Surfer - Bethany Hamilton This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     My hero is amazing. Even though I do not know her, she is awesome. Her name is Bethany Hamilton, and if you haven’t heard of her, then do I have a story for you.

On Halloween of 2003, Bethany went surfing in Hawaii with her good friend Alana, Alana’s dad, and brother. Bethany was so good at surfing that she was ranked eighth in the world of amateur surfing. She was relaxing, her arm dangling in the water, when there was a flash of gray and she realized that her arm hurt. Then, a gentle tug, and the water around her turned dark with her blood. She looked down in shock and called to her friend, “Alana? I just got attacked by a shark.”

A 14-foot tiger shark, to be exact. Alana started to freak out and her dad rushed over with a surf leash. He wrapped it around the four inches of arm Bethany still had left. To add insult to injury, the tiger shark bit off a big chunk of her board, so Alana’s brother towed her in to land. At the hospital, Bethany lost so much blood that she went into shock and nearly died. The doctors stitched up the stub of her arm but her hopes of becoming a pro surfer had been torn to shreds.

After a while, Bethany was allowed to try surfing again, but she could barely stand because her weight was so thrown off and her support limited. After many, many tries, she finally stayed on her board and caught a wave. It was small, but it gave her hope. Day after day, she practiced until she was as good as before the attack. She is competing again, and not just in tournaments for handicapped surfers.

Bethany has been the center of attention as her grace, composure, and positive spirit continue to astound her family, friends, and doctors. Most people would feel sorry for themselves after such an attack, or at the very least would never go in the water again, but Bethany chose otherwise. She is very religious and says God let her live. When she heard of another attack victim who was suffering from depression, she called to talk to him. When they finally ended their conversation, both hung up feeling better. If that is not heroic, I do not know what is.

So I have told you about my hero. She is the kind of person I want to be. She thanks God every day for being alive after such a close encounter. Thanks, Bethany. I wish you the best. I know you can handle whatever comes your way.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 9:26 am
i love this so much!
ilovebethany said...
Jun. 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm
First of all, her arm didn't hurt until later.  Secondly, Alana's dad towed her in, not her brother.  Third, she couldn't stand because she couldn't push herself up the same way with one hand.  Fourth, she stood up on her third wave.  Fifth, she has never competed in a handicapped surfing competition.
PITTMANJerry said...
Jan. 19, 2013 at 6:18 am
Every one understands that men's life is high priced, nevertheless we require money for various stuff and not every man gets enough cash. Therefore to receive good personal loans or just financial loan should be a right solution.
clairepoetry said...
May 5, 2010 at 10:25 am
good job! your work shows how much she is your hero
Heather said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm
I wrote the comment under this. I forgot to say... I also named my baby girl after Bethany Hamilton. Im 15. My baby is 7 months. Her name is Bethany Nicole. I wont say her last name on this website. Any advise on being a new mommy?? :)
hhugtg replied...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 1:00 am
youve got issues to be fifteen and have a girl
L.A.L.Etc replied...
Apr. 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm
You call yourself hug yet you write that
Heather said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Bethany Hamilton is a hero to me. Im in school right now. Im doing my fourth project on her. It is all so interesting. At West Florida High School, there are a lot of projects to do also!
Dec. 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm
I read a book on her, and since sharks are something I'm very afraid of, I found the story very interesting
AnneOnnimous replied...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 11:06 am
There is really no need to be afraid of sharks- more people die per year of elephant attacks and vending machines faling on them than shark bites, and there is no known record of a hammerhead shark ever biting anyone.
br253 replied...
Nov. 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm
Bethany Hamilton isn't my role model just because. She's my role model because I'm just like her. Smeone missing a limb and she inspires me to keep going and never give up.
New Kid said...
Jan. 11, 2009 at 5:40 am
Interesting story
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