Team Member Spotlight: Satoshi Ashida’s Happy Place

 In Physical Performance

Satoshi Ashida has discovered his happy place.

And it was a snap decision 11 years ago to tackle a marathon that set the now 41-year-old on his journey to discover it.

Sato, as he prefers to be called in the Aussie vernacular, arrived in Australia about 14 years ago working for an inbound Japanese tourism operator.

Approaching a milestone birthday and signing up for the 2006 Gold Coast Marathon changed his life on two fronts.

“I started running when I turned 30, 11 years ago,” he said.

“I was just a normal 20-something bloke. I loved parties, I loved drinking and when I turned 30 I decided it was time to do something healthy.

“Otherwise my 40s and 50s were going to be miserable.

“We organised a Japanese tour group to run in the Gold Coast Marathon. I thought it was a good idea to get myself running.

“I had about six months to get ready for the race. I’m running a marathon and I was crying by about the half-way mark and it was walk, run, walk, run … but surprisingly I finished sub-four, 3hr 53min for the first one without any proper training to be honest.”

The experience, however painful, ignited in Sato a love of running, which in turn led to aches and pains and the almost inevitable injuries.

“I had been getting regular massages myself for a long time and started to think maybe I could help like-minded people with something like massage,” he said.

Although he enjoyed his job in Sydney he quit and moved to the Sunshine Coast to study at QAcademy and after completing an 18-month diploma in remedial massage now finds himself at POGO.

Among the many POGO clients who is happy Sato made the decision to move into massage is trail runner Barry Southgate who, after suffering from plantar fasciitis, completed his 12-week Into Performance Finish Line Program in mid-February this year.

“I’ve actually trained as a remedial massage therapist so I’ve probably had about 500 massages … Sato nails it every time,” he said.

“I’ve said to him ‘you are the best guy I’ve ever had a massage with’, and that includes the teachers I trained with.

“Sometimes you think you don’t need attention … and he just gets it. He can pick it every time.”

Sato calls his treatment room at POGO his “happy place”.

Sato calls his treatment room at POGO his “happy place”. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

“I love this place,” he says. “It’s not like work. I love everyone here and the clients are so happy.

“There’s a positive vibe throughout the practice.

“I love getting a massage myself so I’m still learning techniques from other therapists, that’s the key to keep learning.

“I love to help people, to get them pain-free and back to their best.”

“I love to help people, to get them pain-free and back to their best.”. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

Sato confesses away from POGO his focus – a more accurate description is “addiction” – is primarily on preparing for his next big race. At this point in time that happens to be the Gold Coast Marathon in July.

“I probably do marathons twice a year, sometimes three times … I’ve done seven or eight marathons in 10 years,” he said.

“My first serious marathon – I don’t really count the first one on the Gold Coast – was at the Australian Running Festival in Canberra in 2012. I did 2:48 and was pretty happy with that.

“Two years ago I did my PB of 2:42:30 at Gold Coast Marathon.

“I have set a goal to go under 2:40. I’m probably only realistically getting to that now so I’ll definitely try to do that this year.”

And Sato’s advice for everyone, whether they be active or sedentary, is to have a massage regularly.

“It’s very beneficial to have a regular massage, especially for athletes, even if you don’t think you need one,” he says.

“Even for people who don’t do regular exercise, they may spend a lot of time in front of a computer, driving long hours, and posture can be compromised.

“Your body needs a treatment from time to time.

“Otherwise you can end up with an injury which is the worst-case scenario.

“At least once a month, and that’s for everyone, in my opinion.

“And for athletes and people who do regular exercise I’d say once a fortnight.”

Neale Grundy

Featured in the Top 50 Physical Therapy Blog

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