“When you come back from a loss, beat the odds, and never say never…you find a champion.”

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Thirteen year-old Bethany Hamilton is a champion surfer who was born to be in the water.  The night before Halloween Bethany and her friend, Alana, sneak off with some friends to go night surfing.  The next day as her father is in the hospital for knee surgery, Bethany goes surfing with Alana and her family.  As Bethany is taking a break and dangling her arm in the water, a 14-15 foot tiger shark appears out of nowhere and sinks its teeth into it, biting it off near the shoulder.  When Bethany wakes up days later she learns that she is lucky to be alive.  When she is finally allowed to go home her and her family find that the journey to recovery is not going to be easy.  With the paparazzi constantly doing anything they can to get new information the family discovers they have no privacy.  Bethany knows that the one thing she wants more than anything is to be able to surf again.  In order to help, a company offers her a prosthetic arm.  Bethany angrily rejects it when she finds out it will not help her surf because it is not a weight-bearing arm.  Through her determination and spirit, Bethany perseveres and learns to surf with one arm.  In order to help her, her father Tom rigs a handle onto her surfboard which she can use to prevent from falling off while paddling out to the waves.  Believing she is ready, Bethany enters the national championships.  With only minutes left on the clock Bethany knows she needs to catch a huge wave.  She remembers her father telling her that all of the great surfers can sense when the best waves will form.  Using this sense Bethany catches the last big wave before anyone else, but sadly does not win the competition.  To her it wasn’t about winning…it was about beating the odds and making a huge comeback.

Soul Surfer is probably one of the most inspirational movies I have ever seen.  If it were me that had gotten my arm bitten off by a shark I would probably never go back into the water again.  The thought of a shark being anywhere nearby would terrify me.  It amazes me how Bethany made such a comeback even though she only has one arm.  The fact that she went straight back into the water as soon as she could totally amazes me.  This movie makes me realize that I can’t take any day for granted because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.  Bethany was living a normal life until she got attacked by a shark.  I know that Bethany didn’t lose her life but what happened to her changed her life.  The fact that I should live everyday like it’s my last is probably what this movie taught me the most.   After all…no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

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