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BETHANY HAMILTON - PRO SURFER, AUTHOR OF 'SOUL SURFER'

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Published on Oct 7, 2013

"I've seen people start with weed and they become like a slave to it and you see them lose their drive in life."
Find more stories at https://naturalhigh.org/
Transcript:
My name is Bethany Hamilton. I'm 22 years old and I'm from Kauai Hawaii. I started surfing technically when I was in my mom's womb. So I mean I've always just grown up at the beach hanging out surfing and doing little fun contests and yeah I just loved it. At 13I finished second in the under-18 nationals which is like the biggest competition for under 18 amateur surfing and so that was a huge results. From that point it was like kind of like okay this girl means business like I was like heading towards the Pro Tour like I was going to be a pro surfer and then that next fall is when I lost my arm and it was like wow. It was gorgeous day in Hawaii and I went surfing with my best friend Ilana and her dad and brother and the water was just perfect glassy blue. Ocean and the waves were kind of small but I just wanted to get wet. Just hanging out there waiting for waves and all of a sudden a shark came from nowhere. I didn't see anything and it just took my
arm and like that and from that point I just focused on surviving and you know my friends were there by my side helping me get to the beach. It is kind of crazy to see how that turn of event like has changed my life dramatically but at the same time I'm still a professional surfer today living the dream I've always wanted to and accomplishing more than I ever dreamed of.

A lot of the good surfers that I grew up surfing with and that were my age, some of them did choose to do drugs and for me it wasn't really a hard decision not to because I saw the negative effect it had on them. One particular girl who I really looked up to, she's an amazing surfer. She chose to get into this drug scene and she lost it. She just, I still see her every now and then and my heart just breaks just knowing that she was so talented. She was that one that like I wanted to surf like her and I saw her just lose that love and passion and natural ability. From what I've seen, it's like I see people start with weed and you know they almost become like a slave to it and you see them kind of lose their drive in life like they just kind of get stuck in a rut of like just
smoking weed and just kind of live in it day by day and spending all their money on that, wasting their money wasting their life and then they eventually get bored with weed and a lot of times end up dabbling with other drugs and then it just goes downhill from there. It is just so unappealing to me you know we all go through hard times in our life and you know it might not
necessarily be losing your arm to a shark. Maybe it is just struggles in school or family issues or whatever it is. Don't give up. Like just find your passions and your joys and things that motivate you and inspire you to live a full life and shoot for those and keep pushing forward towards the light at the end of the tunnel rather than giving up.

I'm Bethany Hamilton and my natural highs are surfing, hanging with friends, family
um my love for God, living a healthy
lifestyle and just smiling.

Find more stories at https://naturalhigh.org/

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