My Lung Condition

Because this topic garners a lot of questions and curiosity, here is a brief explanation of my lung condition:

As a child (~7), I contracted severe¬†Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough [I was unable to be vaccinated due to an allergy to the vaccine]. Unfortunately, the violent coughing left me with structural damage – which then led to the formation of scar tissue, which limits my air capacity, and slows down the rate at which I can metabolize oxygen. In short, I can’t breathe as fast, or hold as much air as the average person. And when this is strained, it can really hurt.

As a result of this condition, cardio has been extremely difficult for me. Through my school years I struggled through gym class, and was the last person to finish any laps, or timed runs. Hell, even a large flight of stairs or a moderate incline would leave me winded. (This is why people from high school would never suspect I would be a fitness model now!)

It took a long time to be able to perform cardio in any capacity. It was a very long, very slow process. Even now, tread mills and running are not my friends. But I know how to work around it. I know how to push myself effectively, without putting myself in danger. And every day, I’m getting stronger!

Just to be clear, my lung condition is just a part of who I am, and overcoming it is not what makes me a great fitness model or anything of the sort. I’m not going to push my story to win sympathy, or attention. I am proud of myself, yes, but I am a firm believer that the cards we are dealt are not what define us. But this is my story, and I’m happy to be frank and open about it because we all have challenges!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alyse.mckee Alyse McKee

    I am proud of you for how far you have come and what you have accomplished! I think it’s amazing that you have gone from that last kid in gym class to your elite physical condition. Keep up the hard work, you can and do receive everything you put your mind to. :)

    • http://bryjensen.com/ Bry Jensen

      Thank you, Alyse! It was not an easy thing to do, but that is part of what makes it so worth it (nothing worth doing is ever achieved easily).
      I’ll constantly struggle against this in everything I do in my life, but I welcome the challenge to push forward!

  • Ezdog007

    I agree, it’s not the hand we are dealt, it’s the way you play the entire card-game. :) I’ve had a lifetime of Asthma, so I can relate on the shortness of breath, and I have a very weak peak flow reading… AND get this, I smoked, too (I know, EWWW… right?). Well, thank God, I’ve quit smoking for over a year, now… and when I have my Achilles tendon/bone spur surgery at the beginning of the new year, I’m planning another shot at running. As of now, I’m limited to the stationary bike. lol… Perseverance is the key, I say. Thanks for sharing!! Your new fan. Dwight L. Law Jr :)

    • http://bryjensen.com/ Bry Jensen

      Good for you for quitting smoking! Its one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself, but the good news is the longer you stop, the better chance you can have for a fully recovery, so keep it up!
      I look forward to hearing how your running goes!
      Thanks for stopping by and being a new fan!

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