an athlete living with asthma

Published on Apr 21, 2007 by in Cardio, illness, WF News


A Spike Too Soon. after doing something that may have never been done in the history of mankind (somebody check!), i have seemingly gone and done my own self in! after living in the sea level and smuck of LA for a decade, within two years of moving back to high altitude, i have won four high altitude championships. the most recent one, however, brought the spike of my training graph a bit too high. i am paying the price for it.


Hi, my name is steve ilg. i study Wholistic Fitness and have enjoyed a long, full life blessed by
extreme outdoor sports which i’ve used as my catalyst for spiritual growth. i have been sponsored since age 16 and will be 45 next month. i am Chairman of the
Board of my local bike racing team; Red Rock Racers. pictured above, i am wearing our new ‘kit’ for 2007 which i helped design. you like it?

oh, and also i am asthmatic.





while decimating the competition and setting a new Course Record at the World’s Highest Nordic Ski Race in Telluride, Colorado on March 10th, i also decimated my lungs. subsequent tests and research unveiled a gnarly fact; i gave myself a condition known to affect cross country skiers, mountaineers, and well, most currently;
America’s Outdoor Athlete; me. it’s called Cold Triggered Exercise-Induced Asthma. it’s not curable. it just kinda
goes away after several months of not aggravating it by three things:
1) exercise
2) exercise in the cold
3) exercise in the high altitude

great. i NEVER do THOSE things…

contemporary Western Medicine states – using its ever sterile language – that i should stay away from those three things i just mentioned. if perchance i DO happen to do any of them, why then, just take hit of Albuterol before and after the activity so my lungs can still function.

wow. Training on an Inhaler! What a ‘blast’!

this may come as a shock, however, i ain’t buying that line. i TAF i can dance with this condition naturally, using the WF Path and some Eastern input…just like i do living with my broken back, smashed pelvis, separated shoulder, and other exciting challenges.

i’ll also use a bit of my dad’s Germanic Barbarianism wisdom;
“Oh for Christ Sakes, quit complaining…if you live long enough, you’ll outlive it.”

i have been working with a Naturopathic MD to dial in some dietary and herbal weaponry and am working with a fantastic ‘crazy wisdom’ Doctor of Oriental Medicine who has me on some medicinal herbs, absolutely horrid tasting ‘fruit’, and a series of acupuncture sessions designed chi-efly to free the chi in my Heart/Lung nadis (meridians). i am also increasing Conco from SUNRIDER Herbs to nourish my Respiratory Chi.

the results of the acupuncture have been MOST engaging and positive. what a trip! evidently my solo practice has paid off handsomely because now, during the 30 minute ‘needle’ sessions, i go into a trance meditation as i read the waves, ebbs, and flows of the varying pranic fields…”oh wow! Samana is glittering!”…”whoa! Manipura is going OFF!”…and after the sessions, i cannot hardly wait to climb into my zendo and do asana to follow the ‘new’ energetic rods, fields, mini vortices, chakral influences, and nadic lines that are now opening my Heart Center; the treatments have categorically upshifted my vyana-vayu and resultantly my toes and wrists – those all important chakras of expression and health – have not been as supple since…since…well, since when i was in a crib methinks! great, great, GREAT Blessing from yet another “disaster.”

ain’t it funny how it always seems to work that way?

sure, i am a month and a half behind my cycling training. who cares!? the greatest Gift of a WF Lifestyle is that there is always so much to work on; if we ‘can’t’ do much Cardio? then dive DEEEP into meditation, pranayama, and asana…that is what i have done and you know what?

i have climbed back onto the bike for the past 4 days and yesterday, miracle of miracles, i did the Club Ride with all roadies.

it also happened to be cold and snowy. perfect conditions for ‘my asthma’ right? well, thanks to my WF Practice,
i surprised the Heaven out of myself by placing third in the hillclimb sprint and third at the finish sprint. sure, a lot of the super fast dudes were down in PHX racing today,
this asthmatic warrior will take it for what it’s worth; confidence!

and sometimes,
to some of us cockroach types that just don’t know the meaning of ‘quit’…confidence is all we need.

in fact,
i was so stoked when i got back home?

i went and registered for the Iron Horse Bicycle Race in Durango, Colorado, my childhood h(om)e!

oh sure, i know the Iron Horse is one of the nations highest road races with two climbs over 11,000+ and that once i raced it to a top finish in a raging, white out blizzard.

when is it, you ask?

uh…Memorial Day Weekend. my 45th birthday! perfect!

one month? hell, i can do it.

i do WF!

om so ti,
the mountain asthmatic yogi

photo 1) me, my new kit, and Gunther. by Ananda.
photo 2) forgive the war zone photography. snapped from my camera phone on yesterday’s Club Ride with long-fingered gloves.

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