For a moment, imagine for yourself what it would be like to have successfully navigated through your workouts and training. Achieving goal after goal, you arrive at the very cusp of becoming a world-class sports champion – only then, does it all get literally torn away from you.
The worst part is that, more than the title or achievements, your dream is gone. Your body, which held such potential, is now forever changed. Then, imagine all this happening when you've barely entered your teenage years!
That's the story of Bethany Hamilton. At 13, Bethany was surfing the shores of Hawaii when her arm was torn off by a shark. The attack was gruesome, causing her to lose more than half of her entire body's blood supply.
The aftermath was no less grueling. However, Bethany miraculously survived and endured the the many painful surgeries intended to repair the destruction.
Here's what I find most interesting about her story, though … Not barely a MONTH after losing her arm, Bethany was back at it, again. She continued to surf, honing her skills and tapping into the pro circuit of the sport just four years later.
"I've learned life is a lot like surfing. When you get caught in the impact zone, you need to get right back up, because you never know what's over the next wave... and if you have faith, anything is possible, anything at all." – Bethany Hamilton
In this scenario, I'm not sure that I would have the same fortitude as Bethany. First, I'm not much of a sun worshiper, but primarily because I'm a wee bit galeophobic. Galeophobia is an abnormally large and persistent fear of sharks.
But not Bethany. Within her she held a very deep and sincere love for the sport of surfing. She felt this so profoundly that she refused to allow ANYTHING to prevent her from pursuing that love and reaching the pinnacle of her goals.
Stories like Bethany's inspire me because it reminds me of how important it is to KNOW what you are passionate about. More importantly, to gain an understanding of WHY that passion even exists. Having a firm grasp on the answers to these questions empowers your resolve. You become fearless in the pursuit of your goals, never letting ANYTHING deter you from them.
Today, Bethany sponsors a variety of inspirational programs. Some, in particular, support young amputees. Of them, two in particular. They are "Beautifully Flawed" for young women and "The Forge" for young men.
"I could never have embraced these many people with two arms." – Bethany Hamilton.
Remember what your own goals are, right now.
Are you genuinely focused on achieving them? Have you given them priority in your daily decisions?
Are they SO incredibly important to your happiness that you won't tolerate ANYTHING standing in your way?
In life, everyone faces obstacles, difficulties, and roadblocks in life - however, the faith you place in yourself is ultimately what determines your outcome.