Why I took a break

I posted earlier that I was taking a break because I had stuff going on. I still have stuff going on but am making more sense of it now and coming to terms with decisions I am making to better myself in the long term.

It may not seem like much to some but sport is my life. Slowly that world of sport has grown smaller. There was a time when I would never say no to any sport (except swimming- I would actively try and avoid it). I would put my hand to anything, would join any team and would voluntarily run cross country because of my love of exercise.

My love of sport has not dwindled in the slightest. I love sport. I would submerse myself in the sport world if I could., eat, drink, sleep sport. That was me. My career was to be sport. My life was sport.

11 years ago that changed. In a sense I don’t think I ever grieved the loss I felt when sport was no longer my life. My body was no longer able to skip, hop, run and jump when it wanted. It required a cocktail of medication to just convert oxygen into carbon dioxide let a lone play 90 minutes of football 80 minutes of rugby, 60 minutes of lacrosse, run 13 miles and walk 18 holes of golf.

In all honesty I have still not accepted that I won’t play sport like I once did. There is always this tiny bit of hope that one day my asthma will just be better and off I go. I often think if this is why I test myself just to see how far I can still go, but in seeing how far I can go also highlights how far I can’t go at the same time.

Last week I wanted to shut myself off from the world as the consequences of something I did was too unbearable for me to process. The golf season is well under way. I have all my cards in for handicap. It was a beautiful evening and I was due to tee off at 1730 in the ladies medal. (My course is on the side of the hill so quite hilly). It was a lovely evening so I decided to walk. I didnt want to ride around in a buggy on such a nice night. I made it up the first hill my lungs on fire, a rest, then the next hill, a short break and as the holes continued the more hills and the more fire I felt in my lungs, the more I gasped for breath, and I just wanted to collapse. I was having to hold my breathe to play my shot and then breathe to enable me to have some control of what I was doing with the golf ball. On the sixth hole I hit 2 fresh air shots in a row, followed by a sclaf and various other mishits. It was time to call it a day. 1/3 of the way round the course it felt like my body gave up and the more I willed it the less it responded. I was devastated.

The rational side of my brain knew I wouldn’t manage but I just wanted to walk. It was so nice I didnt want to miss the lovely evening so I walked. Perhaps thats silly decision has altered my path for the rest of the season- I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing?

Many friends at the golf club questioned why I didnt go in a buggy. I should have yes but when your one of the youngest playing and not able to get yourself round there is a sense of embarrassment for me. My friends accept it as that is whats needed but for me I feel different.

As a result of this choice I had a long think about what I wanted to do. I wrote and re wrote emails and different ways of saying what I wanted but couldn’t find the right words. But basically I emailed our team co-ordinator person and decided to take myself out of the team for the season. Next season may be different but this year I can’t deal with it. The golf I can manage but  it is seeing those who are so much older manage so much better and I need time to deal with this. As I said earlier I need to almost mourn the freedom I once had which has been exchanged for a life of planning.

Many may read this and not understand where I am coming from and think I am not that bad off. In the whole scheme of it all Im not bad off. I have my life, independence, a supportive family so I don’t have much to complain about in the big picture but just now this loss is a big picture for me. It feels like each year it is something else that is being given up, football, rugby, hockey, running, lacrosse, the list goes on. Golf and skiing are becoming limiting. When skiing starts to go that will be a very dark day as my one true passion is skiing. I am at one when I am on the mountain and I feel at peace. I am not going to think that one day I won’t ski but at the same time I am not going to think I will always be able to ski because I thought golf was a sport I would always do without any issue.

As I finish writing this I just wish I could have something to blame. Even if it was something that was self inflicted like smoking or anything but at least then I could attribute blame to something and not have a question mark when I ask why is my asthma so bad and hard to control. There is no answer just now and I don’t know if there ever will be. One day I hope and pray.

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