James L

James L., TX

Life changed for me in the summer of June 2018. It was a typical Saturday for a personal trainer; I instructed a bootcamp class, a boxing class and then decided to get my personal workout in which consisted of a few rounds of sparring. 

After training I decided to wash up, but something wasn't right. My breaths were very short and I couldn't explain why. I began to step outside for fresh air but that didn't help. Walking turned into me being on one knee which evolved into me laying flat on my back looking up into the sky. For a visual, it felt like someone parked their vehicle on my chest. 

In this moment I had a conversation with God saying "I don't want to leave like this, but if it is my time please protect my soul." 

Immediately afterwards for the very first time in my life, I felt no confusion, worries or anything else for that matter. My only concern was how to breathe again. After being rushed to the hospital I was told that it was just chronic chest pain and was instructed to rest. 

It wasn't until the following Monday that I realized something is still not right. I visited another hospital and after they performed a chest X-ray I was told that my left lung had collapsed. There was no leaving the hospital, per the doctor. 

"James, we'll need to perform immediate surgery to help repair this lung." 

I was in complete utter disbelief, I arrived at the hospital assuming I would get prescribed some antibiotics or cream as treatment; being admitted as an in-patient and having a chest tube inserted inside me was not on the agenda. 

After spending five days in the hospital, the doctors monitored my progress and released me once my lung had re-inflated to a healthy percentage. My team of doctors and nurses diagnosed me with Spontaneous Pneumothorax. The recovery process was for four weeks and I was unable to lift weights or perform strenuous distances of cardio. Yoga and walking were the only safe activities I could partake in until the doctor was able to clear me for workouts again. 

Through this downtime of doing yoga, I was introduced to the power of intentional breathing. Not only did it help strengthen my lungs but it taught me how to pace myself throughout my daily activities. 

Once I was finally cleared to workout again, I decided to go for a three mile run and test out this "new and improved" lung of mine. The run was extremely refreshing, it felt like I had cold water running through chest and that's when it hit me: I have a duty to share with others on how to breathe properly. 

We're now in 2023, 5 years since my lung collapsed. I'm still personal training, still teaching others how to box, but now I'm also a certified Breath Coach. Teaching others how to breathe with ease has turned into a true passion.
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