It's Our Choice

Posted by: 
Aimee Lecointre

I know CFLF readers have come to expect me to blog about nutrition or share a new recipe, and that’s what I had planned for this post as well, until the last minute! Don’t fret, I promise I’ll be back to sharing recipes in future posts. 

We spent this past weekend in Moab, Utah with family. It was a much needed little getaway in one of the most beautiful places in the world. If you haven’t been to see all the red rock glory in Southern Utah, I highly recommend it! It’s absolutely breathtaking and there’s just nothing like it.

Last Easter weekend we kicked off our hiking season with a wonderful hike on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. I was a little nervous about this hike, and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up after a long winter, but to my great surprise, I kicked some butt! I was able to go at a nice and easy pace and felt great the whole time. I felt great following the hike too. It was such a great way to kick of hiking season

This year, I have been really looking forward to kicking off our hiking season with an Easter hike or two in the deserts of Southern Utah surrounded by all the magnificent red rocks. I was really hoping to do a hike that led to one of the many natural arches.

This past winter I really struggled with a lot of health issues outside of CF, that ended up having a large negative impact on my CF and health in general. At this time, we are still trying to figure it all out. But because of this I spent weeks in bed due to debilitating joint pain. The pain affected all my joints, from my jaw to my toes. It often not only left me in bed, but relying on others completely for daily tasks so many of us take for granted. I required help getting in and out of bed, showering, getting dressed and undressed, walking from one room to another. It was exhausting mentally as well as physically. But because of all this inactivity I lost most of my muscle and strength. I’ve been working hard, smart and safely, to get all that strength back but to also get my lungs ready. Hiking season is my motivation.

About a week and half before our trip my lungs started to feel really tight. I was losing my breath much easier, and much more often, than normal. And after such a long hard winter, I was beginning to doubt I’d have the strength or that my lungs would be able to hack it. But I kept my hopes up, got lots of rest, and still planned on hiking.

We got to Moab on Friday and after setting up camp we just took it easy and had a nice time with family. We planned on hiking a 3 mile, out and back, trail to Corona Arch on Saturday morning. But as Friday night went on I really started to doubt if I would be able to do it, the shortness of breath I was experiencing was pretty intense at times. By Saturday morning I knew the safe and smart decision was to hang back from that hike with my parents and husband. I’ve never doubted, or been that concerned about my ability to hike a trail, like I did in that moment. It was a tough decision. I told them they should still go and I’d go with the rest of the family to take the little kids to Arches National Park to check out a few different viewpoints.

As we were driving through Arches to our first destination, I started to get upset and mad that I wasn’t doing the hike I had planned on. I started getting mad at myself for the call I made and mad at the whole situation. I was quickly slipping into a funk. Thankfully, I caught myself real fast and remembered that I had a choice in how I wanted to look at the whole situation. I could either dwell on what I was missing out on or I could choose to make the best of the trip I was on and take in all the beauty surrounding me. I chose to make to make the best out of it. After all, we didn’t drive down here just so I could throw myself a pity party.

And with that decision I quickly turned my attitude around and had a great time! Turns out I also made the right decision regarding missing out on the planned hike. Our last viewpoint in Arches National Park was to see Delicate Arch from a distance. There was a small hike involved, less than a mile, and we had to hike up a hill at the end. I didn’t even make it to the top (though I was still able to view the arch) because I just couldn’t breathe. I started to get a pain in my lower right lung and sharp stabbing pains in my back. I realized at that moment, I never would have made that 3 miler. I was thankful I made the decision I did and grateful that I was able to turn my attitude around before that point. The next morning my dad took my husband and I to Deadhorse Point State Park to take in some amazing and stunning views. Had I still been throwing myself pity party I would have missed out on so much.

I’m sharing all this to remind you all that we absolutely have a choice in how we choose to handle any situation that comes our way. It may not always be an easy  decision, but it’s a decision nonetheless. YOUR decision. We can choose to always focus on the negative and how CF may try to hold us back, or we can choose to make the best of any situation we can.

This doesn’t mean to ignore the negative or hard feelings. Feel those feelings, like really sit with them and feel them. Acknowledge what’s happening, but then comes the critical point, do you sit and stew in that negativity or do you pivot and look for the silver lining?

There was a point in my life I chose to sit in the negativity and I have no desire to go back there. The longer you sit there the easier it is to stay there. Choosing to make the best of any given situation takes creativity and practice, it may even take the help of others including a therapist, but I promise it’s always worth it! Life got a whole lot sweeter once I decided to make the best of it!




Aimee Lecointre is 32 years old with CF and lives in Salt Lake City, UT. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is passionate about helping the CF community through movement and nutrition. In her free time you can find her hiking, doing yoga, cooking, reading, writing, fishing, or eating! Follow her on Facebook at The Nourished Breath or on Instagram @thenourishedbreath.




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***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 

***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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