Asthma + CrossFit

High Intensity? To an Asthmatic – that’s like asking an elephant to fly.-Shane

IMG_5067-0.JPGRarely do I talk about my asthma.  Most of my closest friends know; you know, in case I pass out, but the majority of folks in my life don’t know.  Why?  Because I don’t let it stop me from doing anything.  Nothing makes me more angry than hearing an asthmatic say; “I can’t do that because I have asthma.”  That’s a load of bullsh*t. I run.   I swim. I bike.  I hike.  I camp.  I’m going to run an ultra AT ALTITUDE.

I’m really lucky. My asthma doc and I have an agreement; she gives me enough leash for me to hang myself.  She knows that I am active.  There has only been twice where she has said, absolutely not; diving and deploying to the Middle East.  Otherwise, we talk about my activities and we lay out a plan.  Granted, sometimes I go a wee bit too far, but that is rare.  I take my medicine, I see my doc, I know my triggers.  Overall, I would consider myself a good patient.

Recently, however, with my addition of CrossFit into my workout regime I’ve discovered a new little twist to my asthma; explosive movements.  Specifically, for me, box jumps and burpees.  At first I thought that the reason that my lungs felt like they were filling with needles and burned was because I was doing something new. Yesterday, however, after I had a full blown asthma attack I realized what was really going on.  I have been approaching the red line of an asthma attack.

Lucky for me, my Dad is a PA and I have an appointment next week with my asthma doc.  While I’m waiting to see her I asked him what is going on. His response; “The greater the exercise the more a trigger is released, such as jumping ;running and jumping together, jumping rope, but not riding a Harley or climbing Longs Peak as it does not involve violent activity unless your riding a Harley and kicking ass or climbing Longs Peak and kicking your dad’s ass…”

What that translates to is that short burst (aka; explosive, high intensity, basically all things CrossFit) activities cause my lungs to freak out.  When I run my lungs have time to adjust and surrender accept the activity.  What that also means is that I need to have a serious conversation with my Doc, but more importantly on the days where I know I’m going to have issues (burpees/box jumps/Tabata) I need to keep my coaches in the loop. Am I going to let this stop me?  Oh hell no.  Just means that I need to be more cognoscente and careful.  Just call me Dumbo.



One thought on “Asthma + CrossFit

  1. goalliedathletes says:

    It was refreshing hearing how asthma hasn’t held you back from any of the training you do. But I also like how you remain humble and talk honesty about seeing your doctor. Our readers could relate to your experience. Our website’s purpose is to bring current and former athletes together and to have an open forum on issues related to being an athlete (anonymously if you would like; see the forums page). Some of these topics include health, training, injury, eating disorders and substance use disorders. We also have a feature that allows you to see who is in your area (see the members and events page).Thank you very much for your consideration! Margaret


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