It's hard to be an Athlete with Asthma

Josh Websdale is an athlete. Josh also has asthma.

As a child, I was in and out of the hospital a lot for asthma. My pediatrician couldn't control my asthma and my symptoms were getting worse and worse. On top of this, I was very active and loved to run around and play. There was all sorts of limitations on what I could do with my asthma. Almost anything could trigger an asthma attack - pollen, grass, dust, animals, etc. Finally, it seemed that I'd found a solution. I began taking a new medication, and my symptoms became easier to deal with. I began to make a habit of taking my medication so I could run around and play. From regularly taking my inhalers, I began to become more consistent in other things. I started to make a habit of other daily things. Studying, taking care of my body, exercising and eating well. These all became part of my daily routine. Now that I’m an adult, I look back at my habits with pride. My asthma and overall health would not be where it is today without creating good habits at a young age.

I don’t remember much of Asthma camp. Just that we did a lot of learning and a lot of playing. We were also taught good habits like washing our hands before meals and shaking hands after a game. I also remember a guy in a ninja suit that everyone was trying to catch. I think its cool that in Kinesiology we learn about the lungs and asthma, because it expands on what I learned at asthma camp.

I’ve always been interested in the biology of the human body. After being introduced to it at a young age through learning about my disease, I always wanted to know more. This ultimately led me to choose Kinesiology for an undergrad. My goal is to graduate from kin and become a chiropractor.

It’s hard to be an athlete with asthma. As a track athlete, training your heart and lungs to be more efficient is done year long. However, my lungs are still less efficient than an average person my height and weight. This makes training very difficult. My mentality is that I need to work harder than my teammates and opponents to overcome this issue. However, with training, the difference is barely noticeable. In track, I have been the provincial champion in long jump (indoor), javelin (outdoor), and pole vault (both). I placed 6th at youth and at junior nationals. At the collegiate level, my best placement is 5th at CanWest. My personal best is 4.57 meters, or 15 feet. This summer I will be competing in my first senior nationals in Ottawa.

My advice to kids with asthma would be to keep playing. Don’t let asthma hold you back from trying to be what you want to be. The more you get outside and exercise the easier it will get.

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Page Last Updated: 21/09/2018