Sports and chronic lung disease - CAIRE Inc.
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Contributed by Bob “Oxygen Man” Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ 

I have been an athlete my whole life. I’ve also had the privilege of coaching in three different sports as well.

Being a bit competitive in nature has made me successful at times and misunderstood as well. When you are competitive in nature, you want to win or at least be at your best. Don’t you think? You might be that type of person or know of that type of person as well. The tendency I think is to be viewed as having an A+ personality. However, I have known and played alongside some silent but strong competitors as well. If you played competitive sports in your life, you need that “edge” or even “tude” at times. When you display that side of you is also called timing. LOL

I’ve learned in my professional career that being too aggressive in the boardroom can be harmful to your position at times, right? Picking your battles is so key in the world today. In almost everything you do really.

It was particularly relevant when I was a kid and an only child. No comments please. Learning to pick my battles with my mom was tricky to say the least. Today, raising triplets and knowing when to pick your battles with them, and my wife, is much more difficult than playing a game on the competitive field of dreams, by far. 😊  It’s challenging work.

Even maneuvering and negotiating through my work years was easier. Remembering what made me successful on the field was very instrumental with the success of my career.

I loved to research motivating quotes and coaches and, in my sports journey, and it has really been a blessing in my chronic lung disease journey as well.

Here are a few of my favorites …

 “Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points” — Knute Rockne, American football coach

“If you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. If you want to be happy for a day, play golf. If you want to be happy for a week, go on a cruise. If you want to be happy for a month, buy a car. If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, put your faith in Jesus Christ. He’ll never let you down.” — Lou Holtz, American football player and coach

 “Being on time, work ethic, effort, energy, body language, passion, doing extra, being prepared, being coachable, ATTITUDE!” — “10 Things That Require No Talent.” (Love that.)

 “There is no I in team” — quotable by too many coaches …😊

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right” — Unknown

Let’s, discuss these. I don’t know about you but how can any of us on this journey say they don’t worry at times? It is hard not to.

I try and think about the other things I’ve learned as well. I shouldn’t worry about what I can’t change. I catch myself dwelling on “what-ifs.” Not as much as I used to but it’s hard not to at some point on this journey in life I am on. Do some of you experience the same scenarios?

But I’ve also experienced tons of wasted energy worrying about things I can’t change. I can’t change the scarring in my lungs or its progression. So, I don’t worry about it. Easier said than done. We get anxious. If you put that energy towards positive things, learnings, pulmonary rehab, dieting properly and enjoying every day we have, your ”tude” and energy are healthier. And that goes for anything we do in life.

We have weaknesses, mentally and physically. Maybe we didn’t spend as much time exercising before but now with a chronic lung disease you must. I know before I got sick, I worked out as much as I could get in. It made my mental awareness, much better. Now on this journey, we must make those weaknesses stronger. It is harder to get motivated.

As oxygen runs less in our bodies, we can tend to have more fatigue and lots of aches and pains.

I managed it better after a big game when I was younger, yes. But it was a different exhaustion.

Notice if you do watch some sports how very toned and strong the athletes are. Some reach for oxygen after certain plays, catch their breath. Sometimes it depends on altitude and where they are playing.

My friends, maybe you might want to think about tackling some of these challenges on our journey like getting ready for the big game.

We are in a fight every day. Clear minds and positive thoughts and strength can only help.

Till next time gang. Get in and prepare for the game we are all in together.

We can do this together!

God Speed!




Love you all,

~ Coach “Oxygen Man” Bob


Bob Rawlins, 61, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 16-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru. He uses a FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator and a transportable oxygen concentrator for overnight travel.   

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE  by visiting or by calling  1-800-482-2473 to talk to an oxygen advisor.

The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.