On Sunday, Oct. 28, as many as 30,000 runners will race in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC; however, Team AANMA defies the odds. Twenty-eight runners from across the United States will prove their fitness, perseverance and resolve – their AIR POWER – racing in support of AANMA.
“I was told as a child not to play any sports because of my asthma,” says Team AANMA’s Tracy Rivers, 45, of Upper Marlboro, Md. “Now, distance running is the ultimate test for me to just go. I use my bronchodilator before exercise and slow down when there are too many irritants in the air – I have a tendency to go too fast. You have to find a rhythm within yourself.”
Asthma is Tracy’s reality, but she overcomes it. Tracy and many others have asthma and/or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). EIB is often the mysterious “monkey on the back.” Runners don’t know why their breathing is difficult – and that it can be treated. The only time they have asthma-like symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing is during or shortly after strenuous exercise – and it doesn’t happen every time.
“One out of 10 people experience EIB,” says Nancy Sander, AANMA founder and president, “and it’s not just people with asthma. Most don’t know they have it. Our runners are inspiring proof that with an accurate diagnosis, strategic symptom management and dogged determination, you can truly go the distance.”
“I was diagnosed with EIB as a teen-ager, but I never had the mindset that it was going to slow me down,” adds Team AANMA’s Anna Pierce, 36, of Winchester, Va. “I don’t like hearing people say they can’t run or exercise because they have asthma. I tell them, ‘Yes, you can – if you have a plan!’”
Team AANMA is proof positive that asthma and EIB do not impair runners when armed with a clear diagnosis and fueled by an action plan. The team is fully equipped for the challenge of vigorous, sustained exercise. Victory of reaching the finish line doesn’t come easy; it’s earned.
As part of its awareness campaign, AANMA is offering FREE spirometry lung function and exhaled nitric oxide asthma tests on Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Health and Fitness Expo by GE at the DC Armory in Washington, DC. Stop by Booth #211. The expo is free and open to the public, and includes more than 200 exhibits about health, fitness and nutrition.
Team AANMA is sponsored by TEVA Respiratory.