Aussie sweetheart and surfer Sally Fitzgibbons has etched her name as one of the country’s best. At 25 years of age, Sally’s competitive surfing career has included nine world tour wins and three runner-up finishes to the world title.
Sally’s consistency is a testament to her dedication to whatever she puts her mind to. Having won the 800m and 1500m at the Australian Youth Olympics in Czech Republic in 2007, with national level achievements in soccer and touch football, its clear there’s a true grit to succeed.
On the eve of Sally’s 2017 campaign (which kicks off at the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks), I caught up with Sally as she shares her health and fitness secrets and how you to can learn to “Train like Sally“.
5 Minutes with Surfer Sally Fitzgibbons
Describe a typical day of training for Sally Fitzgibbons?
A Surfing is such a holistic sport. You need to train so many attributes in order to be at the top level of our sport. The week has a lot of variety in it and it is determined by where the waves will be best up and down the coast. You then position all your land training around that. I do power and strength training in the gym, cardio sessions in and outdoors, whether it be running, biking, swimming, skipping, boxing or combination of all of them. I round out my training by introducing different things throughout the year including yoga, Pilates, breath training and meditation. It’s through my love of training and passion for all sports that I set about creating the All Australian Beach Body App so you can get a taste of how to “Train Like Sally”.
Q What’s a day on your plate look like?
A Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, avocado, chilli
Lunch – Seasonal fruit salad, nuts, baked veggies
Dinner – Small protein portion of meat or fish variety of salads
Snacks – Blue Dinosaur bars (they use premium vegan products preservative free)
Again it’s about showing your body that love and care for what fuel you are putting in. If you put in rubbish you are going to get rubbish efforts in return. I keep my plate colourful with loads of fresh produce. Keeping things simple by mixing and matching variety of proteins with what’s in season or on special at the markets. I keep things as least processed as possible and make sure I’m constantly mixing up the different varieties of fruit and veg I’m eating so my body is absorbing as many vitamins and nutrients from my food as possible.
Q Anything you steer away from?
A Processed food where possible
Q What have you done differently in training that you think may give you the edge this year?
A Haha, you know Karla there are no short cuts it’s all early starts and hard work applied consistently. Surrounding yourself with positive people to create the right environment for success would be a good tip. Fitzgibbons International is full of positivity and like-minded talented people who will help me perform at my best.
Q Have you overcome any setbacks over the last couple of months? I know you had some ear troubles are these now all clear?
A I have had a broken nose, broken hand, stitches, 2 broken wrists, numerous reef cuts, various body sprains and a ruptured eardrum as a result of surfing. They are nothing life threatening and probably no more than most professional sportspeople get throughout their career but the ruptured eardrum during competition at Fiji was probably the worst as it affected my balance and surfing, so to come through that and win the event was an amazing athlete experience that will help me remember what I am capable of.
Q A lot of people don’t realize the mental preparation that goes into competitive sport. Can you describe your unique way of how you mentally prepare for events?
A I think when you are young you have almost a blinker view and are result driven. If you are ahead of the performance curve the results come easy, which drives your training that produces more results. As you leave the local, state and national bubble and start competing on the World stage you realize what a small pool we come from and you have to start working on the mental edge in a more structured way to stay at the top. If you can move yourself away from being result driven you will find a better competitor within and compete at the highest level without the stress. For me meditation, Pilates and Yoga all help.
Q I love how you portray a healthy athletic body image and embrace athleticism. What are your thoughts on body image and have you ever felt a pressure to conform or look a certain way?
A I don’t think I have felt pressure to look a certain way but looking good and being presentable to the market has been part of female sport and even male sport to an extent for some time. Some people choose to buy into it and others not for a range of reasons. I did a lot of sports growing up so training and exercising became an everyday activity, which simply makes you feel amazing and gives.
Q What’s in the pipeline (pardon the pun) away from surfing this year?
A I still intend on chasing down the world title, as I just absolutely love surfing both competitively and in my free time, I can’t even imagine the ocean not being part of my life. On the back of my Live Like Sally book I have just released Train Like Sally (All Australian Beach Body) App with my training programs for those starting out and the Fitz Power program for those that feel they are already fit and want a challenge. People can get a 7 day free trial at the Google Play Store, search for ‘Train Like Sally’ or ‘All Australian Beach Body’ it will be available on Apple IOS in a few weeks. I’ll also be doing some live workouts in selected locations around the world, which I am excited about. The first one is on the Gold Coast this weekend. Register now!
Good luck Sally and all the best for the 2017 season! x