Bethany Hamilton, the professional surfer who inspired the movie, Soul Surfer continues to inspire others. Recently, she stopped at BC Surf and Sport in Fort Lauderdale to share her message of hope and resilience. Her South Florida appearance was part of Cobian’s “Every Step Matters” inspirational tour which includes multiple stops across the nation.
Dana: Working with Friends of Bethany, how do you help people cope with difficult experiences in their lives? What is the most important message that you share with the people you meet?
Bethany: My non-profit, Friends of Bethany (FOB), is an organization that I love to be partnering with to reach out primarily to youth and amputees. FOB’s mission is to reach out to encourage a broken world by offering hope to overcome through Jesus Christ. They do this by putting on events, reaching out to people in their times of need and sharing inspiring life stories. One of the most beautiful things that came from my incident is how, as a Christian, it has allowed me to see that, because of Jesus Christ, I can overcome life’s difficulties—big or small. Just because bad things happen, doesn’t make him unloving. For that I am so thankful. And with that perspective, life’s challenges can be seen as temporal, as a time to grow in our faith, and even as a platform for a greater message. Being able to share how I overcome makes what I have gone through worth it! http://www.friendsofbethany.com
Dana: As a mother, inspirational speaker, professional surfer, you have many roles. How do you balance everything in your life?
Bethany: I’m not really all that different from you. We all have things pull at us and want to take us in different directions. What has kept me rooted is my faith. It keeps me steadfast. Also, my husband Adam helps keep my rooted to what is important for us as a family and to balance things out.
Dana: Do you think your son, Tobias will become a surfer? Will you teach him?
Bethany: I’d love for him to surf if he wants to! Adam and I will definitely introduce him to surfing. But mainly we just hope he gains a love for the outdoors, adventure, and an active, healthy lifestyle! I look forward to more of life’s adventures with him as he grows up! And hopefully with his future siblings.
Dana: What are you working on next? What are your plans for the future?
Bethany: I’m thrilled to have partnered with Cobian since 2013. I love that Cobain is so much more than making money. The company as a whole is here to make a good impact on the world and that is awesome. It is important for me to align myself with people and groups who share the values and beliefs that I share. For the “Every Step Matters” tour, Cobian does events at their qualifying retailers. These events are more than a typical 1-hour team-rider signing, they usually have music, food, activities, and we highlight a local story of an individual or organization who embodies the “Every Step Matters” lifestyle! I come in and take photos with fans, sign posters, and do a live Q&A. It’s a really good time. Also, I’m currently working on a performance surf film! Many know my story, but few know my true ability as a surfer. “Surfs Like A Girl” will document my journey to the best waves on the planet and showcase me as one of the best women surfers in the world, rocking it like a girl. “Surfs like a Girl” is expected to release in Spring 2017. http://www.bethanyhamilton.com/surfslikeagirl/