Helloooooo One Quay friends! I hope this week has been just amazing for all of you. I know it seems to be FLYING by for me…as clearly indicated by my post being a day later than usual. I was driving home from work today and realized that today was in fact THURSDAY already and once again I was in la la land thinking it was only Wednesday! Anyways, for now, let’s talk about the good stuff!
As per usual, I hope that your reading challenge has been going well. Mine is going ok-still have some work to do, but I’m getting better you guys! This week, I want to share with you a story that I have just recently gotten in to. It happened a while ago, but I feel it is an appropriate one to share as I began to dive deeper into the story. This story, first of all, may be a little graphic for some of you who get queasy easily. It’s nothing extremely gross, but if you are afraid of sharks, or anything like that- just know what is about to come. This story is about a girl named Bethany Hamilton. Now, some of you, especially those in touch with the surfing world, may know who I am talking about- but for those of you who don’t, Bethany is known as the girl who lost her left arm in a shark attack . Completely gone from the shoulder bone down. And her story is perhaps one of the most inspiring I have heard in a while and one that is without a doubt about TRUE perseverance.
On Halloween day in 2003, Bethany and her best friend Alana, along with Alana’s father and brother were out surfing in the beautiful island of Kauai where they all lived. Both Bethany and Alana were only 13 years old, but both were professionally sponsored surfers and absolutely amazing in the waves. Bethany was out surfing just like any other day, when out of no where, a 14 foot Tiger shark leaped out of the water and attacked Bethany, taking her entire left arm with it. You see, Tiger sharks, though not the biggest of the shark species, is known to be the most aggressive kind of shark. While Great White sharks bump into their prey a few times to figure out what it is, Tiger sharks simply attack their prey and then determine what it is that they bit into. How mean! When Bethany was attacked, she remained completely calm. Didn’t scream, didn’t startle, didn’t even panic. She began to paddle to shore with her right arm while letting Alana and her family know that she was just attacked by a shark- because it all happened so fast, they didn’t notice at first. Alana, Alana’s dad, and Alana’s brother rushed to Bethany and immediately got her to shore safely. They were so far out surfing that it took them a while to get back, but they got Bethany to shore as quickly as they could. By this point, Bethany had lost a lot of blood, and the ambulance immediately took her to the hospital in town. Bethany miraculously survived the immense amount of blood loss and trauma from the attack. And when she went home, things that used to be so easy for her to do, weren’t easy anymore. With one arm, it’s hard to put your hair in a pony tail, or put a swim suit on, or even get dressed in the morning. But what amazed me about Bethany is that she DID NOT let this get her down. She eventually learned to cope with everyday tasks and found ways around everything- and did it with the most AMAZING attitude ever. Just watch some YouTube videos of her family talking about her- it is unreal how strong Bethany was not only during the traumatic event, but in conquering everyday life.
Now, my favorite part of the story. Not even three weeks after the attack, Bethany announced to her family that she was ready to get back into the water and surf again. It was her passion, it was what she loved to do, and she belonged in the water surfing. She started off on an easy surfboard, and her first couple of tries she was unable to stand up when the wave came, but by the third and fourth wave- it was like she didn’t even skip a beat. HOW COOL IS THAT??! I can’t even imagine getting back into the water after something like that. She is so amazing. What’s even cooler is that Bethany continued to surf and train as hard as she could, and even began to compete in competitions again- and KILLED IT! Her dad designed a special handle on her surf boards so that she could dive under the big waves like everyone else when paddling out to the surf spots. Most girls just use both hands to push down on their board to dive under the waves while they are paddling out, but Bethany was able to overcome this obstacle and was able to keep up with the other girls no problem.
I wanted to share Bethany’s story with you because it is without a doubt one that shows true passion for something. It shows perseverance during extremely tough times. And most of all, to me, it shows that absolutely ANYTHING is possible when you put your mind to it. I’ve even noticed myself using Bethany’s story as motivation to run faster on my runs and think to myself, “well, if she can still get in the water and surf even with one arm, I can certainly at least push myself a little harder on this run”. She is so inspiring and it takes an unbelievable amount of courage to do what Bethany did.
So I challenge you this week to do something brave. Don’t do something dangerous that will get you hurt, but maybe stand up for something you believe in or push yourself a little harder in a workout. Whatever it is, I challenge you to be courageous in all that you do. Remember that YOU are strong and can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to, just like Bethany.
I hope the rest of the week is just fantastic for all of you. Enjoy the weekend and I will see you right here next time!