I saw a woman out for a run today, and immediately became sad. I used to love running, even though I've never been very good at it. I always just assumed I sucked because I was weak and didn't practice enough, but it turns out that I apparently lack the lungs to do it. I haven't been to the doctor for it, but I have what appears to be a very bad case of exercise-induced asthma, as I exhibit all of the symptoms: lungs filled with mucus, a constant ineffective cough, shallow breaths that burn through the entirety of my respiratory system, and light-headedness.
The really sad part is that every time I would go running, I would come up with a reason to convince myself that there was nothing major wrong with me. I was just out of shape. Or it was the cold air that burns my lungs. I was getting over a sinus infection. There was always a perfectly good reason why my respiratory system was completely failing me, and the answer was always "Work through the pain and it will be easier tomorrow." It never was. Today, I doubt I could run two miles before I'd have to stop for lack of air. In high school I could do at least ten.
But now I have this fancy new insurance card, which I'm told can help get me some healthcare. As such, I think in the next few days I'm going to find a doctor and schedule an appointment for a checkup and examination.