Written on: September 3, 2017
by Elisa Coleclough
Believe you can and you will. -How I overcame asthma and now I am on my way to running 42K marathon
As I close my eyes, I am in hospital room, I am connected to oxygen and the doctor has told my parents that I may have to use an oxygen tank for life. Presently, 15 years later, I am preparing to run my first full marathon. How did I get there? How did I overcome the illness and asthma? Here is my story, hope you enjoy it.
At the tender age of 10, I had my first asthma attack, I was not sure what was happening to me, but I couldn’t breathe. My parents took me to the family physician and he diagnosed asthma. I started taking the asthma puffer, and then with the months, and years, my illness became stronger and the medicines started to work less for me. At the age of 17, I was in the hospital, like many other times, but this one time the medicine did not seem to work the expected miracle, and I had to continue connected to the oxygen tank. The doctor told me parents that it was a possibility that I had to use regularly oxygen tank and that I could not go outside or do any physical activity. It was one of the saddest moments of my life.
Believe in you or no one else will. My mother gave up on me, my dad did not though. He actually took me to alternative medicine treatment, acupuncture actually. Although I had to take my regular medicines for asthma, my dad told me that the alternative treatment might help me regain strength. The Chinese medicine was a good one, combining both had actually worked for other people, so there was hope. It did work. After 2 years, I did not need any more prescription pills for asthma and I only needed my nebulizer eventually. It’s no need to say that my dad gave me good advice, “you need to listen to yourself”, “believe you can and you will”. I would never give up.
Visualize a better life. I wanted to go many places, to do many things. I was just a girl, but I wanted to go mountain hiking and do sports again. Back then, all those things about visualization were not common. But I listened to myself and dreamed that next day would be better, that I would be able to lead a normal life without any disease or medicine dependent. Eventually, I was able to do it. I am so thankful for this.
Take action. Every day, I did the sports that I could, I never gave up. As I was a child, I would play football and also would take ballet lessons, but with asthma it was difficult. However, I started jazz lessons after school which were less demanding that ballet. I was so happy, because I that kept my mind in positive. My mon would frown upon me attending jazz class. My dad encouraged me to do my best though. By doing so, I told my body “don’t give up, fight, you can do it”.
One step a time. As you may have already read in other blogs, moving to Buenos Aires was challenging, and guess what, I brought me back asthma. It turned out that there was this tree called the “platano” and it caused me asthma and itches and my eyes and face were swollen. But once more, I did not give up. I went to the allergist doctor who prescribed allergy shots (inoculations). Eventually, with the months, my health improved. I started physical activity, easy and fun with Zumba at the gym, it was a way for me to see I would not suffocate. Eventually, I would take up the gym, 30 minutes daily. Then started attending some cool classes, spinning, body pump, yoga, etc. And I decided that if I could run in the treadmill, I could do it in the street as well. I signed up for my first race. It was a 7k Start Wars, it was quite cool, it was a night run. There were people running with Star War customs, big screens around the trails advertised the movie trailers. Some of my fellow work colleagues would run too, so I would meet with them as well. I loved the fun, the energy, the feeling. Not only, was I able to run but also, I was happy and I was feeling great afterwards. This was the very moment my love for running was born.
I run slow, I run daily. I don’t run to prove anyone else anything. I run to enjoy myself. To remind my body that we are one and we are strong. That we can do this, and much more.
Finally, I can say that taking care of our bodies and maintaining them strong is important. A strong body is a strong soul, and a strong soul has a resilience. So, don’t give up on you, dream good dreams, visualize a better, healthier you, and take one step and time.
Looking forward to your comments in the box below. Eli.