Imagine a world where people with respiratory disease were active and were able to redefine how lung disease is treated. That world may have been unthought of in years gone past but there is a ground swell of patients fighting the norm so they can have a better quality of life.
At the time of writing this blog I’m flying via Singapore to France for a cycling event I hope will give fellow patients hope to be able to achieve a better quality of life. This day the 27th of August also marks the start of another event, 14k in 14days. Why 14k in 14 days? That’s the time I’ll be away travelling and meeting fellow patients in both France and the United Kingdom to talk about the benefits of an active lifestyle. This is the first of many events COPD Athlete will be organising in the future as a means to unite patients all over the world in activity, no matter what that activity is. Mobilising patients has so many positive effects both physically and mentally no matter what stage their disease is at. So whether it’s walking, running, cycling, singing, dancing or just getting outdoors please take a photo of your activity and post it to the COPD Athlete FB event page.
What’s so special about cycling in France? Imagine 4 respiratory patients all having varying stages of oxygen dependency riding 48 kilometres through the French countryside connected to oxygen cylinders. That’s what Philippe Poncet, Karen Skalvoll, John Cummings and myself are doing on Sunday the 4th of September. As technology advances so does the portability of supplementary oxygen so much so that we have respiratory patients competing in races carrying their own supplementary oxygen concentrators.
The race in France will show fellow patients just what is possible and what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. Athletes with respiratory disease is not a new phenomenon but the limits being challenged are changing. As many patients realise they can build their exercise capacity so does their desire to compete with healthy athletes. Age isn’t proving to be a barrier either. Roxlyn Cole an athlete with lung disease in her seventies is still doing stair climbs for the American Lung Association. Vanessa Smith with her oxygen cylinders in tow completed her first ½ marathon at 60.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all need to be running marathons. What we all need to be doing is enjoying the great outdoors to our full potential. Lung disease really sucks some days and some of us have more bad days than good. That doesn’t mean we can’t strive to have more good days than bad. I hope our cycling event in France inspires some patients to take control of their disease and become more active.
So if you need some motivation then check out COPD Athlete FB event page over the next 14 days to see some cool activity photos from 14k in 14 days as well as some photos from the cycling event in France. You might even have a laugh at my expense as I try to sing with the world famous Wigan Warblers.