At only 21, Sally’s dedication to realising her surfing potential by making the most informed health decisions is inspiring.
Buoyed by the achievements of sporting athletes at the top of their game, Sally sets the bar high and constantly nudges it as she strives to become the world’s best female surfer.
While mind blowing to watch in the surf, Sally has also achieved success out of the water as a long distance runner, touch footballer and soccer player. Growing up in Gerroa, two hours south of Sydney, Sally achieved significant results in various sports including winning gold at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in 800m and 1500m running events. Competitive surfing aspirations won out in the end and in 2009 Sally joined the world tour as the youngest qualifier in the tour’s history.
What does health personally mean to you?
Health to me means glowing and being radiant, when you are free of pain and injury and have a great balance in your life.
What do you do to keep healthy?
I have a very active lifestyle that I love. I’m always surfing and training for the most part of every day. It is amazing to have the ocean as my office. It is very relaxing being outdoors and amongst nature everyday. All my training and competing keeps me healthy and fit. I also make sure that with all the travel and hard work my body goes through, I am replacing the energy that goes out with healthy food, vitamins, plenty of water and meditation.
What foods do you love that contribute to your health?
I have a very balanced diet that keeps me healthy – loads of fruit and veggies and I alternate between my proteins that include red meat, fish and chicken. I always make sure I fuel my body with protein-based food after a training session.
What drinks do you love that contribute to your health?
I drink mostly water while I’m training and then Red Bull for recovery and also during my busy days when I’m running between training, interviews and sponsor commitments.
How do you stay mentally healthy?
I’m generally just a super happy and smiley person! Living my dream job at the moment of being a professional surfer gives me so much to be happy and stoked about. When I get wound up, stressed and tired I do turn to the ocean for relief and to reenergise, it always seems to calm me and help put things into perspective. Or I take some time to do something by myself that I find relaxing, it can be as simple as reading or drawing. Surrounding yourself with awesome, positive people keeps you mentally uplifted.
How do you stay physically healthy?
All my physical fitness comes from my training. Being a professional surfer requires me to traitn up in so many different areas. I spend the most part of the day surfing, picking different waves for sessions and working on the parts I need to improve. I then hit the gym, building strength that I can take to my board to be a more powerful and explosive surfer. I love running and cycling for cardio work and do a lot of stretching and yoga to keep flexible.
You travel a lot – what keeps you healthy while you are on the road?
On the road it’s always hard to keep the flu and colds away. With all the plane travel and sickness floating around, you have to do the best you can to keep it out. I make sure I’m taking a range of vitamins, especially loads of Vitamin C, and water to flush any nasties away. It also helps using the nasal sprays and various germ-blocking products on those long plane rides.
Being careful of what you eat while in foreign countries that have poor water quality will also help you come home in good shape.
Which people inspire you to be healthy?
All the top athletes and champions of each sport inspire me to train harder and perform at my best. I follow lots of different sports and it is amazingly energising watching the elite compete.
What advice do you have for people looking to improve their health?
It all starts with one session – it can be as small as a walk or a jog. Try and find your exercising rhythm and stick to it even if you have to timetable it in the beginning. You will feel amazing if you pair a bit of exercise everyday with some healthy food. Stock up on those great fruit and veggies and find fun outdoor games or activities you can do with your friends. Enjoy being happy and healthy!
Learn more about Sally Fitzgibbons.