Make it Happen Monday: One Big Breath

Right now in Austin we’re deep in the heart of cedar allergy season, and once again it’s wreaking havoc on my cycling lungs.  They call it “cedar fever” and a lot of people over here get knocked down pretty hard with the punch it packs each year.

One of the things it does to me is compresses my lungs so that it’s hard for me to catch my breath…not a good thing when you’re out there cranking the pedals. Even when it’s not allergy season, I often find it necessary to take in a big deep breath several times a day.  This is a pretty simple thing to do most of the year, but when allergy season comes knocking it can get pretty hard for me to take in a “big breath”.

You don’t really understand just how important breathing is when riding a bike until it becomes something difficult to do.  My strength, stamina, and performance all suffer as a result of not being able to take in enough air.  I find that if I can manage one big breath every 45 minutes on the bike, then I’m doing okay and can put together a great ride.

It’s almost a metaphor for life.  When things are stressing you out and making the day to day a little rougher than you would like….one big breath can often perk you up and give you what you need to keep chugging along.  Keep on Making it Happen and, as always, Enjoy Your Ride.

Photo c/0 Elephant Journal

  • Jonathan Banks

    That is one of the very few things that I do not miss about living in Texas.  I got in the habit of using a netti pot during the heavy allergy season in Texas. It did help a good bit.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi Jonathan, nice to hear from you.  Yeah, allergies are definitely one of the few negatives around here, but the netti pot seems to help a lot.

  • Caleb Simpson

    When I first moved to Austin the Cedar bugged me big time, but now it doesn’t affect me at all. My wife is not so lucky, It sent her into fits a few weeks ago after a 26 mile ride.

  • Julie Starling

    Developers often don’t think what impact the trees they plant will have on the population.  When I was a kid, after we had moved, my mother told me stories of how all the babies got would ear infections in the San Diego area from the Eucalyptus trees there.   Around here in MD, we have a lot of the trees that drop the spiky balls and other debris in the streets plus old Ash trees that tend to suddenly drop limbs as they age.

  • Rachel

    Thanks for another inspirational article to start off my week.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      You’re welcome, Rachel….we hope you’ve kicked off your Monday in the right direction.

  • Eric Hutchins

    I did a run yesterday out near Brenham and could not catch my breath for the first mile, it was incredible, felt like an asthma attack, but I slowed and focused on deep breathing and it gradually go better.
    One of the best tips I ever got for triathlon/training came from a Pro and good friend you taught me to emphasize the EXHALE. Forcefully expel from you lungs, your body will then handle the inhale part just fine, but you need to squeeze all the “exhaust” out, The more you exhale the more room there will be to inhale replacement air, that has more oxygen etc. If you don’t already  do this, try it, it works amazingly well.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for the tip, Eric…I actually hadn’t heard of that one before.  I’ll definitely try it out.  Asthma attack is a good way to describe it….I don’t have asthma, but I’m sure if feels something like it.

  • Eric

    I’m lucky that my alergies haven’t been as bad as other years, but I see what you mean about taking in a good amount of air.  I also liked the analagy for a big breath in life as well.  Great.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi Eric, glad you liked it and I hope that your allergies continue to be better for you this year.

  • Ewa Bialkowski

    That darn stress! It can make me forget to breathe. :(

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, that stress can make it tougher to breathe as well, Ewa.  Just keep breathing…..right?