Injuries in sports are nearly inevitable when an athlete is pushing themselves to their limits trying to become the best they can achieve and still continue striving for more. Some get fortunate and don't have to deal with anything too serious while others will start from scratch after being dealt a heavy blow. For 19-year-old and 2019 Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro victor Samantha Sibley, it was a four-month process to find herself back in the water.
The San Clemente, California, competitor found herself among the fortunate to make her way back to the water within that time window and is seeing a new perspective. We caught up with one of the youngest Super Girl victors ahead of the event beginning September 17 - 19.
WSL: You won this event when it was a major QS worth 6,000 points. What are your thoughts returning to the jersey at a groundbreaking lineup in your history?
It would amazing to get another win, but I am trying to go into this event with no pressure on myself. My only goal for this event is to have fun and enjoy putting the jersey back on again.
Walk us through your injury and recovery process
In May I was surfing, and hit my head which resulted in a severe concussion, whip lash and nerve damage. From then I suffered for months with extreme light sensitivity, migraines, nerve pain, brain fog and dizziness. It felt terrible to be out of the water all summer.
Thanks to a good team of doctors at UCSD and following a pretty intense regimen they set out for me I managed to recover quicker than expected. I got cleared to surf at the beginning of this month. Since then I've been so grateful be in the ocean everyday doing what I love again. I'm continuing to heal and looking forward to putting the contest jersey back on.
What perspective did it give you upon feeling back to yourself?
This injury really made me take a few steps back. After going through the whole process of recovery I feel that I've become a stronger person. I've learned to be patient with myself.
With everything that's happened, how much has it reinforced you goals to qualify at your own pace?
This year my only goal is to have fun and enjoy the ride. I believe that everything will come on its own timing.
Watch Samantha Sibley take on some of the world's best LIVE at the Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro QS 3,000 beginning September 17 - 19 in Oceanside, California.