Checking the "Athlete" Box!

Other than coaching, sports aren’t my thing. It may seem an oxymoron to some, but it’s true. Perhaps what they say is true, “those who cannot do, teach”! This isn’t to say I don’t get out on the court with my Special Olympics athletes, or that I don’t regularly find myself on the floor at goalball, with blacked out eyeshades on (like ski googles but without the clear part!), having a 2.75 pound ball thrown at me by guys twice my size, who also happen to be blind. Simply, I’m not particularly athletic or skilled at sports, though I like to have fun. For some reason, having a ball that’s the size of a basketball but much thicker, less bouncy, and heavier thrown at me at up to 60 kilometres an hour when I can’t see it coming, has been included in my idea of fun.
(Honestly, don’t ask.)

Goalball can be a good workout, but it can, at times, involve a lot of laying around on the floor. Those breaks make it pretty workable with my asthma, especially if I take my inhaler first. (Sometimes, I impulsively jump into a game, and I can definitely tell if I haven’t pre-medicated!) I’ve written before about how you can potentially identify sports and physical activities that may work better for your asthma. Goalball? I think it makes my list.

Tonight I filled out my registration form for Manitoba Blind Sports for the upcoming season (it’s mid-June as I write this. The new season starts in September. I guess I’m excited?). And in addition to the “coach” box, I checked the “athlete” box. Manitoba Blind Sport allows sighted participants to join in most sports, although competition is of course limited.


Yep my stance may be goofy but so are my legs ;).

The athlete box? Yep. I have succumbed to the peer-pressure from amazing archery instructor Diane to join archery. Because, like the sign outside of her range says, ARCHERY IS FUN. TRY IT. (I think you should. Yes, you.) Archery, as you might guess, is a sport that is pretty asthma compatible, particularly if you’re participating on an indoor range like I will be. Like most target sports (think bowling, lawn bowling, darts…?), archery isn’t a demanding cardiorespiratory workout (cross training required!), although oftentimes, your arms and shoulders will hurt in a good way the next day!

For me, many athletic pursuits have come to a halt not because of asthma, but because of joint range-of-motion issues that make attaining mastery of a skill difficult, and my messed up eyes (that aren’t messed up enough to qualify me for blind sport!) don’t help matters. Archery is a sport that I may actually be able to master (and with the blind archery group, I’ll have more than enough helpers to compensate for my iffy sight!)—and that’s new for me. Being able to breathe reliably in the pursuit will probably help, too.

And of course, I’ll keep trying the things that are perhaps more of a challenge. I did, after all, suggest fencing be added to Manitoba Blind Sport programming!

What types of activities do you find easier to participate in with asthma? What’s an activity that you’ve wanted to try but haven’t—and what’s stopping you? Let’s chat in the comments!

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