The talented surfer, destined for greatness, was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when she got her arm bitten off by a Tiger Shark. Losing over 60% of her blood, most of her left arm and a 16-inch bite from her board, Bethany Hamilton came extremely close to death. She was just 13 years old at the time.
To combat her fears, she prays and sings which is she finds her source of strength.
Here are her top tips on how to bounce back from such tragedy.
1) Keep your mind on having fun
“I think it doesn’t matter if you are the best surfer in the world. I’m going to try to be the best surfer I can be. It’s not all about competing and being the best. It’s more about having fun and just doing what you love.”
2) Be Grateful
“Every time I ask that question I think of all the good that has come out of it through my faith.”
3) Make a promise to yourself not to give up & to get back on your surfboard
Within a week she made a promise to herself, she would never wallow or walk around moaning “woe is me”, and she would get back on her surfboard. She returned to the waves 26 days after the attack.
4) Refuse to dwell on fearful thoughts
‘When I first returned to surfing, I was very afraid of sharks, the attack that happened to me was such a rare occurrence but I still thought about it. So, to fight that fear I would just get in the water and focus on catching waves. I refused to dwell on what-ifs’.
“I had really frustrating days, some days I would go into the water and come out of the water crying, but I just kept at it.”
In May 2016, she beat a six-time world champion to place third in the World Surf Leagues Fiji Women’s Pro.
‘Overcoming challenges can make us stronger, we can adapt, thrive beyond our imagination in this challenging world and be hope to others in their challenges.’