Surfer Babe


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(We adults often think that the road of lessons only runs one way with kids. From us to them….but that isn’t always the case.)

Bethany Hamilton

Do you recall the story of remarkable 13 year old Bethany Hamilton? She’s the beautiful young surfer who was attacked by a shark on Halloween morning 2003. She lost an arm and a chunk of her surfboard but that’s all this young fighter lost.

Faith – Intact
Life – Intact
Spirit – Intact
Attitude – Intact
Passion for Life – Intact

The shark got the short end of the deal.

I was reading about Bethany’s incredible story in “Soul Surfer” and I was thunderstruck by a few things.

First of all, after the shark attacked, this young 13 year old girl saved her own life by remaining calm. She sees a wall of gray, feels her arm being ripped off, sees the ocean water colored with blood (HER blood, for crying out loud!), but she stays calm. Her calmness kept her heartbeat slow enough to keep the severed artery from quickly draining her blood supply. My heartbeat would have been off the charts at the first flash of gray.

We all know that we should try to live our lives on an even keel for several reasons:

1. To keep from making jackasses out of ourselves.
2. To stay rational so we can make wise decisions.

I guess we can add a third one…
3. Staying calm just may one day save our lives!

Another thing that I took away from the inspiring book was admiration for Bethany’s bravery. After she was given the go ahead from the doctors to get back in the water – she did just that. With her surfboard under her arm and determination in her heart. One month after the attack!

With her dad nearby shouting encouragement, she was knocked off her board quite a few times. She never called it a day, though….never felt sorry for herself. She just kept fighting….and falling…and fighting…and falling…..

As she says in the book:

“Then it happened. A wave rolled through, I caught it, put my hand on the deck to push up, and I was standing. It’s hard for me to describe the joy I felt after I stood up and rode the wave in for the first time after the attack. Even though I was all wet, I felt tears trickling down my face.”

When asked if she’s ever scared of sharks when surfing, she says, “Yes. Sometimes my heart pounds when I see a shadow under the water. Sometimes I have nightmares. Yet even when my nerves get the best of me, I do know this: God is watching out for me. I trust Him to take care of me.”

From the mouths of babes.

Make each moment count double,

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2 comments… add one
  • EXCELLENT Post! Thank you Joi, very inspiring. 🙂

  • Thanks, Matt. I can’t even begin to imagine how this girl had the courage to get back in the water.

    I guess the same way people who have been in awful wrecks get back in an automobile – because living in fear isn’t really living at all.


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