Bethany Hamilton`s Life Path


  1. Attention Getting Device: Could you imagine being attacked by a shark at the age of 13? Well, Bethany Hamilton was. Everyone has a past, but it is your choice whether you want to learn from it. Bethany was the person that chose to learn from these challenges thrown at her to face. She chose to use her surfing and shark attack experience for good.
  2. Audience Adaptation: Everyone experiences a rough time/patch at some point, but it is your choice on how you react.

    Learning how Bethany Hamilton used this tragic accident as just another thing in life to face and see the good in it, can teach anyone that no matter what you go through there is a way to overcome the difficult times and that you are never alone.

  3. Credibility Statement: From doing research on Bethany Hamilton’s story, and watching the movie based off her life multiple times, I am able to tell you guys what happened to Bethany Hamilton and how this accident changed her life.

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  4. Thesis/Transitional Preview: Today, I will be discussing Bethany Hamilton’s story and how she overcame a time that was difficult for her, but how she kept her faith above all to get through a time she knew she would overcome, and her message to others about always remembering to never give up even through the most difficult times.

Transition: Bethany Hamilton had a great Surfing career with her best friend Alana sense they started competitive surfing at the age of 8.

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 Bethany Hamilton early year surfing, and surfing experience.

According to ABC News Bethany Hamilton “was born into a family of surfers, she has been catching waves and trophies sense the age of 8.” And those who have seen her say she is an extraordinary gift (ABC News 1). Bethany was taught how to catch waves at an early age, she has been in the water all her life, but she started competitive surfing at age 8, and earning her first scholarship at age 9. She won both long board and short board competitions at the age of 8. Shortly after winning these two competition she was 2nd in the women’s division at age 12 at the national scholastics.

Bethany was a well-known person by many, people knew she was going to be an amazing surfer, as Bollins , Bethany’s Grandma, talks to ABC News about how she knew Bethany was born to surf.  ‘I consider her a little ocean person. I’d say she has salt in her blood,’ Bollins said. ‘She lives and breathes the ocean. She gets the big waves. She doesn’t mess around. … I have said to myself, ‘There’s the next World Champion’ (ABC News 1). Bethany grew up with two brothers that also where surfers, and always pushed her, she says she blames her brothers for her competitiveness. However there was something about Bethany, to why everyone loved to watch her do what she loved.

Transition: Bethany loved to surf with her friend and they had a great surfing career, but at just 13 years old Bethany was attacked by a shark while surfing with her best friend’s family.

According to a biography published by A&E television networks “Bethany Hamilton overcame the loss of her left arm in a shark attack to become a champion surfer and inspirational public figure” (A&E television 1). This accident did not change anything Bethany loved to do. Bethany had a positive attitude through this difficult time, when many where wondering how she was ever going to surf again. On the 31st of October 2003 Bethany’s life changed forever, the day she was attacked by the 14 ft. long tiger shark while out surfing with her best friend and her family. Bethany felt nothing and had yelled for her friend and her friend’s dad to tell them she was just attacked by a shark. She knew that if she just remained calm, getting to the hospital safely would go smoothly (ABC News 1). By the time Bethany made it to the hospital she had lost 60% of her blood and had gone into hypovolemic shock losing her whole left arm to her shoulder.

After surgery going well, and being in the hospital for a week recovering, Bethany was released to go home, in which at this point she was determined she will surf again. Her family was not sure about Bethany getting back in the water, but Bethany did not want to be treated any different from anyone else. As soon as she was home she started learning how to do things with one hand and after a few weeks she was determined to make breakfast for her family, which is the day she told her family she was ready to get back in the water and start training.

Bethany told A&E television ‘Well, I think that I should just have a positive attitude toward things and the challenges coming up and if I have a bad attitude, then it’s not really gonna make it anything better,’ she said (A&E television).

Transition: A horrible accident did not change anything for Bethany, even surfing with her best friend. Bethany Hamilton never gave up on surfing even after the accident, she put her faith above all through this most challenging time.

According to Racheal Lewis in the article “The remarkable story of Bethany Hamilton after her shark attack” Bethany is named the top-ranked surfer in the world (Lewis 1). Bethany was ready to surf after a custom-made board was made by her dad to help her right arm with a handle to help paddle. Bethany learned how to kick more with having only one arm and with just that she was ready to compete again. Within less than a year Bethany entered her next big competition.

Many people wondered how she could return to surfing after a tragic attack however Racheal Lewis writes in the article “The remarkable story of Bethany Hamilton after her shark attack” surfing has always been Bethany’s dream in which Bethany says, “I’ve wanted to become a professional surfer since I was eight. For a little while when I was in the hospital after the attack, I thought I wouldn’t be able to ever surf again. That didn’t last long. I have a deep passion for surfing, and I was determined to keep going – arm or no arm. And I did; with God’s help” (Lewis 1).

The same year Bethany returned surfing she won many surfing competitions and awards, like being best comeback athlete, and she also made guest appearance on television shows and eventually stared on a film Soul Surfer, which was of course about Bethany Hamilton’s story. Racheal Lewis states in the article “The remarkable story of Bethany Hamilton after her shark attack” that In 2004, Hamilton’s book, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board, was published by MTV Books. Discussed the year prior, and years later, the story then was turned into a film. Her story was also the focus on a “faith-based documentary” film, Heart of a Soul Surfer, as a devout Christian, the documentary addressed her faith in Jesus Christ in the aftermath of the shark attack (Lewis 1).

Bethany says her and her family’s faith really helped her during this time. Her family is all really close and there are no other people that she would be grateful for the help through this time. Bethany is now living her life to the fullest and is married with two kids. Even when you face the most difficult times in life never give up in what you believe in. Always just go for what you want and never look back.


Never giving up even when you face the most challenging points in your life. Bethany Hamilton has done the impossible. She overcame her struggles and pressures her dream even against the toughest of odds and hard times. It was not an easy journey ones with ups and downs but having a positive outlook and attitude towards a horrible situation can change the outcome of the story. Your own story is made by the choices you make. Making the decision to see the positive side of every situation good or bad is not an easy path, but making that choice sends you down the road to the future you make it not the future that happens to you. Bethany could had never seen the positive side of her situation but she also wouldn’t be where she is now if she hadn’t. Everything in life is about choices, and the best results seem to come from a positive outlook of the situations that you are involved in. If Bethany can surf and live her life to its fullest with one less arm than when she started who’s to say you can’t live your life with the same outlook. The choice is yours to make. Make it count.

Cite this page

Bethany Hamilton`s Life Path. (2021, Oct 05). Retrieved from

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