Surfer Bethany Hamilton says motherhood was another tough challenge after surviving shark attack as a teenager
Surfer Bethany Hamilton, who survived a shark attack as a 13-year-old, says motherhood has been another difficult challenge.
Hamilton continued to surf while pregnant, competing in the 2014 Women's Pipe Invitation, but started to fear that being a mother would get in the way of her sport.
She said: “I knew that I was destined to be a mom one day or at least I hoped I would be. But then when it came my way, I kind of felt the opposite of that hope and desire and it shocked me.
“I’d only been married for just about a year, I wanted more time with my husband. I was pushing it with my sport and I was surfing better than ever. It was fun and challenging and I had a lot of drive going toward that. I felt like this was going to stop me.”
The athlete is not one to shy away from a challenge though. In the aftermath of her shark attack she was determined to get back on the board. She lost 60% of her blood and her entire left arm when the 14ft beast attacked her, but while laying in hospital she said: "I know I’m going to surf again.”
Hamilton, who has two children, says it is a challenge to continue competing and to look after them.
“Becoming a mom your life is completely changed and there is way more on your plate," she told The Telegraph.
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“To go into a competition very freshly adjusting to all that, my little guy wasn’t sleeping good so I wasn’t sleeping good. Having a young colicky baby and trying to compete and focus is a lot to ask yourself.”
She is philosophical about what's happened, but hopes her "never say die" attitude will inspire others: “The loss of my arm – you wouldn’t wish that on yourself. But that’s the way my life has panned out.
"As a Christian I really see the good that God has brought out of it. It’s been amazing to see how sharing my life story has brought so many people hope of all different ages."