Let’s talk about asthma. Many people have it. There are lots of ads for medications to help control symptoms. The Advair ads really interest me because I don’t know if it’s a purple inhaler in circle form or a pill or what. It kind of looks like a purple birth control pill pack. For as many people as there are affected by asthma, I still don’t get it. The ads don’t teach me anything. They do nothing to educate me on the condition. My preconceived notions of asthma and its sufferers come from my limited experience with asthmatics and movies, that probably perpetuate stereotypes.
Up until three years ago I thought people were born with this respiratory illness. Having Parker admitted to an Insta Care facility, while on vacation, and put on a steroid breathing treatment changed my perception of asthma. Once we got home, the pediatrician diagnosed him with allergy induced asthma. That blew my mind. Allergies can bring on asthma symptoms? Will this affect him his whole life?
Now my big question is: Do I have exercise induced asthma?
Or am I just a wimp? Or a victim of cartoonicide? Devon, my Wii trainer is killing me. That statement contains no hyperbole. He is actually killing me. I haven’t worked out with him since Wednesday. Thursday and Friday my blood sugar was too low during my window of exercise opportunity. Today I didn’t care. After I helped Heath mow the lawn I decided that was enough of a workout for one day. What worries me is I cough like I have emphysema or bronchitis or something every time I breathe. Since breathing is necessary to live I breathe a lot. Therefore I cough a lot. Like all the time. My lungs still feel like they burn. Does anyone get that awful lung burn when they run? I do. It went away for a while because the only running I did was in place in front of my Wii trainer. Now my new trainer, Devon, is pushing me so freaking hard I get lung burn. From running in place. The limits of my understanding are challenged every day.
What bugs me about this new EA Active Sports workout program is that the heart monitor doesn’t seem to pick up on my heartbeat when I’m in the middle of the most intense cardio exercises, specifically running. Devon says, “Come on wimp, let’s run!” And I’m all, “Ok jerk, let’s go!” I start to run and my Mii hesitates a lot as if the cartoon version of me can’t pick up on the signal very well. Then the condescending tips come on screen like “pump your arms” as if I’m not already doing that. I’m raising my knees as high as I can while I pound my feet as I run in place. My arms are moving. I’m not the weirdo lady from Seinfeld who doesn’t swing her arms when she walks. Meanwhile Devon is passing me and yelling at me to “Come on! 100% effort on this one! Time to play catch up!” and other things that make me think really dark thoughts because my heart rate is actually dropping on screen. It started at 130 beats per minute from the previous exercise and quickly drops to 72 beats per minute – pretty close to my resting heart rate. I’m pushing myself harder and wheezing with every step and scream growling “Come on!” I don’t know if I’m yelling at me, the TV, Devon, the arm or leg strap, or Steven’s eyes (what we named the sensor bar).
Somehow I live through the running and Devon makes me do foot fires next. After that he makes me do mountain climbers then stride jumps then jumping rope. Then I get a break and do cardio boxing which, of course, is followed by a race of some kind. I collapse at the end of every workout while my lungs nearly burst. I drink 32 oz. of water in three long chugs. I can feel the water sloshing around in my stomach which always reminds me of the summer before I was diagnosed with diabetes when I would chug so much Magna well water (water so hard and nasty you almost have to chew it) it would slosh in my stomach.
My lungs keep burning and I keep coughing and for the first time in my competitive life I don’t care about finishing the 9 week challenge. For the first time in two years or so of working out with a Wii trainer I finally realize he’s just a cartoon. Someone drew him. He isn’t a real person nor does he actually care about me. He cannot guilt me into exercising.
While I’m complaining, I should mention that Devon has a fascination with working my legs. Every time I work out I yell at him, “Devon! I have nice legs. I have always had nice legs. I love my legs but could we possibly work on my upper body? The part of myself that carries all the extra fluffiness?” But it never happens. My body type is what you would call an apple. Isn’t it strange that body types are classified as fruit? I don’t know if that’s because “fat” people are obsessed with eating. Wow there’s a rude generalization! Or if it’s to subliminally inspire “fat” people to eat more healthily. Either way, I’m an apple. This means I carry my weight in my upper body and I have rocking legs! Devon has successfully trimmed off whatever hint of nonexistent fat and flub my body ever thought of having on my legs. Basically I’m starting to look like an apple on toothpicks. You know, Gru like. The guy from Despicable Me.
My shoulders are wide enough to qualify me for a linebacker position in powder puff football. My arms and shoulders still resemble a mountain where my neck is the summit and my elbows are the foothills. Of course my left arm is noticeably larger than my right because of the scar tissue from breaking my humorous bone in a car accident years ago. Interesting bit of trivia: the humorous is the second hardest bone to break in the body. The femur is the hardest. Hey, if you’re going to break something go all out, I say!
I realize I have a warped perception of my own body. My home mirrors don’t do justice to what I really look like but they have a tendency to trick my mind into believing I look really good until I go out and catch a glimpse of myself in a window reflection or store mirror. The last shreds of my dignity start circling the toilet drain at that point. I’m kidding. Women are so hard on themselves right? But I tell ya, it would help if Devon would at least make me work on my upper body once in a while. Maybe do a few more ab exercises since my spare tire is still floating around in a metaphoric pool with a gaggle of kids giggling on it. I don’t ask for much. Just balanced workouts where I don’t wonder if I need to pull out Parker’s emergency inhaler.