When I started this blog 3 months ago, my intention was to focus on the benefits and challenges of fitness walking by someone coping with severe and chronic asthma. I wanted to share my asthma and walking experiences with others who could relate. I didn’t want to dwell or complain too much on how bad my asthma made me feel physically . I didn’t want to describe what an exacerbation was like. I wanted to stay away from the suffering part. After all, there are always people out there who are much worse off, so what gives me the right to complain.
I realize now though, that I cant really tell my story without including some of that “poor me” stuff. You see, my disease has progressed to the point where I’m symptomatic about 60% of the time now. For every 4 days that I feel good, there are 6 days that I feel not so good. That translates into less time I can spend on my walking program. Throw in a few hospital stays now and then and you’re left with even fewer walking days. Its not like I can just get over a bad exacerbation and start walking again. After every severe bout of asthma, I have to slowly ramp back up to my daily walk routine ,which can take weeks. Before I can even contemplate walking I need to be able to at least breath at my baseline level. I also have to deal with the effects of the steroids on my leg muscles which weakens them , making me more prone to injury and prolonging my recovery even more. In a sense, I’m always starting from scratch ! I go through this crazy cycle every 3 months and each time it gets increasingly more difficult to regain the same degree of fitness that I just lost from the previous hospitalization. For me, its an endless loop of collapsing and rebuilding but that’s the price I have to pay to do something I like.
I keep stressing “walking days” over and over , because that’s what its all about for an endurance walker. You need to log miles everyday to condition yourself for the ever increasing distances that you’ll face in this sport.