5 Questions with Bethany Hamilton - 30A



5 Questions with Bethany Hamilton

By: Abigail Abesamis Demarest | Posted Mar 8, 2022

The professional surfer, author, and motivational speaker talks about her favorite self-care activities and gives insight on getting a fresh start in the new year.

You may know Bethany Hamilton as the surfer who lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark at the age of 13, but she is so much more than that. She’s a wife, a mother, and an inspiration to people around the world as a professional surfer, author, and motivational speaker. Her online course, Unstoppable Life, offers its more than 5,000 members tools for coping with adversity and life’s challenges.

It feels kismet featuring Bethany Hamilton as one of *Beach Happy’s* influencers-our initials match, and she embodies the “Beach Happy” lifestyle-and we hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about her. Read on for Bethany’s thoughts on surfing, details on her favorite self-care activities, and more.

1. What do you love most about surfing?

I really like the creativity, the thrill, and the challenge of surfing.

Riding a wave is kind of like drawing on a moving canvas with your energy pumping! And it’s always challenging me because no wave is the same.

I like learning and trying to continually better myself. I also just love being in nature, in God’s creation, and experiencing the beauty and peace it has to share.

2. What are your favorite centering self-care activities?

Bethany Hamilton poses in water with surfboard

Photo Credit: Mary Ernsdorf

My number one is probably sleep. Getting rest is so critical and as a mom I feel it so much for both myself and my kids. When we are not well-rested, we can be grumpy, irritable, impatient, and emotional. But when we have good rest, we are more cheerful, pleasant, and able to handle whatever the day may bring. Especially being pregnant, I love taking naps and getting to bed early. Functional movements are also really important to me.

I make sure to move my body every day and to move it in ways that will support me for the future, be that strengthening, agility, flexibility or recovery.

Eating healthy is also important. Feeding myself and my family whole, non-processed foods (mostly vegetables) each day has become a huge centering point for my family and I as we care for our bodies.

3. What are your top must-have items to take with you to the beach?

My RS surfboard, a reef-safe non-topic sunscreen, a visor or hat, a canteen filled with water, and a towel.

4. What has been the most important thing in overcoming adversity and challenges in your life?

Embracing a mindset of gratitude has been key, and I recommend it to everyone. When you start looking for things in your life and situations to be thankful for, it can really help get you out of the feeling of being stuck in adverse or unfavorable circumstances. Surround yourself with people who see the good in life and are going after their dreams and goals. They are contagious and that can urge you on to overcome adversity.

5. What is your advice for people looking for a fresh start in the new year?

If you are in that place of feeling stressed, unmotivated, and trapped by all the challenges coming your way, I hear you. 2020 was one of the hardest years of my life, and I’m very thankful for the tools and mindset I’ve learned over the years. Life can be so frustrating and dark at times. I’ve seen both sides that come from it — the challenge and the good. Know that like me, you too can overcome.

I invite you to drop by my website to dive more into this. There, I share 5 Keys to Living an Unstoppable Life, and Appreciation is the first step in my A.D.A.P.T. approach. You can be unstoppable, and I’d love to help guide you in your journey. Visit me at bethanyhamilton.com/5keys.

Bethany Hamilton riding wave on surfboard

Photo Credit: Mike Coots

To learn more about Bethany Hamilton, follow her on Instagram and check out her website.

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Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a writer, editor and former New Yorker based in sunny Panama City Beach, Florida. Her writing has been featured in HuffPost Food & Drink, Forbes.com, Insider, Business Insider, Apartment Therapy and more. When she’s not writing she’s reading up on the latest wellness trends, teaching Zumba classes, or reading a book on the beach.