“You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.”
- Ronda Rousey, Woman’s Bantamweight UFC Champion
Bethany Hamilton – Soul Surfer
At 13-years-old, Hawaiian local and competitive surfer, Bethany Hamilton, lost her left arm during a shark attack at Tunnels Beach, Ha’ena, Hawaii. As she was lying on her board, she said she suddenly felt pressure on her arm while being pulled back and forth.
“I was holding onto my board with my thumb because I probably didn’t want to get pulled under. It was like pulling me back and forth, not like pulling me underwater. Just like, you know how you eat a piece of steak? It was kinda like that,” Hamilton explained.
The blood alone, her blood, which surrounded her surfboard, would have been enough for any 13-year-old to stay away from the water. It was Hamilton’s courage and determination that drove her back out on her surfboard just one month after the attack and the loss of her arm.
Simply returning to the water was not enough for the determined and courageous surfer. In 2005, Hamilton won the Explorer Women’s Division at the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s National Championships and began competing on the pro circuit in 2007.
Her 2004 autobiography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board became a best seller and later an American biographical drama film in 2011.