How Quitting Smoking made me a Better Athlete
Updated: Apr 13
If you find transformation stories inspiring, then mine will truly encourage you! Quitting smoking was the best gift I gave to myself; especially, for the person I am, an athlete! Well, a sprinter to be more precise! How this shift happened - my journey from a non-smoker to a chain smoker and now back to a non-smoker - is going to keep you enthralled and engaged. I am Sam, and this is my story on how I was able to reclaim my position of the best sprinter in my city, after I quit the one thing that was a major roadblock in my success - Cigarettes.
Life Before Smoking
High school jock, always into sports! That was my life as a teen. There was something so satisfying about being physically active, running and playing sports, that it gave me the high and happiness I needed in life.
Once I went to college, I realized I had found my passion in sprinting. Running in fresh air was so satisfying; and that added with my constant need for speed was a perfect escape! Each day I would try to break my record and set new speed targets. It was rejuvenating and I loved it.
Eventually, after days of practice, I reached a speed of 26km/hr. Not just was it my personal best, but also a rarity among sprinters (P.S. The average speed of sprinters is 24 km/hr).
This did not go unnoticed by my coach who enrolled me for the city sprint program. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Coach told me with my stamina, controlled breathing and muscle coordination it will take me a long way in the world of sprinting. And those who won in this city sprint race would get a chance to represent the city at the state level.
I was stoked and ready to roll! And as fate would have it, I won! I had never seen my family so proud of me.
Life as a Smoker
I am not gonna lie. I think success got into my head! I became over-confident, felt invincible. People around me started to change as well. Association with a different crown had begun!
Victories were celebrated by drinking and smoking. I was out partying for nights with my pals. Junk food had become a staple. You know, Normal College Habits.
Slowly and steadily, my health started slipping out of my hand. You do not realise it at first. It is really gradual. In one and a half years, the damage was done. Breathlessness, lowered stamina and lack of muscle formation and coordination had affected my run as a sprinter.
Things had changed and for the worse. My speed had gone down to 19 km/hr. My coach was forced to dismiss me from the city sprinting team because I had now become a liability. I never paid heed to his words when he advised me to leave smoking, but the arrogance of youth had corrupted me. Soon the addiction had trapped me in its net and there was nothing I could do to get out of it.
I reached a point where even short 5-minute walks were leaving me out of breath. My family, friends and coach were disappointed in me. I had a very bright future, but it appeared as if I threw it all away just for a few minutes of fun. I was heartbroken too.
My stamina had also plummeted. And then Covid-19 arrived and destroyed my immunity even more.
This was the first time I had examined my lung health and other related areas since I began smoking. And when I noticed the broken glass opacity in my chest x-rays, I knew it was time to make a change.
But guess what? Cravings are extremely difficult to overcome, and I always succumbed. I had given up after 5 failed attempts. I was so depressed because I had done this to myself. It was all up to me; I had no help.
That’s when my colleague suggested this app called QuitSure.
My Quit Smoking Journey
So this is what happened to me after I quit smoking using QuitSure. The approach that they used, the behavioural psychology works wonders. This technique truly works wonders:
Within two weeks of quitting I noticed that I wasn’t not only breathing easier but also walking better and more easily. This was because my blood circulation and oxygenation had increased. All the blocks created by nicotine had cleared out.
I experienced various health changes as a result of quitting smoking in just one month. I had an increased sense of overall vigor. Many smoking-related symptoms, such as sinus congestion and shortness of breath with exercise, were also diminished. In addition to these advantages, my immunity was significantly improved. Excess mucus build-up was reduced, and protection against bacterial infections was improved.
I realized I was coughing up a lot less mucus and phlegm after six months of not smoking. This is due to the fact that without continual contact to cigarette smoke and the chemicals contained within cigarettes, the airways are much less irritated.
With so many health benefits the time to quit is now. They say tomorrow never comes and they are true.
I have seen a drastic change in my lung health and overall health in just about 7 months.
I was able to get back on track. My lung health started going back to normal and I was no longer gasping for air. Slowly and steadily, I was also able to reach my old speed mark of 26 km/hr. When I contacted my coach post-quitting smoking, he said that the next city sprint was approaching in 4 months. I got back to training. This was 2 months ago. I cannot wait to emerge victorious in this sprint and represent my city again, just like I was able to successfully quit smoking.
Thank you QuitSure. For me, the most intriguing aspect was that they never asked me to quit smoking while simultaneously working to eliminate my desire to smoke. And whenever I felt like I was about to fall back into a rut, there were these incredibly supportive coaches who were always willing to lend a helping hand. The only thing they required was my complete commitment to the program and its instructions! That was all there was to it.
At least this was my personal experience. I am aware that people heal in their own time. But it’s never too late or too early to stop this nasty habit and become healthier. It is time for you to live a smoke-free life! If you are an athlete or a sportsperson, trust me, this will work for you too. And that is something I am sure of.
Read more about the changes the body undergoes as you quit smoking.