Days before the US Open of Surfing, was dealt a heavy hand and had to withdraw from both the Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro in Oceanside and Challenger Series debut in Huntington Beach, California. Now, the Ojai, California competitor is back and ready for the jersey at this weekend's Jacksonville Super Girl Surf Pro .

Jacksonville Beach Pier, site of the Jacksonville Super Girl Surf Pro. A new day dawns in Jacksonville Beach and with it, a fresh start for Sage Erickson at the Jacksonville Super Girl Surf Pro. - WSL / Andrew Nichols

We caught up with Erickson as she prepares for her campaign toward a third Super Girl cape in new waters.

WSL:How many emotions did you go through when you got the word that you'd have to miss defending your US Open title and making an appearance at the Super Girl?

Sage: Obviously with COVID going on this year, everything has changed and shifted multiple times. Especially things that are out of my control. Missing both the US Open and Super Girl, those are two of my favorite events, and to be defending champion at US Open I waited two years to go back out for that. There was a really big disappoint there, but I've also trusted in my process in competing with highs and lows.

See How Sage Erickson Went Beyond Herself To Win The 2019 Vans US Open Of Surfing
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Reflecting on life outside of competition, Erickson describes the emotions around dedicating this win to her late grandmother.

It was what it was and it's made me more excited to compete more than ever. That's why I'm here in Jacksonville, I'm just so excited for it. There was disappoint, "FOMO" (laughs), and just trusting in my process.

What does it mean to you to get back in the competitive mindset with a critical winter of events coming up?
Sage Erickson The two-time Super Girl victor is back for another go. - WSL / Steinmetz / Super Girl Pro

I feel really good. I felt like I was surfing the best I ever had in the beginning of the year and just don't think I adapted as well as other people with all the changes, quarantines, and things like that. I'm really excited to feel really settled and just want to surf in a heat. I feel like I do better when that's my mentality.

And I think that's because I'm just in love with competing. Every minute that I'm in my heat, I'm just excited to be there. It feels really good to be back in the airport with my board bag again, there's a sense of home about that.

MARGARET RIVER, AUS - MAY 4:  Sage Erickson of the United States surfing in Heat 3 of Round 3 of the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro presented by Corona on May 4, 2021 in Margaret River, WA, Australia. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League via Getty Ima All smiles as Erickson awaits her first heat since mid-August. - WSL / Matt Dunbar
What did you take away from this experience to improve upon yourself both physically and mentally?

Just continuing to grow and being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. And also just to be present in the moment because anything can change and all I have now is who I'm with in the moment and having a fresh perspective.

And just loving surfing. It's the one thing that hasn't changed and that's becoming more and more true as I get older.

Watch Sage Erickson and more at the Jacksonville Super Girl Surf Pro November 12 - 14 with the LIVE webcast beginning November 13 at www.WorldSurfLeague.com and www.SuperGirlPro.com.

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