Quitting smoking is tough, mainly I find because smoking is rather easy. It just takes a beer and away I go darting outside for constant cigarettes or ensuring the next beer venue will have outdoor seating.
If I don't drink I don't smoke. I don't want to smoke in the day or the evenings like I used to but give me a beer and that changes.
It's now very strange to think after work I would get home then sit at my computer, the time ticking away, smoking many many cigarettes doing very little.
My latest kung-fu session came with a twist. Our instructor had booked an Amateur Boxing instructor to take us through a 45 minute boxing session. We learned some basics and got to do some pad-work which for me felt pretty intensive! The instructor pointed out that boxers are the most conditioned athletes on the planet and I do not doubt it, I have a new found respect for them. I did my best and felt pretty out of breath. I hadn't performed any cardio since I last hit the town and filled my lungs with smoke so this really helped open up the air passages.
I felt really out of breath but I recuperated fairly quick. The next morning I was coughing up dark phlegm, I reckon from the smoking I did a couple weeks back, the evening brought with it a capoeria session with a pleasant difference to normal - an easier ability to breathe. The drenched sweat I wore on my shirt was my stress forced out the body. Chest heaving, endorphins released into my bloodstream, it felt good.
When I get breathless I feel I am pushing forward , advancing past those old tiny lungs I've given myself from years of smoking. I imagine they are filled with thick dark swirling smoke. As I exercise and feel my breathing improve a light shines ever brighter forcing this darkness to retreat. It's an odd thing I suppose. The only other way to describe it is like a musty old library plunged into darkness with motion sensors to turn on the lights, every corridor you travel down lights up making the place ever larger, diminishing the gloom, the darkness.
Quitting smoking is ongoing. I don't think I will ever be totally free of this powerful addiction but atleast I can exercise and do the activities I felt I couldn't when I had a brimming ashtray in my bedroom.
There was a comfort I found from the familiar straining burning sensation of inhaling a cigarettes smoke , now it's getting replaced by the feeling of lungs straining to get all the clean air they need...then getting it.