From Asthma To Athlete: Eddie Irvin

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 13:12 -- admin
powerliftingThe walls around me closing in, the room seems to lose its light as I struggle to fill my lungs with air, then the wheezing kicks in and alerts my mother that it's happening again. I was a mere 9 months old when “Dr Hunter” the pediatrician told my mother that I had asthma. I don't remember a time from my childhood when my mother was not thinking, adapting or preparing for my next asthma attack. From having an allegian specialist come in and clear the house of my common triggers, washing the curtains once a week in a special detergent, buying a allegian bed cover I mean we even had our own nebulizer machine. None of which we should have been able to afford. Even today I don't know where she came up with the money. While most of those differences between my childhood and the average childhood were reasonable the worst by far was the food. Ask anyone who knows me past or present and they will say I love to eat. I myself wouldn't go as far as to classify it as Love, maybe an addiction though, but food is and always has been of a higher value to me. The staples of any childhood diet “credit to my mom for trying”, were sore reminders of my asthma. Cereal with soy milk, My version of pizza was dough with tomato sauce. As ridiculous as it sounds I would dream of eating cheese pizza, but even in my dreams it would cause an asthma attack.The food along with the fact that I couldn't play any lung taxing sports was beginning to irritate me. I should mention that my “40” lbs self would have provided the 110lbs defensive back with little more resistance than the paper banner that he ran through at the start of the game, but as a kid I didn't think about that. All I saw was asthma was restricting me and I was getting tired of it, yet Asthma was all I knew. That is until it wasn't. While driving in our old 2003 mercury van that smelled like french fry oil and sand. We passed a high school football practice and I stared on the field in aww imaging the sounds I heard from when my cousins played madden on their xbox original. Admiring the strength and precision of the players on the field. I desperately wanted the feeling to be strong and in control after so many years of being weak and captive. My ambitions must have been clear as day to Oscar a family friend, sadly who was shot and killed at the young age of 21, because at that moment when I was beginning to imagine me being on that field he said to me “You know I had asthma when I was younger.” That statement rocked around inside of my cranial for a minute this guy who I looked up to as being strong and cool said he had asthma that was the first time that I saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I had hope that I could cure asthma. He went on to say that by time he was 14 he was out playing football. After receiving that information my whole mind set shifted. From that point forward I was determined to fight asthma to the death of it. I had asthma attacks, but much less frequent. I started to drink regular milk and eat cheese. I did take some l`s along the road and my mother definitely was not happy when she found out the reason for the first hospital visit in months was because I ate pizza and I mean real pizza. I had my mind set on winning my battle on asthma that mindset of don't stop if you can, stop if you have to. The only thing that would have stopped me from my new path of thinking would be death. I did come very close at one point, but by the time I was 12 the asthma attacks were nearly non existent I was eating any and everything “Still not gaining any size” , but was on my way out of the tornado called asthma. But my trouble and challenges were far from over. 7th grade year I switched schools. With the transition to a new school I was determined to make up for lost time. I remember seeing Kobe Bryant play for the first time he was different than everyone else on the court he was precise, fast he was cocky, yet rightly so he worked hard and dominated every aspect of the game he was deadly on the court he was the true black mamba. After seeing that I knew I wanted to dominate. I stepped on the basketball court for the first time in 7th grade with the intention of scoring every point I shot. What I got instead was travel calls, carries, airballs and complete bricks. After a year of playing recreationally there was not much growth. I was to slow, to stiff,and too late. All of those years of being bed ridden and avoiding straining physical activity had inhabited my time from developing my coordination and sense of body awareness to the elite level needed to dominate or really even play the game of basketball. Now having defeated asthma I was faced with the new challenge. What could I dominate in. Basketball and football where out I was always last picked first dropped. So I knew that I had to find something else. It was not until the middle of my senior year of highschool that I found out about powerlifting. After having done crossfit and had some of the best cardio vascular health in my life I wanted to put on the size and the strength I always wanted. A few of my middle school buddies had started going to the gym at the start of high school and so by the time we were seniors they had made some impressive gains. So I started going to the gym with them. And the feeling I felt on that first day was of aww and admiration seeing plates get thrown on the bar and lifted with ease had intrigued me. On that day they pushed me to hit a new pr probably about a 20 lb squat pr and it was a weight I never thought I would never be able to hit but I did. And it got me thinks I have been holding myself back what can this body really do. I became obsessed I watch hours of youtube videos and read plenty of articles on how to improve your lift until I stumbled upon a video of a powerlifting meet. About 2 weeks later I had signed up for my first meet. I had 2 months to prep for my meet and that was buying all the gear, learning all the rules, and getting my lifts up to par. In the next two months I went from never back squatting to back squatting 245. I went from only deadlifting kettle bells to deadlifting 275lbs. And max benching 95lbs to 185 lbs!!! That was so much improvement so fast. I had not only gained some strength, but some size. I built more muscle than I ever had I started eating in a caloric surplus and was seeing the results. Even my friends and family were beginning to see the results. I went from being 147 lbs to 153 lbs. Still skinny but it was improvement. I went into meet day feeling an eerie calm me being such a shy and generally anxious person was absolutely calm. I went onto the platform for my first squat. I was ready I had purposely set my openers so light they would be warm ups in the gym. I had envisioned it every day leading up to the competition. I got under the bar and the whole gym went black the only thing in that gym was me my thoughts and my God. I unracked the bar and went into tunnel vision the light of the room came back but every thing save the head judge was unnoticeable. Everything seemed to be moving slow. The squat command was given and i went into my second nature and squatted what would have been a perfect rep in the gym, yet it earned a red light. For moving my foot. I was no longer in the comfort of my home gym. I was in a whole different ball game and I loved it.It required attention to detail, precision, accuracy. I hit my first squat and every lift after that. I went 9/9 hit a squat, deadlift pr and a total pr. Hitting 275 squat, 303 deadlift, and 180 lb bench. With a 754 total. At a bodyweight of 150 lbs. I loved the whole environment of the meet. I already prepping for another one. I by no means dominated the competition, but neither did Kobe dominate his first game. But I did dominate my past I am no longer asthmatic I am an athlete. I mean there were guys there that pulled my total, but everything has its start and this is mine...


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