Remember that young Kauai girl that had her arm completely ripped off from the shoulder down by a 14-ft. Tiger shark while surfing near home a few years back? Chances are, even with just one arm, she is a better surfer than both you and me. And honestly, that is really nothing to be ashamed of. That same Bethany Hamilton is throwing it down harder than ever and earned herself an impressive third-place finish over the weekend at the Roxy Surf Festival held at Phillips Island, Victoria- Australia.
If you ever want to get the slightest glimpse of just what it is what this inspiring 17 yr. old has to overcome every time she paddles out, you can try something the next time you head down to your favorite-break for a little sesh’ time- Take one of your arms, put it behind your back, and then make an attempt to paddle out and see how well that works for you.
Not only has she been able to find a way to do what she loves to do most after going through something that would keep many others out of the water for a long time, but she’s doing it better than most and showing no sign of slowing down. You can try, but you will be hard-pressed to find any comparable story of an athlete in any sport losing a full limb and still being able to successfully compete and perform at such a high level in his or her sport. It just does not happen. Hamilton’s ongoing demonstration of perseverance, passion, and drive to succeed after experiencing what she did will continue to blow all of our minds as she moves throughout her surfing career. But even if she were to drop out of the tour and never pick up a board again for as long as she lives, Bethany Hamilton will forever be a main character in one of the greatest stories that could ever be told.