In special honor of Shark Week this week on the Discovery channel, I thought I’d spend this week’s Inspired by Life talking about a story that Inspires to my very core and on many different levels. In 2003 I was living in Hawaii when a major story broke about a shark attack. There had been a few attacks in Hawaiian waters in the years I lived there but this one was receiving extra special attention. The attack was on a young girl named Bethany Hamilton off the shore in Kauai by a large tiger shark (my favorite shark and also the most ferocious in the ocean). The shark attacked and took her left arm just below the shoulder joint. To really add insult to injury, the girl was a pro surfer. As the story unfolded I think that people, not only in Hawaii, but all over the world were completely captivated by this girl and her courage and strength as she returned to the ocean and surfing less than a month after the attack. Can you imagine what this girl was feeling the first time she paddled out into the deeper waters wondering what was below her and if it could happen again?
Personally, every time I am in the ocean I have a violent battle raging in my head at all times. Unfortunately, I know too much about sharks and where they could potentially attack. I have spent many hours swimming in the water in circumstances that I feel I might as well be ringing the dinner bell or have the word “BAIT” tattooed on my butt. BUT! I also know that sharks are largely misunderstood and they rarely mean any harm to humans. It seems ridiculous to say, but often their bites are just a way to check you out (often known as a exploratory bite) to see if you are of any interest to them as food. We, as humans, are never a good food source to sharks. After the shark attack and as her community wanted to wage war against sharks in Hawaiian water’s she said the one thing that I have always hoped somebody in her position would…. She said, “I was in their territory and it’s not the shark’s fault.” So as I think about what Inspires me I have to say one of the ultimate stories of Inspiration to me is the story of Bethany Hamilton because she did something that, even with my absolute love for and devotion to sharks, I don’t know if I could have ever returned to the water as readily as she did.
Blog By: Jana Royer-Morian Owner & Acupuncturist at Inspired-Wellness.com