Soul Surfer

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Today I watched the movie Soul Surfer. I was somewhat familiar with Bethany Hamilton's story, I remember hearing about her in the news when she lost her arm and so I really wanted to watch this movie. I have always been inspired by her and her faith and that despite getting her arm bitten off by a shark whilst surfing, she persevered, followed her dreams and is now a Surfer on the professional circuit.

From what I had read previously the Hamilton family really wanted to movie to represent their Christian faith, and the major role that played in Bethany's drive and courage to continue on following her dreams. Sometimes I know that trying to show Christianity in movies can come off a little (or a lot) cheesy, but for the most part I think it was pretty good, the message got across, there were one or two kinda awkward scenes but for the most part it was pretty good. There was even focus on some of the amazing aid work that my until very recent employer World Vision did after the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand. The movie helps to depict here the reality of the problems that many other people around the world dealing with, and they are a lot worse than missing a limb, which Bethany realizes at the time of her trip to Thailand.

I think whether you are a Christian or not, this story is pretty powerful. It is easy to complain and feel sorry for ourselves and our situation and let the hard times get us down. Bethany could have given up surfing, gotten down on life and walked away and we would never have heard much about her again. Instead she pursued what she loved regardless of her limitations, and succeeded, and inspires many people to do the same. I have a hard enough time surfing with two good arms, I cannot even imagine how difficult it would be with just one, and then returning to the water where you had a horrible and traumatic experience that almost cost you your life. I would not have even thought that tackling some of those big waves would even be possible with one arm, but Bethany has proven me, and I am sure many other people wrong.

This is the real Bethany, with her dog.. who actually starred in the movie. I got a little excited when "Ginger" the Shar Pei made an appearance, I never see Shar Pei's in movies or on tv. I guess generally they aren't very good actors!
If you want a bit of a feel good movie with a solid message, a good real life story and a few tears I would recommend it. Makes me think about what limitations I think are stopping me from pursuing my dreams, and how minor they really are.
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