Bethany Hamilton is an amazing person. For those of you who may not remember who she is, she is the surfer who was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark when she was only 13 years old. This attack took her left arm. Her movie "Soul Surfer," is currently in theaters and is her story that follows her autobiography, "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board."
I remember seeing Bethany on the news when she was first attacked in 2003, and being struck by her beautiful and amazing attitude. While many of us would be feeling sorry for ourselves under those circumstances, Bethany was beautiful and radiantly positive!
There are so many things that impress me about this girl, that it's hard to even find a place to begin. First of all, her calmness and faith in God during the shark attack were very moving. She didn't scream or panic, which in no doubt saved her life. She calmly warned the others of the shark, and prayed as they helped get her to safety.
Despite losing her arm, Bethany returned to competitive surfing only three weeks after her attack. It wasn't easy. She had a tough time performing ordinary tasks. Try opening a loaf of bread with one arm, cutting a tomato, or putting your hair up in a pony tail, not to mention surfing! Within a few months however, she had placed 5th in the Open Women’s Division. Just over a year after the attack, she won her first national title. In 2007, Bethany turned pro. Her biggest surfing accomplishment came as she finished second place in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.
Bethany knew all along God had a plan for her, she just didn't know what it was yet. While volunteering in Thailand after the tsunami hit, she realized her mission was to help others. The experience completely put things into perspective for her. Currently, she is one of the top women surfers in the world. When she's not surfing, she is trying to teach others through her involvement in many charities, through her inspiring and motivational books, interviews and appearances. She has also understandably received numerous awards.
A line from the movie sums it up quite nicely: “When you get in the impact zone, get back up because you never know what’s over the next wave.” This applies to ANYTHING we may experience in life!
Have a wonderful day!