She is respected by all who know her and identified for being the perfect example of how to live life with optimism, have faith in yourself and dedication towards one’s passion. Hamilton lived with her parents, two brothers and her dog, Ginger. Living in Hawaii and being surrounded by the beach, it’s comes to no surprise that her family were all surfers. Her parents started teaching her however says in her book that she couldn't have done it without support from her brothers. By the age of eight she had won first place in the “push and ride” division of a Quicksilver surfing contest.
Her surfing skills advanced rapidly and in that same year entered her first major surfing competition finishing in first place. She always had the ambition of becoming a professional surfer so began to compete more seriously at the age of nine. She picked up a sponsor, Rip Curl, which aided her with her plans of becoming a professional surfer. All it took was that one split second and her dreams were crushed. “The water was crystal-clear and calm, the waves were small and inconsistent, and I was just kind of rolling with them, relaxing on my board with my right hand on the nose of the board and my left arm dangling in the cool water.
I remember thinking, ‘I hope the surf picks up soon…’ when suddenly there was a flash of gray. That’s all it took; a split second. I felt a lot of pressure and a couple of lightening-fast tugs. My left arm was gone almost to the armpit along with a huge crescent-shaped chunk of my red, white and blue surfboard. ” After the accident she even said to her dad that she wanted to be a surfing photographer because she thought she would never surf again. Little did she know that a small amount of encouragement from family and friends, she’d be back in the water, surfing as a professional.
The important reminder and angle of this story is clear and simple. When you fall down, get back up and get moving again. The media love Hamilton. The have identified her as a role model for all those who are being held down by disabilities. She has visited many schools hospitals and done many interviews to share her story. She is an inspiration to many and the media have helped her become who she is today. Without the media there is no doubt that she would not be as well-known. Not only the community, but whole world have been positioned to see Hamilton is a positive way.
The media puts across that she is a kind-hearted young girl, in which nothing can hold her down. Hamilton used her experience and has become an inspiration to many people around the globe. Between training, she travels to other countries as a motivational speaker to encourage them to conquer hardships and to follow their own dreams. She also wrote her own autobiography, titled Soul Surfer, which was released in 2004. In this national best seller, she describes how she fought her way back to surfing after the incident and how she never lost faith in God.
The book will soon be a movie which is still being produced. Hamilton also won the special courage award at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. She continues to be an inspiration to those who have faced great hardships during the course of their lives. Bethany Hamilton is a hero, because she never lost her courage and faith during her time of recovery. She used all her strength to fight for her life, get back up, and try again even though the odds were stacked against her. It showed that she has the courage and the willpower to overcome life’s obstacles.
Those qualities along with her faith make her a true hero. She continues to be the best female surfer even with her “handicap. ” The story of Bethany Hamilton is not finished. I am sure she will continue to contribute many more memorable accomplishments. No matter the outcome, she will forever be a “Soul Surfer”, for the ocean may have almost taken her life away, but it didn’t take away her faith, her courage, or her outstanding talent. “…One thing hasn’t changed—and that’s how I feel when I’m riding a wave. It’s like, here I am. I’m still here. It’s still me and my board—in God's ocean! ”