So after an 8 month absence, I came crawling back to the YMCA and like a loving parent, they took me back, no questions asked. I started on the elliptical machine, not knowing how high the price would be for having backslid so long and programmed it for my normal routine. I’ve never been a marathon workout type, so after my usual 1/2 hour, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the only residual effect of being out of shape was that unmistakeable, unique sensation of asthma.
While I’ve had lifelong allergies, I was diagnosed with a mild case of asthma in 1996, the first year I lived in Richmond. It was just a routine medical exam and I was astounded at the diagnosis. My Aunt Ginny and her brother, Uncle Wayne, both had asthma really bad. Aunt Ginny was always puffing on her inhaler. But my mother never had it, although I got my allergies from her, I suppose. I grew up with artificial Christmas trees because we both couldn’t be around a real tree. And the only pet I ever had was a tortoise. I couldn’t be in the same room with a cat more than 15 minutes, even up until after I was married. And I really think that I probably had asthma as a child because I spent most, if not all, after-lunch recesses in grade school sitting on the bench because I was wheezing so badly. I think there’s a name for it now, exercise-induced asthma. For me, there was some combination of eating and immediately exercising that produced that odd sensation in my stomach and then the wheezing and I still experience it at times. When I start feeling that way, I know just to sit quietly or lay down until it passes. So at some point after this diagnosis, I got my own inhaler. It didn’t get a whole lot of workout, thank goodness, but it was nice to have it when I needed it. And when I started doing a regular workout at the Y, I needed it a lot. But as I got more in shape, the less I used the inhaler. After it ran out, I never refilled it. And that’s been about 3 years now.
Yesterday’s and today’s workouts didn’t result in needing it, so I’m certain this transition won’t be too bad. I did almost 3 miles both times. Yay!