Recovery means something different for everyone. It could be that you’re recovering from an injury or simply that you’re taking care of yourself after a workout. In this series, we talk to people in our community about how they recover—plus, what their fitness routine looks like, when they feel most alive, and more. Next up, Simone Tchouke, a personal trainer and certified functional strength coach.

Simone Tchouke says staying active entertained her while growing up in Cameroon. Without a TV or video games, it was only natural – but becoming a trainer was quite the opposite. She describes the decision to forgo medical school in order to coach everyday people as “scary,” because the concept of a personal trainer was unfamiliar to her family and friends back home. 

But in 2013, Tchouke went for it and never looked back. Now, with a baby on the way and a cross-country move under her belt, she’s in the midst of another new chapter. Here, her recovery story:

On the many ways she recuperates:

To me, recovery can just mean going for a walk, or doing a little stretching session, or something like a breathing exercise. Recovery can also mean I just had a crazy workout, and I’m going to lay down and sleep. And sometimes I will do nothing for a day or two – just get some comfort food I really like and watch TV all day. One of the things that I’ve been using lately is [Mab & Stoke’s] Recovery Cream. It’s cool, and it smells really, really nice. Sometimes, all of my stress will be on my back, so it’s nice to just use the cream and lay down.

On what’s changed during pregnancy:

With a pregnancy, you’re kind of forced to recover. The first month was okay, but the second month, I was really tired. I would sleep almost 12 hours a day and still be tired. I wanted to push myself and work out, but I had to tell myself, “Hey, Simone, you need to rest.” I definitely need more recovery time now than before, because even when I’m sleeping, my body’s working for this little human being that I’m carrying. I can be in the middle of a workout, and if I feel like my body is like, “you cannot go further,” I will just stop. Right now, recovery to me is number one.

On discovering her love of hiking:

I moved [from New York] to California in the middle of the pandemic, so I’ve been here for one year. A friend that I met in New York came here before me, and she’s originally from California. We’d go on really beautiful hikes, and I’d feel a sense of freedom. To be able to enjoy nature and not worry about getting sick or getting somebody sick – that’s how I fell in love with hiking. I did one hike after the next one, and I [eventually] went up to Mount Whitney. I think that’s about a 24-mile round trip, and a little bit shy of 15,000 feet elevation.

On what gives her a boost:

During this pregnancy, on the days that I work out or go for my walk early in the morning, it really sets the tone and I have so much more energy. And when I go hiking, it sets me up for the whole week. It puts me in such a beautiful mood, and I just feel so fulfilled. When in doubt – if you want to work out but you don’t know what to do – go for a walk or go for a hike. I highly recommend a small hike for recovery, too. I don’t want to say that hiking brings me more joy than strength training, but it probably does!

What I’ve Tried:

Recovery & deep tissue massages
Breathing exercises
Brisk walks
Stretching sessions
Mab & Stoke Recovery Cream

What’s Worked Best While Pregnant:

Brisk walks
Mab & Stoke Recovery Cream

Pro Tip: Listen to your body. No one knows your body better than you.

Pro Tip: Skipping a day or two [of working out] is not going to set you back 10 years. It’s always better to rest and get back at it when you’re ready so that you don’t get injured.  

Pro Tip: Nothing can replace sleep. Get your six, seven, eight hours and then try to work out. 

Recovery Cream is a full spectrum plant-based hero designed to be used post-workout or whenever you need relief from aches or soreness. Smooth Recovery Cream over everything from fatigued muscles to tight shoulders and aching backs, and enjoy its lightly woodsy scent. This highly absorbent cream combines traditional botanical infusions, aromatherapy and key concentrated extracts to create a next level soother you won’t want to live without.