Makenzie Harvey
An Amazing Invictus Mother – Makenzie Harvey
Written by Michele Vieux

Those of you who have been around Invictus for a few years most certainly remember Invictus Baby Craze 2010 where nearly ten employees and members were pregnant at the same time.

Baby Craze 2010 culminated in Team Invictus Member, Katie Mac, beating EVERYONE in the class on the workout – including her husband – just two days before giving birth to her first child in record time. Everyone was impressed and they assumed it could only be done because it was Katie Mac, a phenomenal and accomplished collegiate and CrossFit athlete.

Well, Baby Craze is happening all over again, so be careful about drinking the water! This year, we already have a handful of preggos and the first baby has already arrived. Congratulations to Brian and Makenzie Harvey on the arrival of their healthy baby girl, Savannah. This is Brian and Makenzie’s second child. Makenzie was a part of Baby Craze 2010 with their first daughter Charlotte, and although she impressed me the first time around, I’ve found myself admiring Makenzie’s quiet tenacity every day for the past few months.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Makenzie (and Brian) since I put them through their Fundamentals back in 2009, and for the past few years in the Noon group sessions. For those of you who don’t know Makenzie, she is petite and one of those women you can’t tell is pregnant until she turns around. From her gentle demeanor, you would never guess she tries high profile murder cases in her position as a Deputy District Attorney – an extremely stressful and demanding job that can keep her away from home, family, and the gym at times.

While many women and their doctors shy away from “strenuous” exercise during pregnancy, I think I saw Makenzie more in the past 9 months than ever before, and she didn’t really slow down – not even at the end. She trained at Invictus throughout her first pregnancy, but I feel like she really had the hang of it this time – seeming so comfortable and natural through the whole thing – and might even have improved as an athlete because of it.

From the time she was beginning to show, she was doing weighted pull-ups. As she grew, she continued to do strict pull-ups, and other movements, as prescribed, along with the class. Just think about if you added a pound or two to your pocket each week and kept doing pull-ups. This is basically what she did and worked up to a 30 pound weighted pull-up over the course of the pregnancy.

Is it safe, you ask? Well of course, but there are rules. No woman or pregnancy is the same. You have to go by how you feel. That was the motto of both Katie Mac and Makenzie, as well as the advice of their doctors, and they literally worked out up until the end.

Of course, some things had to be modified in order to protect the fetus so obviously no burpees or movements that would cause impact or pressure to the womb. Katie Mac did box jumps and ran until the end. Makenzie was good with box jumps but running became uncomfortable at the end so she used the AirDyne instead which is most certainly NOT easier and she did push herself. I will vouch for that. Otherwise, she did the workouts with the prescribed movements and just modified the weight if necessary.

Brian and I joked about it when I was chatting with him after Savannah’s birth. “If I had a quarter of her motivation…” he said when I ribbed him about Makenzie being at the gym more in the past 9 months than him. “I am extremely proud. She is very dedicated (to her family, health and job).”

Besides motivating her husband and those in class with her, she has also inspired those who have excuses or fears about getting started on an exercise program. “I have a friend with two young kids who is curious about working out but didn’t think she would be able to keep up,” said Ross S., Makenzie’s Noon classmate. “I told her about Makenzie and all the stuff she was doing at 8 3/4 months pregnant.” I had lunch with Ross and his friend a few days later and she couldn’t stop asking me questions about workouts and was excited to report she’d started lunging and planking because of what Ross told her.

Without knowing it, through her quiet tenacity, Makenzie has become a role model for expecting mothers, mothers, wives, busy professionals, and those who value their health both inside and outside of Invictus.

Congratulations again to Brian and Makenzie on their expanding family!!