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28 Aug 2018

Akin Saatchi – From Injured Elite Athlete to Pilates Champion

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In this article Akin Saatchi, the Licensee for Polestar Turkey, talks about how he went from being an injured elite athlete to Pilates champion. Akin was a part of Turkey’s national rowing team for 13 years. During that time, he won more than 100 medals, including world cups and world championships. Suffice to say, towards the end of his term, Akin had plenty of injuries, to his shoulder, both knees, and 11 discs in his spine.

“Doctors said that I needed surgery and that there was risk of me not being able to do any sports again. This was indescribable for me as a young athlete. While attending Boston University and Bogazici University in Turkey, I studied management and marketing business in tourism, like all of my family. But after a year of work I realised that I wanted to do something with sports. By that time I had horrible, chronic pain in my knees, neck, and back.

One day I pursued Pilates education. I had no desire to become a Pilates teacher, I wanted to be a personal trainer. However, I thought if I opened a gym, I would want to offer Pilates as well. While I thought I would never do or teach it, I knew that I needed Pilates education to better manage my studio and staff.

In those 2 weeks, the unexpected happened, all my pain went away and I fell in love with Pilates.

Some time later I opened my own Pilates studio in Turkey. I still took Crossfit education and certification, and without any surgery I started to run full marathons. I became a comprehensive Pilates teacher from a good 450-hour Pilates school.

But I wanted to do more and learn more. While I was talking with all of the well-known schools around the world, only Polestar replied with an interest in who I was.

Even before participating in the course I felt welcome, valued and worthy.

At Polestar, I felt I was with my family – I felt like I was home.

During the course and after it this feeling grew. Of course all Pilates schools value people, but when I was at Polestar, even on the first day, I felt I was with my family – I felt like I was home.

During the course, I also realized how little I knew about anatomy, teaching techniques, principles of Joseph, etc. I knew a lot of exercises, but now I know something deeper than that.

Most of all, what changed in my life with Polestar is that I realised how little I was doing for the world and for people. Yes, I teach Pilates in my studio, but what do I do for the people with no expectation of something in return?

I learned that Joseph Pilates expected all movement professionals to be beneficial to the world.

Now I know what “impacting the world through intelligent movement and lifestyle” means.

We as Pilates lovers should impact the world, help people, and do good for the world, not just with our money or donations. We have to impact the world with our body, mind and spirit. I am Polestar.”

Akin Saatchi

Follow Akin on Instagram @akin.saatchi and at Polestar Turkiye

This article originally appeared on the Polestar Pilates International Blog