So, if you’re a smoker, you’re probably somehow engaged in some sort of elaborate mental subconscious (and sometimes conscious) gambling equation where you measure the amount of years smoking (or even individual cigarettes you’ve got left….as in….’well, one more pack and THEN I’ll quit and I’ll be saved from cancer’) versus the likelihood of quitting for more than a short period versus your potential to have some sort of life threatening disease and maybe, just maybe you’re timing your quit date to somehow border on the crux of when you’re most likely to avoid a painful and early death.
Yep, I done said it.
In my mind, I always thought I kind of blew my chances to be an athlete, or even to be competitive in the world of endurance or having big muscles….or maybe having big muscles, a nice tan and being able to run for a long time…something like that. Even after quitting smoking, I thought, well, take it slow cowboy, you’re an old man with the tar lungs and if you push it, you’ll end up in cardiac arrest on the side of a bush trail and slowly watch your life slip away staring at the top of some tamaracks (hopefully) or worst case scenario some quack grass, very un-classy plant to die looking at.
So I had this premonition, I thought, ya know, when I was in undergrad uni, I remember the textbooks in the Kinesiology electives always had one weird 80’s dude hooked up to a face mask running on a treadmill with people all around him (always a him, never a her, hurray gender stereotypes in the 1980’s) measuring important things. So I got it in my head that maybe I could somehow measure if I had actually screwed myself with smoking for so many years….those people measuring important things could tell me…did I really screw myself or is there hope for me???? Just maybe I have a chance to be an athlete again in some way, shape or form.
So I did my VO2 MAX thanks to the awesome lab folks at Lakehead University (Dr. Ian Newhouse, Kuo Yang and Micheal Makela) I got my answer. The video is ME! That’s me with the mask…that mask is weird, it pulls you off the treadmill and you can’t breath through your nose…anyways…According to Dr. Newhouse I’m, “allowed to tell my friends my VO2 Max average is 65” based on the results. Apparently at max workload (I have the spreadsheets but haven’t quite made sense of them) I range between 62 and 70 milliliters per kilogram per minutes or something like that. That’s supposed to be good so I’m pretty stoked and I think maybe that people who are kinda stuck in the cigarette cycle that want to escape shouldn’t let fear of never regaining your fitness hold you back. When you’re ready, if you’re ready, when you want to be ready, just go for it, make some shit up that helps you stop smoking the cancer sticks and and do it. You got this.
As for me, apparently I’m a fat burner aerobic animal that can probably run a 10 mile in close to one hour…so guess I gotta go chase after that goal.