Volleyball, former Japan national team Erika Araki.

She gave birth to her eldest daughter at the age of 29 after she won a medal at the London Olympics.

She continued to participate in the two Olympic Games.

She chooses both volleyball and parenting.

She heard about her career, which Araki calls her "exciting challenge."


(Interviewer / Interviewed by Takayuki Betsui, Announcer, Nagoya Bureau)

I was crap

Mr. Araki, who was active, had a characteristic of playing with a height of 1 meter and 86 centimeters.


He has been selected to represent Japan since his teens and has participated in the Olympics four times.

As captain at the 2012 London Olympics, he helped Japan win the medal for the first time in 28 years.



(Betsui)


What kind of time do you think it was when you look back on the 26 years of volleyball that you started in elementary school?


(Araki)


I'm really sick.


Maybe if you ask people around you, you'll understand (laughs) I


'll always play something that everyone thinks "I've done it", and I feel that I can get better, or "Still grow." I've always felt that there is, so I wonder if I was able to continue the competition for a long time.


I kept holding until I retired from the desire to improve volleyball when I started.

That was my motivation, and since I've been competing for a long time, I feel like I've run through it, and I think I've been blessed with many encounters and lived a happy life as a volleyball player.

Hug by the court Shocking Italian experience

In 2009, when he was active as a representative of Japan, Mr. Araki challenged the world's best Italian league.

What he witnessed there was not only volleyball, but also the appearance of top athletes who spend their daily lives abundantly.

It was a shocking sight for Mr. Araki.



(Araki)


It was fresh, and it was a lot of excitement to know for the first time.


The player's boyfriend is watching the practice normally, and when the match is over, everyone hugs and kisses.

But that's everyday.


(Betsui) By


the court?


(Araki)


I'm sitting and watching.

That's what I do on a daily basis.

Isn't it a shock to be able to open up to that extent?


I was shocked to think about how to live a rich life as a volleyball player and how to live a rich life.

I played as a model while playing a player, while I was a college student, I played a player, and of course there were players who were married, and various players are really gathering together.

And yet strong.

Say something like "I think this" to the director on an equal footing.


So, I think that the thought that "it's okay to do it like this, there is also such a way of thinking" has spread very much.


When I was playing volleyball in Japan, I couldn't imagine what other volleyball players were thinking about, what else they wanted to learn, and what kind of life events they were thinking about. However, I don't think there were any people around me who had an image.


(Betsui)


Wasn't it in your idea?

No way I got married and gave birth to a child.


(Araki)


Not at all.

I was still young, so I didn't have that option.


(Betsui)


Then, what is the conviction that you can continue playing after getting married and giving birth?


(Araki)


Well, I'm not sure.

But I decided that I wanted to try it.


After all, after the London Olympics, I had a great sense of accomplishment.


(Betsui)


You also got a medal.


(Araki)


At that time, I was worried because I had several options, but when I talked with my husband about getting married, giving birth, and returning, I felt that it was a very exciting challenge for me. rice field.


(Betsui)


I wonder why I was so excited at that time.

Isn't it amazing that you come before anxiety?


(Araki)


Well, I'm scared when I think about it now.


I wonder if I was doing something wrong at that time (laughs) Because of my


age, I thought that it was about 28 or 9 at that time, and that now is the last time to take on this challenge.

I was able to get the support of my mother, thinking about how I wanted to face volleyball and how I wanted to live, and my husband also said, "Let's do our best together." Because I got lost.

What changed after giving birth ...

After winning the medal, Araki got married and gave birth to her eldest daughter.

She became a mother and her life changed.

It is said that her physical strength such as jumping ability has also changed.


Araki resumed training and returned to active duty less than a year after her birth.



(Araki)


After giving birth, her physical changes were messed up.


Originally, I didn't have back pain, but after giving birth, I've been fighting back pain.

I don't know how many times I said "I have a waist!"


Also, after giving birth, I didn't have the correct answer about how long I would breastfeed, and I was trying to find out what to do, but there were times when I had a little difficulty.


When I was away from my child on an expedition and milking and throwing away my breast milk, I was a little disturbed after giving birth, so I felt like that. See you.


(Betsui)


As a volleyball player, how did you deal with such changes, such as being unable to move as you were before giving birth?


(Araki)


Originally, after giving birth, I wasn't thinking of returning to my previous self, so I'm already saying, "That's what I'm doing," "I'm going to be a new self," and "I'll do it with a new play style." I had that kind of thinking myself, so I decided from the beginning not to think like "I could do this, but I can't do this".


There are many things that I couldn't do (laughs)


(Betsui)


, but I didn't have to be depressed.


(Araki)


I didn't have to be depressed.

However, my jumping power has dropped.


(Betsui)


Then, did the career of having a baby, returning to active duty, and continuing active duty as the child grew up led to a broader horizons?


(Araki)


The field of view expands and the way of thinking changes.

For example, when the director was angry or said something negative, he was only superficially caught before, but now he says, "I wonder if this director is thinking about this." This is what I really want to convey, "and no matter who you are talking about, you can now think about that.

I've become more aware of other people, and I think that things like things that seemed to be out of order, something happened, and that kind of voice changed.


(Betsui)


Is it polished because you usually look at your child?


(Araki)


I don't know (laughs)


, but I think it's a place where the field of view is getting wider.

I don't think there's much more than just raising a child (laughs)


, isn't it a series of such things (laughs)


"Here !?" or "I don't sleep" ..


Compared to that, if you think about what happens in a team

and persuade


(Betsui) children ...

(Araki) The

story is understandable!

(Laughs)

(Betsui)

There is.

What kind of people did you want to see and feel something about it?








(Araki)


Well, first of all, I wanted my daughter to feel that she can challenge her goals and dreams, no matter how old she is or what kind of mother she is.

And I thought it would be great if working mothers and women who would be like that would know that "there are people like this" and "there are options like this". Was.

Don't go to practice!

A trap set by her daughter

After that, Mr. Araki returned to the Japanese national team.

You will also have more time to leave home to participate in training camps and expeditions.

The little girl says she stopped with that hand.



(Araki)


After all, it took a long time to leave, and I knew that the time I could spend together was very important and precious, so I think I should spend all my time.

It was really sharp.

The time with her daughter was refreshing for me, who only played volleyball.


I've been running almost all the time, like walking very slowly, and volleyball players don't feel the seasons so much, but through my daughter, I can feel various events and seasons, and the energy I get from this kind of time. But I was big myself.


(Betsui)


I think I was heading to volleyball while thinking that my back hair would be pulled.


(Araki)


Well, it's completely different from when I was a baby when I was 6 or 7 years old.

At first, I didn't know how many days I hadn't had, but it was harder for me to understand that, "Then, I haven't had three days" or "I haven't had two weeks." There is something like that.


I set a trap so that I couldn't get out of the house.


(Betsui)


Is it a trap?


(Araki)


Yes.

Origami was laid in the hallway to the entrance, and "Maybe I can't fall down somewhere".

Also, cover the entrance with yarn.

That's how she told me a lot about her daughter's feelings.

Still, I'm going to the valley.


There were times when I thought about it, and there were times when it was difficult to control my emotions, but I still had to decide, do it, do it, and convey it with the results. I've managed to do it with that intent.


(Betsui)


It's not that I haven't accepted the thoughts of my children, but I can't help responding to them ...


(Araki)


That's true.


I've done a lot of things, screaming, clinging, and being held back many times, and in the end my daughter had already given up.


The last one is already.

I've been told like "Welcome to me!" With a feeling like "Whatever you do, right?"


Since I became an elementary school student, I was able to understand it well, and after I was able to understand it properly, "Mom has a goal to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, I want to work hard toward that. I told him that, and after I knew it, there was a change again.


(Betsui)


It may have been transmitted rather than giving up, that's it.


(Araki)


Hmm, how is it?

I've managed to get this far with just a really convenient interpretation, so I'm preparing to imagine what I'm going to say in adolescence in the future.




And the Tokyo Olympics.


The Japanese national team, who fought under Captain Araki, lost the qualifying league.


I didn't reach the medal.


Her daughter is said to have been cheering for Araki on her home TV.



(Betsui)


How did your child look at it?


(Araki)


I was watching with my family at home, and when the last game was over, I heard that my family was crying when my family said, "This is the end of mom and volleyball player." I didn't know what kind of tears it was, but I heard that she was crying saying, "Mom is no longer a volleyball player."


After that, I couldn't get a medal, so her daughter was preparing a certificate and she got it after she got home.

(Betsui)


What did you think at that time?


(Araki)


Hmm, how, hmm, no, I'm really impressed.


I'm really grateful that I've been able to fight together so far, and that I've walked together, and I'm regretful that I wanted to convey the results, and I'm very sorry.

However, I wondered if she felt something like her daughter.


(Betsui)


What do you think that "something" is now?

What did you feel?


(Araki)


Well, I wish I could convey that I was absorbed in it and that I would do my best.


Recently, my daughter did a lot of lessons and talked about things like "I'm able to do this" and that it's fun to feel the growth, so I wondered if that was conveyed. ..


After all, I think it's best to be absorbed in anything, not just sports, and to grow up from there by doing what you like, so I'm sure there will be various things in the future, but we will continue to grow together. I want to do it.


After the Olympics, I spend more time at home with me, and I feel like I'm a baby, so when I say something like "I haven't been a mom for 7 years, I've been in this condition for the next 7 years." It was a speech bubble that said something.

There are various options

Two months after the Tokyo Olympics, Mr. Araki retired from active duty.


He is currently the team coordinator for Toyota Auto Body Queenseis, which is based in Kariya City, Aichi Prefecture, and accompanies the team about 10 days a month.


A competitive life that I tried my best while groping.

Araki recalls that it was a time full of awareness.



(Araki)


"It should be like this" or something like that is quite out of my mind, like "Oh, this is okay", "There is such a way of life, there is such a way of thinking, there is such a volleyball player. As a result, I think I chose this kind of challenge.


However, in Japanese society, there are still many things like "mothers should be like this", "family should be like this", and so on. I think there are many.


After all, I've been discussing various things with our family, and I think it will continue, but I want to do it well.


(Betsui)


Does that mean that everyone doesn't have to follow the same path?


(Araki)


That's right.

I don't want to say "Mom athlete, it's best to give birth and return, I recommend it" or "There are various options". Therefore, I think it would be great if I could clearly convey what I would choose, how I would choose, and how I would be prepared to proceed.



"Interview from here Erika Araki"


will be broadcast on NHK General TV from 6:30 am on Wednesday, February 23.

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