Sally Fitzgibbons is a highly accomplished Australian pro-surfer with a passion for sports, health and spreading the good vibes. As the youngest pro-surfer to ever win an ASP Pro Junior event, she has also inspired surfers globally by showing you can be successful regardless of your age. Conscious Connection recently caught up with Sally in between surf trips to bring you her story and tips on how she’s managed to design the ultimate lifestyle.
Conscious Connection: You’ve said that surfing found you. How is it that you got started as a surfer?
Sally Fitzgibbons: With my Dad and three older brothers all being surfers and growing up right by the beach in a little town called Gerroa, it was natural for me to get into surfing. I just kept bugging them until they started pushing me into waves when I was 6 years old. I had a vision at that young age that I wanted to become a World Champion or an Olympic Gold medalist, so I tried every sport I could get my hands on. I hit a cross roads in my mid-teens as my soccer, touch football, athletics, surfing and country running were all going really well at high levels. I ended up focusing solely on my surfing at age 16 and the rest of the sports were just done as cross training. I was naturally drawn to surfing as it could fulfill my competitive endeavors of becoming World Champion and also provide a truly unique lifestyle filled with travel, culture and adventure.
Conscious Connection: Tell me more about how surfing helps to provide you with a holistically balanced lifestyle.
Sally Fitzgibbons: I love being connected with the ocean everyday. There are always a new set of challenges every time I rock up at the beach. Surfing doesn’t just fulfill my competitive desires, it gives me a holistic balance in life and I feel energized just going to the beach and catching an awesome sunrise and having a surf. I can get my exercise, challenges, space, connection to nature and time to just sit think and admire the magnificence and beauty in front of me all in the one place : )
Conscious Connection: What are a few things you do on a regular basis to take care of yourself and practice self love?
Sally Fitzgibbons: A few of things I do to take care of myself would be; Going on long adventure runs. I love putting on my shoes and heading off with no particular destination in mind, I just see where my feet take me. I love that time and space to myself to connect with nature and tune into my surroundings without music or electronics, just back to basics.
I take time out in my hectic day to do some breathing exercises/meditation. Just to calm my thoughts and put myself into a good head space.
I also feed my passion of sport by working really hard in training and then knock off in time to watch my favorite sporting teams and big events with my friends or I go to the games to watch it live, which is really exciting and is something I work towards and then kick back and enjoy.
Conscious Connection: How have you used the underdog mentality to continuously provide motivation towards your goal of winning an ASP World Title?
Sally Fitzgibbons: Being the underdog is something you can definitely use to your advantage. Not being the favorite in other peoples eyes is not a disappointment at all for me. It means I can go about my business of improving and becoming a stronger athlete without any added pressures. I really enjoy the support I have received so far in my career. I can feel people willing me on to get to number 1 and it inspires me to continue to work harder and want that end goal even more.
Conscious Connection: What’s you number one tip for setting goals and achieving them?
Sally Fitzgibbons: My number one tip would be ‘Don’t change that dream or the goals’ you have set for yourself if you don’t get there first go. It might happen for those lucky few on the first try, but it’s often a lifelong journey to get there. Learn to love those challenges that you will come up against and believe that anything is possible if you apply yourself.
Conscious Connection: Tell us a little but about some of the community programs you’re involved with.
Sally Fitzgibbons: I am only 23 years old but I like to give back to the community where I can between surfing events. Binge drinking is a problem in our society and I have partnered with the Government and Police Force to bring awareness to it and show there are better options for young people to try and be happy doing. ‘Be The Influence’ and ‘Play Safe Stay Safe’ are two campaigns currently running and I am proud to be involved in. Also because I love my running and I do so much for cross training, I joined the Cotton On Foundation as an Ambassador for Run Wollongong Charity Run to raise money for the Children’s Hospital ward.
Another key one and I feel is so important is water safety. We have such a big coastline and water safety is an issue throughout the summer especially, with so many tourists in our region. I partnered up with Surf Lifesaving this past summer to impart some important messages with the help of the Smurfs2 DVD launch to educate the kids and keep them safe on their beach holidays.
On a larger scale I am working with Nev House a unique solution to the World’s plastic waste problem. Nev House builds an amazing house from the recycled plastic waste with the target being to provide governments with an affordable solution for the homeless. It’s an exciting project to be apart of. Learn more at www.sallyfitzgibbons.com/community
Conscious Connection: Sounds awesome. Thanks so much for taking the time speak with us! Any parting thoughts?
Sally Fitzgibbons: I love what I am so fortunate to do and hope people out there can chase their dream and passion and love doing it also. Happy Surfing ! You can follow my adventures here; Sally Stories Season 2 or at www.sallyfitzgibbons.com.