Breakthrough Spotlight – Akemi Hayashi
Our Breakthrough Spotlight member for December is Akemi Hayashi! We are so excited to have Akemi share her story of how her training kept her strong throughout her pregnancy, and now as she takes care of her new baby boy!
Breakthrough: So Akemi, I’m so excited for you to be our Spotlight member this month! You trained with us before getting pregnant, all throughout your pregnancy, and now since delivering your son. So, I’d love to hear what this journey was like for you.
Akemi: Well, my pregnancy was awesome! I would sometimes forget I was pregnant because I was feeling so good. I didn’t get sick, I had no back pain or aches anywhere. It was a wonderful pregnancy!
Breakthrough: And throughout your pregnancy, you kept up your training very consistently…
Akemi: Yes, I would average three to four training sessions a week.
Breakthrough: Right, and we should mention that you had been training with that same frequency prior to getting pregnant. It’s important to note that pregnancy is not a time to start doing weight training if that isn’t something your body is used to. But in your case, you kept up a routine you were used to and we modified as you got further along in your pregnancy.
Akemi: And it was so important that I stayed consistent. If I went for more than a couple of days without exercise, I would start to feel that my body wasn’t feeling as good. And I would notice my energy levels would be lower. But as soon as I would get in for training, my energy was back and I would feel better. And that’s for a couple of reasons: First, just this place is amazing! Being in an environment where everyone is just full of positive vibes, it just gives you that euphoric feeling so you get that emotional boost. And of course, the exercise kept me feeling good physically too.
Breakthrough: Yes! It’s amazing how feeling good physically and emotionally works together!
Akemi: Definitely. And I had to be both mentally and physically strong when it came to delivery. It was a very long labor, and I know that because I did train, I was able to handle that.
Breakthrough: That’s a real life example of why we train! Yes, it’s great to do cool stuff in the gym, but most importantly, at some point life is going to require you to do something difficult. And it’s a whole lot easier if you already know you are strong!
Akemi: Oh yeah, when it comes to labor, no one can predict how it’s going to go. I was in labor for three hours, which is the longest amount of time they will let you keep pushing before you have to do a C Section. But I was able to hang in, and I know if I hadn’t been training I would probably have given up.
Breakthrough: And your recovery has been very quick…
Akemi: Yes, I was walking the next day.
Breakthrough: That’s incredible! So now that you’ve gotten the go ahead from your doctors, and you’ve been back in the gym for a while, how are you feeling?
Akemi: I feel great! I do have to remind myself not to compare my training now to what it was like before I was pregnant. I have to take things easier. But that’s why I have you guys – so you can guide me to what I should be doing!
Breakthrough: That’s right – we’ve got you covered! Was there anything about this journey that has surprised you?
Akemi: Yes, how quickly I’m healing! Mentally too I felt so strong immediately after. My recovery time has just been so fast. 6 weeks after delivery my doctor gave me the ok to come back and start easing back in to training… so I called you immediately!
Breakthrough: Oh yes! Well, you are just such an inspiration. It’s so important that you were in the habit of taking care of yourself with your training and nutrition, and are right back into it now, because yes, you have Kenji to take care of now, but you have to take care of you too!
Akemi: Well I just thank you guys so much for knowing exactly what I needed during my pregnancy, and what I need now. You guys really do cater to each individual’s needs. And there was, and is, always an open dialogue about how I’m feeling on a particular day and if I need to adjust anything, you help me do that.
Breakthrough: Of course!
Akemi: Oh you know, another thing that is surprising is that, ok Kenji isn’t small. He’s 15 pounds, but I never get neck, shoulder or back pain carrying him. I have some back pain that occurred during the labor, but even that is getting better all the time. But people ask me if he’s too heavy, and he’s not at all because I’m strong!
Breakthrough: You know it! Well we can’t wait to see Kenji in lifting some weights as soon as he’s ready!
Akemi: Oh yeah! He’s getting a kettlebell for Christmas – haha!