What’s Cooking: How Sage Erickson Stays Fit and Well on the Championship Tour

Sage Erickson What's Cooking
Sage’s connection to the ocean translates to every facet of her life. Photo: Steven Counts

Wellness means different things to different people.

For Sage Erickson – whose ascent and dedication over the past several years on the World Surf League Championship Tour has put her in the limelight – it’s defined as giving the body exactly what it needs, when it needs it.

“Some days that means sleeping in when I need rest,” Erickson tells ASN. “Other days it means pushing as hard as I can physically and mentally.”

The pro surfer spent her formative years divided between Ojai and Santa Barbara in California, and Hawaii – where she ultimately and somewhat unexpectedly fell in love with surfing at Sunset Beach.

But beyond her ascent on the CT as one of the most talented females in the sport, Sage Erickson brings a diverse mix of movement and self-care into her routine. She kick boxes, takes HIIT training classes at the gym and is a big fan of daily runs or hikes at the beach. At the same time, she acknowledges her limits, and makes recharging a priority.

Ultimately, this all circles back to her love for the ocean: “The ocean is completely natural and unpredictable. It’s beautiful and ferocious at different times and this character relates to my career and life,” she shares.

“I feel like it’s always been that safe outlet for me to leave everything on the table. My good days, bad and anything in between.”

We caught up with Erickson to understand her mindset and mantras, how she creates balance between training and down time, and her favorite post-workout recovery snack.

Sage Erickson What's Cooking
Being in the present moment is paramount to Sage’s training. Photo: Courtesy of Steven Counts

What does an average day look like for you when you are in training mode? What forms of training are your favorite, what do you eat to fuel up, and what else is essential for your body to perform at its highest level?

I wake up at 5 a.m., make coffee at home, watch the news, journal and collect my thoughts. I like to do in-gym training early and then surf after to cool down – 6 a.m. till 7 a.m.

Then I surf till about 11. Late breakfast/lunch and recover. I garden for a bit and then either surf again right away, or do a Pilates class. I love anything high intensity early because naturally I’m not the biggest fan of HIIT but know it’s good for me.

I love hiking close to home, beach runs and or boxing in my home gym. To destress and rejuvenate at the end of the day I look to Art of Sport.

The activated charcoal in the body wash and body bar helps cleanse and hydrate my skin after being in the sun all day. I follow that up with the Art of Sport Recovery Cream to get me ready for another intense day of training – it’s a life saver!

What are some of the ways you set up your body and mind for proper recovery, both leading up to and after a workout?

I always stretch after working out. I do most of my self-visualization during this time. You appreciate your body, what you just did and set good intentions for the future. I believe you must see where and what you want first to then actually find it in day-to-day actions.

I love food – A lot of it [laughs]. Soups, salads with chicken or tuna, Smoothies for recovery and I usually pair a healthy green juice with at least one meal a day. I’m big on protein powder, rice milk and anything berry-licious.

I also swear by the Art of Sport Recovery Cream for relief from muscle soreness and fatigue. It really helps me to relax and recover before my next workout, training session, etc.

Sage Erickson What's Cooking
Setting an intention and moving toward it. Photo: Alana Spencer

Besides movement and fuel, what are some of the other important factors that make up your self-care & wellness routine, and why have you made those a part of your life?

I believe in God and my Christianity. For me, a big part of competing is connecting with something bigger than I am. If I’m pushing the limits, then I need to reach further and harder than what I think I can go!

Time alone is huge for me. I need space in my head to collect and organize my thoughts. I’m such a lover of people that if I extend myself too much, I lose focus on my personal goals. Gardening and watching the plant life grow really inspires me. It’s the little things in my life in which I see the biggest influences.

What is the single most important thing you do for your surfing outside of the water?

Commit. In anything I do I’m fully committed and dedicated to what’s in front of me.  In “real” life, not on social media. The people I meet and the places I travel to, I’m focused on being in the present!

Sage Erickson What's Cooking
Striking balance between her drive to train and recharge is a constant effort. Photo: Courtesy of Steven Counts

Sage Erickson’s Post-Workout Smoothie

– Mixed berries
– Chia seeds
– Rice milk (vanilla)
– Protein powder (anything plant based)
– Ice

Blend until thick and ice cold. “I also love adding spinach leaves, and a greens powder, too!”

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