Conversations with… Athlete and massage therapist Ashley Wilson

By Paola Bassanese

Q: You have two careers: professional athlete and sports therapist. When did you decide you wanted to become involved in sport?

A: I first decided when I was 16 that I wanted to take up Athletics professionally.  I had to choose between two possible careers: football and athletics.  At the time it was a difficult decision but I chose the sport I thought I would excel in most.

Q: Tell us more about your experience touring the UK with a theatre company

A:  I have been touring with Starlight Express since May and it has been interesting to say the least.  Some days are extremely busy, with a range of injuries from the cast and other days are so quiet I can spend time do other things.  The touring schedule fits well with my training schedule as I start earliest at 12pm, which as allows me to train in the morning. It is a very demanding show, and therefore it is necessary for me to be touring with the cast.
Q: With Rio 2016 approaching, what would you like to achieve as an athlete?
Rio seems far away but yet it isn’t.  I have a 2-3 years plan to hopefully be at the top of my game by competing internationally.  If I can continue to train hard and efficiently staying injury free, then my goals should be possible to achieve.  I want to be able to be a finalist for those games, nothing is too unrealistic, so it is just down to me to put the work in.
Q: How important is massage in your life?
A:  Massage is important for me both financially and physically.  I understand the need for it the be physically capable to do the things that I do.  It is difficult to just train and have no medical assistance, so realistically treatment once every 2 weeks in essential.
Q: What’s your favourite sports discipline?
A: My favourite disciple to compete in is hurdles but my favourite to watch is 100m.  Outside of athletics I enjoy watching NFL and occasionally some football.