Swimming In The Fast Lane: Maximizing The Good Asthma Days

It started off as a typical day. Work, emails, conference calls. The usual. I was getting ready for my Monday lunchtime swim, swimsuit was packed and I was ready to get away from my desk for an hour of blissful physical activity.

We have been experiencing some glorious weather, of course this lovely weather meant that lots of people were in the pool. My usual middle, medium speed lane was packed of other swimming peeps. The great thing about swimming at the same time every day is that you get to know people. My usual peeps, were in the middle lane. I needed to make a decision, do I become the fifth person in the middle lane, this makes it a bit cozy or do I move into the fast lane and have to swim up a speed. I am a proficient swimmer but, swimming at a fast pace can something make my lungs freak out. I am a more of a "slow and steady wins the race” kind of girl. I guess I should also confess that I left my rescue inhaler in the car in my other bag. That is not the spot that I needed it to be in. I was pre-medicated so, especially for this strength of courage I fount swim in the fast lane.

I made my way to the far-left lane and joined another swimmer. The pace was not super-fast, but definitely faster than my usual warm up laps. It was now or never, I thought of bailing into the slower lane but thought I should at least give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised, I have been quite controlled lately and have even seen some improvement in my lung function that this was not so terrible. I did feel like I was running on warp speed, there is one thing to chase the swimmer in front of you, however it is another thing to be setting the pace. I had two other swimmers, hot on my heels, literally! I was able to keep up for the duration of my workout. It was a bit of mind over matter, I think that I sometimes I fall into the mind set or fear that an asthma attack may be on the horizon and I get "scared" to try. Today, I conquered that fear, I was prepared, while leaving my rescue inhaler was definitely a misstep. I was able to least have some resemblance of oral activity. It did definitely help, that I have been training and that this was not a new activity. It gave me the confidence to be okay with a new asthma status, "controlled" and to know that I can conquer task in front of me without thin

There were a few simple learning lessons from me here.

  1. Don't be afraid to "try” to do normal things. I know that life as a severe asthmatic, is anything but normal but being able to maximize the good day is essential. The cautionary tale with this, is to know your limits, discuss your physical activity plan with your physician to ensure it is appropriate for you and nothing on your to do list is contraindicated.
  2. That I could get the upper leg on asthma, that there are many more times where I am controlling it, than it, controlling me.

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