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Welcome Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton!
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
The FIT Kids Community will soon be welcoming pro surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton!

A rising surf star, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark off of Kauai's North Shore in 2003. After losing her arm and more than 60 percent of her blood, she made it through several surgeries and faced recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude.

Just one month after the attack, Bethany was back in the ocean and then returned to surf competition. She realized her dream of turning pro in 2007 and has since participated in numerous World Tour Events. A highlight was her second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships. Bethany has been a featured motivational speaker and written several books. Opening on April 8th will be a feature film based on her journey. SOUL SURFER Stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood and AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany.

Well, I'm impressed! Her ability to stay positive is amazing!

Bethany will be answering your questions related to health, fitness and motivation. Just post your questions to the board, and we will be sure that they are passed along to Bethany, who is on the road now promoting her movie. She'll be posting her answers the first week of April.

I'm excited to read her answers. Post your questions to the board!

FitnessAfter40 responded:
Hi Bethany,

Wow! I cannot tell you how amazed I am at your commitment and how you faced your fears to acheive your goals!

What was it that helped you most to overcome your fears? Surely you had to be freaked out about going back into the water. How did your parents react and how did their reactions help you?

I'm so proud of you and wish you much continued success. You are quite an inspiration! :)
SoCalSuz responded:
Bethany - I hope you, your family and friends are all safe in Hawaii!

I have two small children who can swim well in a pool but we will be at the beach this summer. What can we tell them about the ocean to help them understand and respect its power? (without freaking them out) I can remember falling down in the ocean as a child and I was in such a panic, I couldn't find my feet!

seeit2 responded:
Can we have her parents on too? They must have had something to do with raising such a remarkable young woman. :)
Shelly_Kaye responded:
HI Bethany,

I am so impressed with you and everything you've overcome! I have a question for you.

Do you like to cook? What kinds of things do you make that I can cook with my kids and are healthy?

I worry about teaching them how to cook healthy as well as eating healthy!

Thanks so much,
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Shelly_Kaye's response:
seeit2, I'm with you! Let's ask!

Bethany, in your opinion, what have your parents done "right" that has contributed to your amazing accomplishments?

Bethany Hamilton replied to FitnessAfter40's response:
FitnessAfter40 - Thanks for your question!

For me, not getting back in the water was a scary thought. It would mean my whole lifestyle changing, and maybe even my family's too. Surfing is my passion and the thought of leaving my in-the-water-every-day lifestyle, and all that changing was devastating. So I really wanted to at least give surfing with one arm a try. I figured that if it weren't possible I'd pursue surf photography or something like that. But that wasn't the case, and now I am a professional surfer to this day!

We all struggle with fear at some point. But it's good to recognize that we don't need to let fear stop us from doing the things we love to do. On a daily basis, if I notice I'm getting fearful of something, I remember this Bible verse 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

My parents share and understand my love for surfing, so they could relate to my desire to get back on the board. They were very sensitive to how I was feeling about everything, and once I started surfing and getting into life with one arm, they helped me figure out how to do things with one arm — brainstorming and coming up with ideas (like the handle on my surfboard to help me duck-dive - which is a really cool scene in the movie). They've been very supportive of me, and I'm really grateful for them!

Bethany Hamilton replied to SoCalSuz's response:
I would start off by taking your kids to mellow ocean swimming areas, so they can just have fun! But also on days where there's a strong rip-current, show them what the current looks like and explain what to do if you get stuck in it (try not to panic, swim perpendicular to the current until you get out of it, then swim in to the beach — rather than wearing yourself out trying to swim against the current).

One good tip for playing in the shorebreak is to never turn your back to the waves. You should keep an eye out for what's coming next so you don't get surprised. If you get tossed around in a wave, try to relax, blow slow steady stream of air out your nose and push off the sand to get back to the surface.

I did swim team when I was little, so my swimming was strong and that helped me to do better in the ocean.

This phrase used in Hawaii is a good thing to remember "When in doubt, don't go out!" But the more time you and your kids spend in the water, the more comfortable they'll get.

Bethany Hamilton replied to Shelly_Kaye's response:
Hi Shelly,

I LOVE cooking and preparing healthy food! Kids love finger foods & smoothies, so I would suggest the following, but feel free to try your own variations!

Veggies & Dip:
Figure out what type of healthy dip your kids like — fresh Basil Pesto or Hummus. You can find simple recipes online for fresh Basil Pesto (I make it without cheese), and Hummus too. Your kids can totally make it with you too. Make a fresh dip together that they'll enjoy and cut up sticks of fresh veggies: carrots, celery, broccoli, radish, jicima, cucumber, etc"026Whatever you like, try adventure too! If your kid can't handle raw broccoli, lightly steam it.

Pack it as an on-the-road / school snack, or make it at home this summer while they're playing with friends.

Sambazon Acai smoothie (with greens):
I use the Pure smoothie packs
Acai is good with a handful of other berries — whatever your kids' favorites are.
And a frozen banana or two and a handful of frozen Spinach or Kale.
As a base you can use organic non-sugar-added apple juice or almond milk (or your preference).

I also have some other recipes and health tips on my website:

Bethany Hamilton replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
seeit2 -

My parents worked really hard when I was growing up, but they spent time with us and we did fun things together. Which I think is really important. They taught me how to surf. They taught me about God, but let me make those decisions on my own. My mom would always pray with us when we were worried about something or stressing out. They've always been really supportive of my brothers and me in our unique talents.


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