Hello everyone! My name is Ryan Pavlovich and I am currently a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Biological Sciences with aspirations to go to medical school. My whole life I have been affected by asthma. Anywhere from asthma attacks, common day to day of shortness of breath, or prevention of excelling in a sport or physical activity, asthma continues to have a significant impact on my life.
The earliest memories I have of asthma attacks was at the age of 10. I had just started playing soccer competitively meaning that practices grew to be more physically demanding. Soccer season always started in the Fall, which also happens to be the worst season for allergies. The fresh cut grass for each day of practice was no help for my breathing when I was asked to do drills, longest distance runs, and sprints. I quickly fell behind the rest of the team. I felt embarrassed and ashamed when I had to step aside to use my inhaler and take deep breathes while the rest of my team seemed to be surpassing me on a physical level. I continued playing soccer until I was a freshman in high school. The physical demand for high school soccer was higher than I had experienced previously in club soccer, leaving me to fall behind yet again. I was close to last in the timed 1 mile, 3 mile and sprints at try outs, using asthma as my excuse for each test. Luckily, I earned a spot on the team, knowing the pain I would have to mentally and physically endure for the remainder of the season. I felt my lungs constrict through every test, scrimmage and game for the entire season. I not only felt disappointed that I couldn’t push my team to the next level, but felt defeated in myself because I knew I was not working to my full potential, letting asthma hold me back. The following summer, I enrolled in a rowing camp at a nearby boathouse. I fell in love with the sport of rowing and was determined to prove myself through this new obsession. The first test I was ever asked to perform was on an erg machine in which we were required to complete 2,000 meters as fast as we could. This ended with me on the ground, crying and gasping for air. I was yet again, embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn’t compete with the other guys. The entire season I failed to win one race, or seem to improve on any erg machine test. The following summer, I made a promise to myself to work harder and use persistence as the key to my success. I sat on the erg machine every day for the entire summer and earned a spot in one of the top boats on the team. I continued to work on my breathing each day and actively seek help for any breathing techniques. The season ended well, but I was still not satisfied with how far I was pushing myself. I talked to my coaches and they recommended swimming would improve my breathing. This helped tremendously, in which I continued to succeed in practices and races entering my senior year and earn a top spot on the team. I was then able to row, run, and bike longer distances. I won my first ever race at the beginning of that year and claimed many more gold medals for the duration of that season. When the season ended, I decided to enter in a triathlon to test my limits. I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t going to let my breathing hold me back. After months of training, I competed in the triathlon and placed first in my age division. I was excited that I was able to compete at the highest level and push my body to its limits without asthma bothering me. My life had taken a turn, in which I had realized that I could persevere through physical demands and control my asthma through lots of practice and training. I now compete in about one triathlon every couple of months and train on a day to basis for each race. I will be wearing AAFA gear during my races to not only support the AAFA by raising money, but to encourage people that were just like me to push through the struggles of asthma and compete in sports and physical activities.
Asthma and Allergy Facts
Are you participating in a local or endurance event such as a 5k, 10k, 1/2 or full marathon or bike ride? Your accomplishment can help support patients and families managing asthma and allergic disease. By creating a fundraising page you can raise money to support AAFA while training and participating in the event. We can provide you with a t-shirt or help set up a fundraising page - just contact Brenda Silvia-Torma at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 466-7643 ext. 256 to request more information or support.
|Erica Brown||07/28/2018||$50.00||Good Luck Ry Ry!!|