Tenacity is the ability not to give up in the face of difficulty, the force that drives us to remain true to ourselves even when everything seems to work against us. The biographies that fascinate me the most are those about people whose achievements are outstanding by any standards, but whose difficulties and adversities make them even more extraordinary.
Like the story of Bethany Hamilton, a 22 year-old Hawaiian girl, who was the victim of a terrible accident when she was only 13: while practicing her favorite sport, surfing, she was attacked by a shark and lost her left arm. A tragedy that few would rise above, especially at her young age. Yet only a month after the accident, Bethany was already in the water on her surfboard, ready to take up her life, her future, her dreams.
From that day, Bethany Hamilton’s life has been a succession of victories and medals, of satisfaction from both a human and sporting point of view. She has become one of the most promising professional surfers in the world, as confirmed by her second place at the 2009 ASP World Junior Championships. If you are interested in learning more about her story, you can read her autobiography, Soul Surfer, written by Bethany in 2004 when she was just 14, or watch the movie that was taken from the book.
Bethany’s story is one of courage. Sport, once again, is a very effective metaphor for life and a source of inspiration: no pain, no gain, no result without effort. In sport, in work, in life.