I took me a long time to realize I was asthmatic.
I remember in high school during the hot days of field hockey camp, struggling with tightness in my chest and thinking I was just out of shape. There was on sprinting drill in particular that would cause me trouble. I affectionately called it, “The Crying Drill” because more than once I ended up on the sidelines gulping and gasping for air unable to stop the tears from rolling down. I just assumed my teammates were in better shape than I was.
It wasn’t until college when I started to stretch my one mile runs to five miles runs that I realized that something wasn’t right. It wasn’t my training, it was my lung capacity.
No wonder I could never swim a whole lap in the swimming pool in one breath. No wonder I had to stop before others in choir to breath before the other people around me.
For me, every time I feel that tightness in my chest and have to stop to catch my breath before I want to stop. I’m reminded that I’m not invulnerable or invincible. I have limits and those limits remind me I am human.
And that humanity makes those rare runs when I don’t have to stop and my lungs and legs are working in unison all the more unique and miraculous.