Over the last few years, I've been frustrated. No matter how much I worked out, it seemed like I was always getting out of breath before everybody else. I'm on a few city rec sports leagues, and I'd always be the first one to have to take a break during basketball games. I'd listen to other guys complain about being tired and out of breath too, but not at the same level as me... and some of them never worked out. When working out with weights, I'd almost feel like throwing up after each hard set. I'd get a little dizzy. I still pushed through, but it was tough. So I finally researched it online and found others talking about the same breathing problems, and found articles about deviated septums. I then remembered the time I was at a golf driving range with a friend a few years ago. I was standing about 10 feet from him, and he said "watch this!", you know, like people say right before doing something really stupid. I turned and looked at him, and he swung as hard as he could. The ball went directly sideways at 100 mph and hit me square in the nose. My nose bled like it was a hose that was turned on full blast. Argh! It was sore for awhile after that, but it seemed like it healed perfectly. I never saw a doctor about it. So what's a deviated septum? Well, I think this picture pretty much explains it. The septum is the middle, hard part of the nose, and when it leans to one side, and it can make it harder to breathe out of BOTH sides:
Deviated Septum I went to talk to an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor and he confirmed that I had a deviated septum. What a relief! I wasn't going crazy. I booked my surgery that day. I won't lie. The surgery SUCKED. Well, the surgery process itself was painless (they knocked me out and then pumped me full of pain meds... mmm...), but the week afterwards was not fun. I had these big tubes up my nose, going all the way down my throat for draining. I couldn't smell anything, couldn't easily eat or drink, couldn't really move around and definitely couldn't exercise, and couldn't breathe very well. Sleeping was almost impossible. I didn't really have a lot of pain in my nose, but those big freakin' tubes in my nose really made life MISERABLE. I had to keep them in for over a week... the longest week of my life.
Post-Surgery Once they removed the tubes, I felt like a new man. Wow! I could breathe! Now I am breathing much better and enjoying my workouts again. I'm not exactly an endurance athlete, but I can play basketball without feeling like I am about to die. I'm hitting new lifting records and I overall just FEEL better. So if you feel the same, do some research and see if you might have the same problem.