Sally Fitzgibbons has her own fitness program. It's a relatively new project, one she started working on in earnest last year, but it was launched recently. She's promising customers more than just "health" though, "happiness" is the other objective.
So does it work? We got the answer Saturday.
Sally's win at Margaret River is testament to the work she's been putting in, and the lessons she has to offer. Listen closely to her post-heat interviews and you can sense there's a brand new fire in her. And yes, last year was her worst performance ever on Tour, but that's what makes Saturday all the more impressive.
She finished No. 8 on the Jeep Leaderboard in 2016 largely because she was exploring outside opportunities. She was admittedly distracted. After being a three-time runner up, twice to Stephanie Gilmore and once to Carissa Moore, Fitzgibbons was being held in check by new threats like Tyler Wright and Courtney Conlogue. The World Title seemed to be getting further away, not closer.
But beneath Sally's smile is a deadly serious competitor. Midway through last year, realizing she was spread too thin, she refocused. A good portion of her mental energy went into her workout routine, and the things that matter most.
Despite her worst year ever, by the end of the season Sally's confidence was soaring. She wasn't just stronger physically, she'd shed many of her distractions, focused energy on her loved ones, and was finding new joy in her surfing. In short, she was plotting her 2017 campaign.
Sally had every excuse to be intimidated by her opponents on Saturday, but she didn't flinch. It was expected that she would be disadvantaged in the choppy surf, but unlike Gilmore, she didn't let the ugliness of the grey day get to her. She brought her spark, and trusted her process, and it worked.
Her next best move, however, was shifting to her step-up board against Tyler Wright in the Final. Her 5'11 had treated her well earlier in the week. She went down to her 5'10" during her Semifinal heat, thinking it would help her get loose...but she'd temporarily forgotten her own strength. Her legs were whipping the 5'11" around with more authority, and power. That's exactly what she had to bring against Wright.
And she did, too. Her carves in the steep sections were things of beauty. She drew out her turns, timed her targets, and executed. Meanwhile, Wright struggled to find any vertical lines, and was tripped up by a few chops.
Sally's hard work paid off today. She wanted it. She worked for it. She got it.
She's now heading to Bells tied for No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard with Gilmore. And Sally loves Bells. She's won it twice, has the second highest heat winning percentage there, and has racked up 18 heat wins in the excellent range (16 points or higher).
So yeah, Sally is serious right now. And she's a serious threat. But she's also seriously happy. "Everything I've been working on - it's paying off," she said after the Final. "Results aside I've had a fantastic week. My body and my mind, I'm right where I want to be."
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a workout to do.