Bethany Hamilton

By: Hannah Jensen


I chose to write a letter to Bethany Hamilton because of the way she inspires me. Bethany was born on February 8th, 1990, when she was thirteen years old, she was attacked by a tiger shark, her whole life changed in an instant. About one month after her attack, she was back in the water, doing exactly what she loves to do- Surfing. Her fearless ambition is what makes me a huge fan of hers. Her courage, faith and love for the water and her dreams, inspired me to never give up on my own. In 2007, after she realized her own dreams, she turned pro. Since losing her arm, Bethany's story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with many awards and public appearances. I have always had the same ideas, virtues and opinions as her on the way life should be lived. If she hadn't gotten back up on her board, she wouldn't be following her dreams. But she did what she had to do and has now impressed and inspired many people around the world. When Bethany felt like giving up, she was able to pull through and change her state of mind. I think that realizing that your dreams are bigger than the things life throws at you has made a huge impact on both of our lives. She values the fact that you only live once (same as me). You just realize what matters and it makes all the difference. "Out of the water, Bethany has grown from a young teenage girl with aspirations of becoming a professional surfer into a twenty-year old professional surfer with aspirations of becoming a beacon of inspiration and hope. Through the platform of professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation,Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire others through her life story, and is involved in numerous other charitable efforts."

Bethany's Famous Quotes

" I don't need easy, I just need possible."

"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice."

"We all go through rough times. We have those obstacles that seem too large to overcome or that current that you never seem to swim out of. We have to decide what matters most to us- our passions."

"When you fall into the impact zone, get up, because you never know what's over the next wave."

"Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you."

"People can do whatever they want if they just set their heart to it, and just never give up, and just go out there and do it."

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