Tuesdays are Your Turn – Starting Sports

People in my face-to-face life don’t always know I own this site. It’s not a secret, exactly, but while I’m comfortable plastering my kid’s early medical history all over the Internet in a quasi-anonymous fashion, at the same time I want to respect her privacy and so don’t volunteer any information about the existence of The Asthma Mom to the people we know personally.

Yeah, it’s a fine line.

The disconnect between regular life and blog life means I end up in more conversations like this one with other parents than you might expect, and often somewhere around the school PE field or the volleyball court:

Other Parent: She has asthma?
Me: Yes.
Other Parent: She does? That girl right there? (pointing at AG)
Me: Uh huh.
Other Parent: But she looks so healthy!
Me: Yeah, she didn’t always.
Other Parent: How long as she been that athletic?

And so on.

The thing is, my kid really does possess exceptional physical talents, and I’m not just indulging my parental bragging rights here. She’s a natural athlete, an unexpected development after her sickly early childhood years. Back then, I couldn’t imagine her playing any team sport, much less dominating one.

Today’s question comes from that conversation and from AG’s own experience because maybe they’ll offer struggling parents a glimpse of the more robust futures possible for their kids:

At what age were you/your child able to tolerate team sports or other strenuous physical activity, even with childhood asthma?

While she always loved playing outside and certainly wasn’t bedridden or anything before she got into athletics, AG joined a team sport – basketball – for the first time in third grade. She hasn’t looked back since.

How about you?

14 responses to “Tuesdays are Your Turn – Starting Sports”

  1. Sarah says:

    I joined my first team sport in grade 6 – baskettball. Unfortunately, I’m not fast, tall, or a good shot, so I was pretty crap at it (that said, I was the kid on the court who could occasionally pull off the wild lucky shot from the centre line – and it’s really probably the only reason they kept me on). Still, I had fun as a second-line point guard for a year. I tried out for volleyball, but didn’t make the team due to school politics (which is a shame because I’m a natural setter).

    I did get into powerlifting in high school, and did that competitively for a year, but I had to stop it when I sprained my knee skiing. I also rode horses for fun in high school. That I stopped after a bad fall broke my nerve and I couldn’t get it back (fell off a horse at a hand-gallop due to some idiots leaving an overhang in a sawdust pile that collapsed as I rode by it. Horse ducked and went one way, I went the other. Concussed myself and pulled all the muscles in my back and neck, sprained my wrist, pulled rotator cuff muscles, broke a couple fingers and sprained a couple other fingers. Would have been a lot worse without the helmet because I landed almost head-first)… I tried for another year after that, and did eventually get to the point where I could ride without being terrified, but riding was never fun again. I probably would have been okay, but that had been my first fall, and the instructor later told me that almost everyone she knew whose first fall had been a bad one like that ended up losing their nerve and dropping out of it.

    I was never much of an athlete until university, when I got into jogging and martial arts. Overall, I’m definitely not a natural athlete… I have a talent for setting and I was good at riding, but most of the time, what little ability I manage to get, I have to work my butt off for, and don’t have the talent to be really good at most sports.

  2. Danielle says:

    I played soccer from an early age, since before I was really asthmatic. I played until grade 11, but my tolerance for playing hard seemed to decrease with age (Ie my asthma was getting worse).

    I had good feet though, and loved my team, so I kept with it.

    As you know, running is a new thing for me. While I miss team sports, the running is great :)

  3. Amy says:

    Sarah–I’m not a natural athlete, either. At 11, the kid can do more sit-ups and push-ups than I ever could, even without even breaking a sweat.

    Danielle–AG plays soccer at recess but has never wanted to play on a team. Plus, she loves to sprint but hates distance running – I’ve often wondered if she just naturally gravitates towards sports that are more lung-friendly. Either way, volleyball ended up being a great fit!

  4. Elisheva says:

    I never really was limited sportswise by asthma other than sitting out a gym class here or there. There wasn’t any activity I couldn’t do if I didn’t put my mind to it (tho I was chubby and kinda out of shape as a kid). I was on the volleyball team in high school and now I’m working on swimming. Now that I’ve got most of the logistics in order (I’m planning on doing a swimming post soon), I’m getting ever better at that. Lucky for me, I’m a pretty tough cookie. I’m pretty strong and provided my lungs aren’t crapping up, they’re pretty strong too and I can keep going longer than many of my non-asthmatic friends.

    Ya know, lots of olympic athletes are asthmatic. I don’t remember if you’ve ever done a post on that before, but there’s some great inspiration right there. Once I started getting more into swimming, I actually looked up the rules and regulations for asthmatic olympic athletes. There’s no stopping me now! :)

  5. Sarah says:

    Amy – The one place I excell is endurance activities. I could hike 20k at 8 and often forget that most people don’t think of 10k as a nice little walk. I might not be the fastest, but I’ll be the last one to need a rest (assuming my lungs are behaving), and other people often end up comparing me to the Energizer Bunny toward the end of a long hike, walk, or day of physical activity.

  6. Amy says:

    You, me, and the Sidekick could totally hang. We’re all about the endurance physicality, less about the competition. :)

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