Hello, my name is Liv. I enjoy playing basketball, but I have my limitations. I struggle with reactive airway disease but I continue to push myself. For example, I can jog over a mile now. But, of course, I can only do so much at once. Sometimes, I start to get dizzy, my body goes numb, and I feel as if I’m going to pass out. When I feel like this, I will start to pace myself. I will run a little slower and stay behind, but I refuse to stop.
Well today, my basketball team was conditioning to get in shape for the upcoming season. We ran a mile around the track and I did well but it was what we did afterwards that killed me. We were to run up and down a hill fifteen times. Each time you reached the top, you did one hill. I did all fifteen hills and barely fell behind. I thought we were done then but one girl on my team had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the exercise. She missed ten hills.
Instead of giving the rest of my team a break, my coach made us run extra hills with the girl. I would have been totally fine with this if I would’ve been given at least a five minute break but I only got about a minute to rest. I could barely breathe, my chest hurt, and I was visibly struggling. I walked down the hill and back up it. I could barely lift my legs for they were numb but I was doing my best.
My coach passed me. I was on my nineteenth hill; she was on her twentieth. I was okay with being behind but it was obvious that I was having trouble breathing. Instead of asking me if I needed a break or even if I was alright, she basically ignored me. I wanted to give up after that, but I kept pushing. I knew I would pass out if I ran so I power-walked that hill. She passed me again.
“Faster, Papa. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t push yourself.”
I was furious. I would not be walking if I did not have to. I am clearly a hard worker. In fact, I was wheezing. I was getting somewhere. I was running extra. I was way past my limits. In a barely audible, raspy voice, I asked to get a drink just to be denied.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up. I even hoped to pass out at this point - anything to get out of this torture. I was miserable. All I asked was for a drink break. I wasn’t asking to leave. I wasn’t begging to stop. I just needed a small break. I was past furious at this point. I cannot even describe how I felt. I was internally raging.
Physically, I was in pain and numb at the same time. My lungs were burning but felt cold and heavy. The worst part was that I could not do anything about it. Well, I could but I was denied the single thing that would help me. In my opinion, there is no logical reason that could explain why I was rejected something as simple as getting a drink especially when it is stated in law that a teacher or coach is not able to deny a student athlete the right to a break if needed. In my records, it is stated that I have reactive airway disease, and I was obviously struggling to breathe. I was nearly wheezing, yet I was not allowed to take a break - a simple, five minute break.