Light years ago, I had asthma so bad I would get out of breath walking across a flat parking lot.
It was really not any fun.
I went to the doctor and he gave me steroid inhalers. I would wait to use the inhalers until my breathing was very labored. Then when I puffed the inhaler into my mouth I would feel light headed and very dizzy.
Finally, without any prompting from any outside source, I decided I needed to get more fit.
I reasoned that if I had better lung capacity, if and when I had an asthma attack, it wouldn’t bother me quite so much.
At the time, I was living in Nashville, Tennessee. I still remember the YMCA that I joined. It had a pool, a weight room, an aerobics room and really nice people. I got some sort of fitness assessment and probably weighed about 112 pounds at the time.
I joined the aerobics classes, since that is what women did for exercise back in that day, and I got someone to show me around the weight room and write up an exercise card for me.
After a period of time, I no longer needed my steroid inhalers any more. It was quite a relief.
Around the same period of time, my brother gave me his old windsurfer, which had a very large surfboard and a big wooden boom.
I was single at the time and since I didn’t have much else to do, I would go out to a lake for windsurfing on Saturdays or Sundays. I remember paying $5 a month to keep my windsurfer in a rack at a boathouse where I could stop for something to drink after my outing.
Because the sail would get soaked with water sometimes and the boom was wooden, picking up my sail required strength, so I hired a lady to write a free weight program for me.
Soon enough, it was easier to pick up my sail.
I remember teaching all my friends how to windsurf, which I now think is interesting. I really loved teaching people how to windsurf. I realize from this distance in time that I was really showing myself what I really loved to do in life. I loved teaching people how to have fun, how to be healthy, how to use their body effectively. I loved being in the water, the fresh air and the sunshine.
I no longer have my windsurfer or a place to sail. I really miss it.
As I look back, I am now thankful I had asthma to get me into the gym. And I am glad I learned how to windsurf so that I could become a stronger, happier person.
I will never give up exercise, no matter how deeply I get into my healing work. I know many healers who do not exercise and in my mind they are missing a huge aspect of what it means to be healthy.
We have to find ways of moving that we enjoy if we want to be truly healthy people.