Sally Fitzgibbons is a shiny example of what life looks like when you live your passion. The glowing 22-year-old Australian sits as the third professional female surfer in the world and her instagram paints a rocking picture of global travel, elite fitness and a wholesome good time. Sally is exceptional at finding joy in the human experience and achieving endless goals while living an alcohol free lifestyle (she’s an anti-binge drinking ambassador).
Sally was kind enough to share details of the life that leads her from her home in Sydney to Mexico, South Africa and beyond, the art of embracing the inevitable highs and lows of world championship competition while finding the reward in the journey, enjoying the simple pleasures like summer fruits and running in the rain, plus a few words on Mother Nature…
What attracted you to surfing as your passion?
Growing up right on the beach at Gerroa and having my Dad and three older brothers who all surfed, it was definitely natural for me to want to take up surfing. Being the youngest I would constantly nag my brothers non stop until they started pushing me on waves. Naturally I wanted to try everything did and then try and beat them at it and I guess thats what ignited my competitive instinct and passion to want to be a professional surfer.
You’re quite active on social media and your instagram paints a rocking picture, do you enjoy being online?
I love being able to share my adventures with everyone who follows me. It blows my mind that people scattered all around the world are connected by watching and following what I do. I’m so thankful to have epic support and I feel them helping cheer me on to be the best possible athlete and person I can be.
What gets you totally stoked in life?
There’s not much that doesn’t get me stoked. I love what I do and am so passionate about it that I get stoked on the simplest things. One of my all time favourite things is surfing amazing waves with my family and best friends. When everyone is catching great waves and out in the line up telling stories and having a laugh, you have the best times. I also get really stoked surfing or running in the rain.
Can you describe what it feels like to be fit and healthy?
For me being fit and healthy means balance and harmony in my life. You carry a certain confidence within yourself when you are proud of all the hard work and time you have put into making your body feel and look great. You get into a routine with exercise and it gives you so many happy endorphins that you continuously want to go back for more. There are so many different exercises and sports you can do to exercise that are super fun and interesting day after day. Make sure you have that variety and enjoy it.
What keeps you committed to a healthy lifestyle?
Knowing how good I feel both mentally and physically when I’m fit and healthy keeps me committed to that healthy lifestyle. I want to treat my body with the utmost respect because I want it to still be firing when I’m old! I want to still be able to go out and surf when I’m 80 year old, haha!
What’s your ideal day of eating?
My ideal day would be summer fruits, fresh vegetables, some of my Mum’s homemade chicken soup and maybe some avo on freshly baked bread with salt and pepper : )
Tell us about your involvement with Be The Influence which tackles binge drinking in Australia, and your own experience with alcohol…
The ‘Be The Influence’ tackling Binge drinking campaign is a great initiative and I’m stoked to be a part of it. It was just a lifestyle choice of mine to never start drinking. I guess I always wanted to wake up fresh for the dawn patrol surf. I loved going out with all my friends and having a great night but it was vital for me to be able to drive everyone home at the end of the night.
Would love to hear your travel highlights!
There are so many amazing locations that I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to around the world. To pick just a few is so hard. I loved travelling to Fiji, Mexico and South Africa in search of great waves and they didn’t disappoint. It is pure bliss sometimes when you are in the middle of no where, in the desert or on some tiny island and you get to go out and surf and train at these magical spots. Coastal Europe is not only great for waves but is rich in culture and character, the food is also unreal.
Who inspires you?
I’ve always had a great passion for sport and I knew I wanted to become an elite athlete from a young age. From this my inspirations were elite athletes at the tops of their sports. I loved watching those magic moments when you see them achieve their ultimate goals. Claiming World Titles, Olympic medals and personal bests. There was something really special about seeing someone’s hard work, dedication and sacrifice pay off. Athletes like Cathy Freeman, Kerryn McCann, Ian Thorpe, Robbie Maddison, Kelly Slater, Layne Beachley, Rodger Federer and Adam Scott are definitely ones I’ve drawn inspiration from.
Does achieving your dreams come easily to you?
I’ve never been the best at goal setting, as I always go in every event wanting to win and start every year wanting to be World Champion. It’s hard that I set the bar so high for myself all the time but I just can’t go into anything I do half heartedly. This is what drives me to achieve my goals and I feel if I learn the art of patience and continuous perseverance to go along with my hard working nature, then I will get there in the end.
It’s always the toughest thing to get over those hurdles and past the challenges that are holding you back from achieving your dreams. A really wise person told me that you must learn how to lose with grace and dignity before you can learn to be a Champion. You learn a lot more from the devastating defeats and loses and I feel it really invigorates and inspires me to work and train even harder for my goals. You have to learn to embrace the highs and lows and enjoy that roller coaster ride because in the end the reward is the journey you take to get there, not the end result in itself.
If you could talk to Mother Nature what would you say to her?
You are an absolute beauty. Thanks so much for all the amazing moments in your backyard. I’d also ask where the waves are going to be pumping way ahead of time!
What’s coming up?
There will always be plenty of adventures along with the training I do in preparing for the next event.
You can follow my travels on Instagram and Twitter @Sally_Fitz or Facebook
I have a couple of epic trips planned so stay tuned!!