Whether you are competing or just enjoying the exercise, allergens can sometimes sneak into play, but don't let them stop you from one of enjoying your favorite pastime!
I have been involved in competitive swimming since I was 8 years old and have been in love with the sport ever since. It can get complicated with food allergies, it hasn't stopped me from doing what I love.
I have played competitive sports my entire life, all while managing severe food allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and legumes. Even though I spent hours and hours with my teammates working out and practicing, it still was nerve-racking for me to reveal my food allergies to them.
Having allergies and playing sports is challenging at times, but I don’t let it stop me. Basketball is my sport, so I play it every chance I get. I have played in several different recreational leagues, my middle school team and five years with a travel team. I plan on continuing the sport whenever I get a chance to play.
One year, before one of my Nutcracker performances, my mom gave me a giant version of one of my favorite candies to celebrate. A couple of bites in, I started to have an allergic reaction.
I started competitive Irish step dancing at the age of four and soccer at the age of five. From the beginning, my parents and I knew that dealing with my allergy, while still having a good time, would be tough, but we would find a way to successfully manage being in a group setting.
I started taekwondo 10 years ago, and currently, I am a Team USA national team member competing in recognized and freestyle Poomsae discipline. Food allergies present many challenges when you are an athlete. Food allergies present many challenges when you are an athlete. I have to pay extra attention to my nutrition and keep all my medication updated and handy with the constant traveling involved.
If you take control over your allergy and be proactive when it comes to upcoming sporting events or activities, then you are more likely to play your best, feel your best, and enjoy the sport you love to the maximum.