At Least I Have Their Lung


During a recent trip to the allergist to staunch the flow of tree-related phlegm in my nose and tears in my eyes I mentioned my cold-weather related asthma to the doctor. While I don’t usually have breathing problems, on rides under about 60 degrees I’ve had some issues and my GP prescribed me an inhaler a few years ago.

To check and make sure I had no lung impairment he had me do a quick lung function test. After breathing really hard into a paddle I waited as the computer spit out my numbers. The doctor stopped and looked at them hard. “This is good,” he said “really good. Look at this.”

He pointed at a few numbers that represented my lung capacity. All were above 120%, with a bunch of them above 160%.

“An olympic athlete is usually around 120%,” he said “go put this on your fridge.”

Well that explains why I’ve always been able to go from lack-of-exercise to solid performance incredibly quickly and why I don’t collapse on the side of the road in my early season for lack of breath. But it also makes me feel like maybe I’ve squandered a bit of a gift. I’ve never liked to race (I’m what I call “passive competitive”) but shit, if I’ve got a huge set of pipes maybe I should use them.

What do you think? Maybe it’s time to start gearing up for cross season.

In any case, I’m going to take a quick test to one of the places that does VO2 and resting metabolic testing to see what else is lurking under this big ol’ pile of David.

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