What Happened to My Air?

Despite it being the middle of January, the town where I live is currently basking in warm, almost spring-ish weather. I wear my winter coat day to day, more because it feels indecent to be outside without it than because I need to fend off the cold. Lately, I’ve decided that, since the weather has been so inviting, I’d take advantage of the pleasantness and go for an evening jog.

I don’t exercise often. I do maybe ten push-ups a week, and I force myself to hang from a pull-up bar in my room every few days or so (it’s a rare occasion when I actually manage to get my chin over the bar more than once). Still, I try to make it a habit, especially when the weather’s goot and the air is clear.

The air…

Last time I went out for a run, I managed a block, maybe a block and a half, before I had to pull up, gasping for breath. The wind rushing through my esophagus scraped along with a metallic ring. It tasted bloody. And brown.

The town where I live is full of bad air. Lots of commuters, lots of high mountains, and a lot of gunk spilling forth from smokestacks just north of town, but not far enough. Add to that the (still relatively) cold winter air compressing all that filth down into the valley, and those blue skies and sunshines don’t really do a lot for you.

Clearly, it’s the gunk that’s the problem, and not my diminished lung capacity from a lack of good cardio.


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