WOOHOO!! It’s Healthy Lung Month!!
No, wait … that’s not quite how I want to start this blog, but I guess it’ll do for now. Let’s come back to that, huh?
Since coming back to school (YAY EMORY!!), I’ve left the blogging world to focus on running and training this cross country season, schoolwork, hanging out with my awesome roommate, church, writing poetry (how could I ever stay away from writing?!) for a super cool workshop class, running, random adventures around Atlanta, more homework, becoming more involved on campus and seeking out potential research/internships, and did I mention all the work I have to do this semester????
Note to self: 5 classes can be a lot to handle when a student-athlete.
Other than that, I wanted to share a few tips and some fun facts (yay interesting classes!) that I’ve learned recently, and use this blog as an opportunity to: 1) take a study break and be creative, 2) prove that I’m still alive and won’t allow this blog to end anytime soon despite my numerous and extremely prolonged breaks from writing (oops), and 3) share why staying healthy is so personally important to me, and how it affects those in my life *cue exit from current tab back to Facebook or closing the Internet completely.*
Part 1: Stop it.
First things first, a slight rant about the annoying and distracted people who smoke on the sidewalks while I (try to) run by them, not paying attention to where they’re going (does everyone assume that sidewalks are meant to be walked straight.down.the.middle? Ugh fine, I guess I’ll potentially injure my ankles and run in the grass alongside you, or even more potentially dangerous, IN THE STREET BECAUSE YOU WON’T MOVE!!!!), and waving their cancerous pastimes around where my perfectly healthy and functioning lungs are exposed to such monstrosities.
Anyway, about smoking.
It’s the most preventable cause of disease and death in the US. // One-third of all cancer deaths are because of smoking. // You lose on average up to 8 years from your life when smoking two packs a day becomes a habit. // Safe to say, smoking is close to my heart (actually though, go healthy heart & lungs!), and I’m more passionate than ever about people NEVER choosing to smoke, or at least making the effort to quit. Managing stress in other ways, learning about the health consequences, and realizing that the more you try to stop smoking … the higher your chances of succeeding are – all are steps in the right direction. Go you.
Part 2: Now, do this.
So I’m not always the biggest supporter of running (it hurts and makes things pop and snap and strain and takes a lot of time and makes you smell terrible and is oftentimes miserable and is really hard even when you think you’re in good shape and is something you just can’t stop once you’ve started and the list goes on), but YAY EXERCISE! From the days when I was younger and my parents made me play basketball in the winter just so I would be active between soccer seasons (and use up all my free and boundless youthful energy!), exercise has always played a large part in my life. Whether it’s going on walks, taking the stairs, starting a run/walk program, NEVER running but taking classes at the gym or lifting weights, and even more simple activities like yardwork or shopping … using your body is important! I can’t stress enough (ha ha for those of you who get it) the super awesome effects that exercise has on stress management, self-esteem, overall energy, creativity, memory, living longer *see above cartoon,* and of course, the change exercise can have on your physical body! I’ll admit, that last part is a total perk to running/exercising all the time, and I totally pride myself in my calf definition (especially in heels – another potentially dangerous decision, sidewalks aside). I guess I can thank my coach for all those tough workouts (only sort of kidding)!
So, end of sermon, but exercising can sometimes be a hassle when we feel like we don’t have time or don’t feel up to it … but it’s SO worth it. An apple a day (doesn’t actually) keeps the doctor away (but exercise does!).
Renewed focus to quit smoking, or complete objection to starting? CHECK.
be more like Gabby and exercise more? CHECK.
Remembering that your health affects not only you, but everyone in your life? Almost!
My work here is done. Well, not really, because unless you’re super fit and perfect and somehow have found a way to bypass how the body ages, any sort of stressful situation ever, or can somehow resist the smell and enticement of donuts … then you know that exercise and staying healthy is an ongoing process. Sometimes we fail, sometimes we trip over the sidewalks when trying to bypass clueless smokers, and sometimes we give up on ourselves … BUT! Happy Healthy Lung Month! Just a reminder that no matter where you’re at on the scale from couch potato, to casual road race runner, to Olympic athlete … that it’s a start. Keep going. :-)
Until next time,
Special thanks to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for reaching out to me and encouraging me to write more about such great themes that go with this month’s LUNG calendar (I’m punny, just go with it). Check out their website to learn more about asbestos and other common toxic pollutants, that while still legal in the US to be involved with production, can be very harmful to our health, and how we can best protect ourselves. :-) My grandpa is currently battling mesothelioma cancer because of being exposed to asbestos in the Navy, and rather than in his lungs, the meso is in his bowels. Always remember that your health is not only important to your personal well-being, but also all of those in your life you love and support you!