Week 26 Monday Motivation

Piute County School District,

Bethany Hamilton is a surfer. She began surfing before she started kindergarten. By the age of ten Bethany had already become a proficient enough surfer to earn a sponsorship. By age 13 she was placing high in big competitions and positioned to become one of the best teenage surfers on the water. Her surfing career hit a small snag on October 31st, 2003. 

She was 13 years old and laying casually on her surfboard in the water with friends. A 14-foot tiger shark bit her left arm and surfboard. In just seconds the shark had bitten off her left arm just below the shoulder. Despite losing 60% of her blood, the quick action of others saved her life. The shark had left her without an arm and left a large oval hole in the side of her surfboard.

Just 26 days after the shark attack Bethany returned to surfing. At first she used a different surfboard and made modifications to her board to make it easier to surf with one arm. With extensive practice she learned to use a regular surfboard again. Within just two years of the accident, she was the 18 and under national surfing champion. Over the nearly 20 years since, she has won numerous competitions against the best surfers in the world. 

Bethany’s story is the subject of several movies and books. Bethany’s surfboard from the accident is on a display in a museum in California. Many might fear getting back on a surfboard after such an experience, Bethany said “courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid, courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

All of us and all of our students have a circle of comfort where we don’t expect anything bad or unusual to happen. Sometimes even in that circle something uncomfortable or bad does happen. The natural tendency is to make the circle smaller and place more limits on what can enter the circle. To improve ourselves we have to expand the circle of comfort, we have to constantly try new things and allow new things in. The magic of teaching is providing a safe place to expand that circle to encompass new knowledge and skills. Thank you for helping our students have courage to grow despite their fears. 

Have courage in week 26,



Bethany’s Documentary Trailer (Less than 2 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5MsXjUQLYM

Bethany’s Website: https://bethanyhamilton.com/biography/

Week 26 Bethany Hamilton 

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Piute County School District
500 North Main - P.O. Box 69
Junction, Utah 84740-0069
Phone: (435)-577-2912 - Fax: (435)-577-2561
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