Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.
tinyjo

  • Mood:

In control

I was very good today and cycled into work for the first time. I even
made it all the way up Rose Hill OK, which I was very pleased with. But
it reminded me of the reason why I'm never really going to enjoy
cycling, running or other aerobic sport like that.

Put at its simplest, as soon as I begin to work aerobically, I have to
concentrate on my breathing. Unless I
do this, my breaths will become shorter and shorter and my throat will
constrict, which builds up pretty quickly to hyperventilation. Once it
gets that bad, obviously I have to stop. I can control this but only if
I exert conscious control over my breath as soon as I feel this reaction
start to kick in. I can force myself to breathe regularly and can keep
going quite a long way like that. However, even then I will sometimes
(depending on level of exertion and concentration) gradually build up a
knot in my throat and tightness in my lungs which mean that more focus
is required to keep my breathing regular. Unfortunately, once this has
happened, it takes a long time to dissolve - even once my breathing
regularizes, if I start again in the next 20 minutes or so, the knot and
tightness will still be there almost straight away. I also find that
strong winds can cause my throat to tighten up really quickly when I'm
trying to breath through my mouth so that's not much help while cycling
either.

So, as you can imagine, that's not much fun really. I can control it
for really quite a long time, although that can occasionally lead to
problems when I stop - I once decided to run a cross country run
properly just to show my games teacher that I could if I wanted to. I
focused the whole way round, came in 14th, and stopped focusing as soon
as I stopped running, resulting in an attack which gave my teacher a
huge fright and got me sent to the doctor. He did a breath test on me
and concluded that I didn't have asthma so there was nothing chemical he
could give me and just to be careful.

When I did an induction at a gym once they gave me peak flow tests and
told me that I had very small lungs but used a large amount of their
capacity. I'm not really sure if that's true (after all, I don't
remember the doctor mentioning it, although I was a lot younger then)
but I've always assumed that it's somehow related to this
problem.

So yeah, I expect I'll keep cycling to work because I can do it and the
exercise is good for me but I'm just never going to think it's fun -
it's a slog. Which, now that I have options, I'm not going to do in
rain or very strong winds because that just tips it over into too much
hassle.

I went swimming yesterday, by the way, which reminded me that, in
contrast to cycling, it's actually a very comfortable sort of exercise
for me. It's much lower impact aerobically (especially at the speed I
do it!) so it very rarely triggers problems but you make up for that by
the element of resistance work you're doing pushing through the water.
If only I could find a waterproof radio so I could not get bored while
doing it, it would be perfect but Google only seems to know about ones
in the US :( Any idea where I can get one in this country?
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