Infotainment Factory: How surf star recovered from 'humbling' setback

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

How surf star recovered from 'humbling' setback


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Sally Fitzgibbons is a household name in surfing, but it’s been a tough run in the last couple of years. She’s even had to learn how to paddle again.

Fitzgibbons is on the comeback trail after fracturing her shoulder in November last year, and despite her seemingly unshakable sunny disposition, it hasn’t been easy for the 28-year-old Aussie.

Last month in Newcastle, Fitzgibbons made her long-awaited return to the surf since she injured her shoulder at the Maui Pro late last year. In the lead-up to the event though, she was still struggling, even with the simplest part of her sport.

“I was trying to work out how to get my arm over to paddle,” Fitzgibbons told Wide World of Sports at the launch of Under Armour's 'Together We Will' campaign.

“I put my board in my swimming pool at home and I was like, ‘I wonder how I can make this move’, and then this moment of going back each day, getting a little more movement, and then the moment I could do a stroke I was like, ‘Ahhh!’ I just exploded.

“I was like, ‘That’s it! Sal You’re doing it’.

Sally Fitzgibbons

“I’ve had a number of little injuries, stacks, cuts, and breaks. It gets to the point where you get pretty accepting of it, and in the lowest points I’ve had my greatest learnings. It’s definitely humbling though.”

She went on to win her third Surfest women’s crown at Newcastle, a record-equalling feat.

Fitzgibbons said the hurdles she’s had to overcome have had a reinvigorating effect.

“The joy to come back and then ride a wave again, it just brings a lot of life into what you do,” she said.

“It’s seemingly doing the same thing, but it does feel like my first year on tour all over again.

“It’s brought a lot of life into my journey.”

https://twitter.com/Sally_Fitz/status/1115119620426326016

At the Boost Mobile Pro on the Gold Coast last week, Fitzgibbons continued her resurgence, finishing third in the WSL Tour event after being knocked out in the semi-finals by Carissa Moore.

“Jumping out there was a proud moment, coming back through the shoulder injury, progressing through the heats and getting all the way through to the semis,” Fitzgibbons said.

“It was just such a proud feeling to see the team we worked with over summer in the thick of it.”

Sally Fitzgibbons

Now Fitzgibbons’ attention turns to Bells Beach, where she won in 2011 and 2012. After 11 years on tour, she still holds out hope for that elusive world title, having finished runner-up three times.

“Bells Beach is the Wimbledon of our sport,” Fitzgibbons said.

“It feels so special to surf in that part of the ocean and it’s a natural amphitheatre.

“For me, it’s all about creating a framework I can trust in. It really is the feeling of staying in that lane and believe my processes will take me to that destination.

“I know no matter what that whatever the ripple effect is, that my framework can take me to the pinnacle. Now it’s just about experiencing it.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvf73aKgcco/

Sally Fitzgibbons spoke to Wide World of Sports on behalf of Under Armour's 'Together We Will' campaign, which offers a holistic training session online created in consultation with Fitzgibbons, two-time Winter Olympic Aerial Skier Danielle Scott, three-time Paralympian Madison De Rozario and 100m Hurdler Liz Clay, to motivate and inspire women.

Sally Fitzgibbons is a household name in surfing, but it’s been a tough run in the last couple of years. She’s even had to learn how to paddle again.

Fitzgibbons is on the comeback trail after fracturing her shoulder in November last year, and despite her seemingly unshakable sunny disposition, it hasn’t been easy for the 28-year-old Aussie.

Last month in Newcastle, Fitzgibbons made her long-awaited return to the surf since she injured her shoulder at the Maui Pro late last year. In the lead-up to the event though, she was still struggling, even with the simplest part of her sport.

“I was trying to work out how to get my arm over to paddle,” Fitzgibbons told Wide World of Sports at the launch of Under Armour's 'Together We Will' campaign.

“I put my board in my swimming pool at home and I was like, ‘I wonder how I can make this move’, and then this moment of going back each day, getting a little more movement, and then the moment I could do a stroke I was like, ‘Ahhh!’ I just exploded.

“I was like, ‘That’s it! Sal You’re doing it’.

Sally Fitzgibbons

“I’ve had a number of little injuries, stacks, cuts, and breaks. It gets to the point where you get pretty accepting of it, and in the lowest points I’ve had my greatest learnings. It’s definitely humbling though.”

She went on to win her third Surfest women’s crown at Newcastle, a record-equalling feat.

Fitzgibbons said the hurdles she’s had to overcome have had a reinvigorating effect.

“The joy to come back and then ride a wave again, it just brings a lot of life into what you do,” she said.

“It’s seemingly doing the same thing, but it does feel like my first year on tour all over again.

“It’s brought a lot of life into my journey.”

https://twitter.com/Sally_Fitz/status/1115119620426326016

At the Boost Mobile Pro on the Gold Coast last week, Fitzgibbons continued her resurgence, finishing third in the WSL Tour event after being knocked out in the semi-finals by Carissa Moore.

“Jumping out there was a proud moment, coming back through the shoulder injury, progressing through the heats and getting all the way through to the semis,” Fitzgibbons said.

“It was just such a proud feeling to see the team we worked with over summer in the thick of it.”

Sally Fitzgibbons

Now Fitzgibbons’ attention turns to Bells Beach, where she won in 2011 and 2012. After 11 years on tour, she still holds out hope for that elusive world title, having finished runner-up three times.

“Bells Beach is the Wimbledon of our sport,” Fitzgibbons said.

“It feels so special to surf in that part of the ocean and it’s a natural amphitheatre.

“For me, it’s all about creating a framework I can trust in. It really is the feeling of staying in that lane and believe my processes will take me to that destination.

“I know no matter what that whatever the ripple effect is, that my framework can take me to the pinnacle. Now it’s just about experiencing it.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvf73aKgcco/

Sally Fitzgibbons spoke to Wide World of Sports on behalf of Under Armour's 'Together We Will' campaign, which offers a holistic training session online created in consultation with Fitzgibbons, two-time Winter Olympic Aerial Skier Danielle Scott, three-time Paralympian Madison De Rozario and 100m Hurdler Liz Clay, to motivate and inspire women.

http://bit.ly/2GroDlL
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