don’t run fast, I only complete that one lap, but . . .
I pushed through the shit. Like a flower.