With rising temperatures, air quality becoming an issue for some around Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s not just the heat, air quality is also an issue around Kansas City recently.

On Tuesday the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Air Quality Program issued an ‘orange ozone alert’ in the Kansas City region. That basically means some people might have issues breathing or experience other irritation.

Other potential issues include chest pains and difficulty breathing. But a lot of people, especially athletes, find it hard to take a break.

Sweating, huffing, and puffing, the heat of Mill Creek Park revealed the meaning of the words ‘no days off.’

“I’m on the bar at least four or five times a week,” Shawn Lee, a guy who can crush pull-ups, said.

“I’m out here every day almost to a fault. Now days I should probably take some rest days but I like not to,” Joshua Moncure said.

Moncure said he used to be extremely sensitive to the heat/ozone alert days, possibly experiencing health issues more common among seniors and people with breathing and heart problems.

“I used to weigh about 500 pounds. More than twice what I weigh right now,” Moncure said.

“This is you right here in this picture?” FOX4’s Jacob Kittilstad asked, looking at an image on a cell phone.

“Yeah, that’s me,” Moncure said.

“It doesn’t look anything like you,” Kittilstad said.

“Yeah, that was me after I won a essay competition because, you know, I didn’t really like taking pictures much,” Moncure said.

“It’s just awesome,” Shawn Lee, who was working out nearby but had not spoken to Moncure until that moment, said. “I mean, like, I like to see people motivated like that. He stuck with it. I seen him working out like maybe a year or two ago, if it was him, I knew he was going to lose it because he was determined.”

“Losing weight has been really fun but ultimately the most rewarding part has been learning to love myself despite what I weigh. It doesn’t really matter,” Moncure said.

He says he has picked up coping strategies for when the weather gets this hot.

“When I was 500 pounds, you know, there’s a lot of insulation there so, 60 degrees was probably a hot day. Just getting in the car was enough to make the cheeks sweat a little, you know what I’m saying?” Moncure said.

“The human body is really good at adapting to things. So one thing I do in the summer is I turn off my A/C. One, because I’m broke and two, because sleeping in the nearly 80 degrees, just living in that environment makes it more accessible for me to go outside,” Moncure said.

Another thing to note about this ozone alert. A lot of the issues are made worse by emissions so specialists are recommending delaying doing yardwork including mowing until after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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