The road to success

Resilience is a key part on your road to success

By Grace Zimmerman

Paved with Adversity

Amy Purdy and Bethany Hamilton both are resilient athletes with great success. They have many differences, but also have many similarities.

Bethany lost her arm due to a shark attack at age 13. I know I would never go back into the ocean like she did, I would be too scared. This is different than Amy because she had both of her legs amputated because she had bacterial meningitis at age 19. The sports they played are different, too. Amy snowboards, whereas Bethany surfs. I feel that it would be harder to surf with one arm, because you would lose balance and not be able to hold onto the board, but that's just me. Despite losing her legs, Amy went on snowboarding, and ended up winning a few medals in the Paralympics. Bethany Hamilton didn't have the chance to compete in the Paralympics like Amy did, that's because surfing isn't an Olympic sport, let alone a Paralympic sport, but she still ended up competing competitively, even with one arm. The last disparity is that Bethany had a movie made to document her experience, but Amy's biggest TV feat was when she chose to dance on Dancing with the stars, where many people learned her inspiring story. I liked how she wasn't afraid to show her fake legs, how she embraced it, not hid it.

The thing that makes these two athletes so similar is their resilience. After losing their body parts, they didn't stop. They're ambition allowed them to find ways to bounce back after tragedies, and frankly, I think neither of them would change their stories because it has brought them many good things. Another similarity they share is that before their amputations(and shark bites), they were really un-noticed people. Just another surfer in Hawaii, and another boarder in Las Vegas.

All in all, both athletes got back up, pushed through the adversities, and smiled doing it.

Amy Purdy, wearing her fake legs next to her snowboard

Yield to Obstacles

Bethany Hamilton has had may events in her life that made her who she was today. She says " Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of." ("Brainy Quote"). I think this quote perfectly describes her situation.

She was born on February 8th, 1990, in Lihue, Kauai.

She learned to surf quickly, and she competed in her first competition when she was 8.

From then on until about age 13, she started placing higher, winning more events, and getting many sponsorships.

Sadly on October 31st, 2003, she went out surfing one morning, she was laying on her stomach on the board and then a shark came up and bit her left arm off.

Bethany was not going to stop surfing, so she asked her dad to help design a surfboard to help her duck-dive, so he made a board with a rope handle.

Amazingly, she was back up on her board less than a month later, on November 26th! I know I would NEVER go back into the ocean if I was in her place.

On August 8th, 2004, Hamilton received MTV'S courage award for being, well, courageous.

Her next award came from ESPY, for being the best comeback athlete.

Many, MANY, awards later, she released her auto-biography, Soul Surfer.

Then, a couple years later when she was 20 (2010), the Soul Surfer the movie was released. I have personally seen the movie and I think it's really good.

Even today, Bethany Hamilton continues to thrive. She proves that resilience really pays off. She proved that when you love something, you shouldn't quit after an adversity, you should shake it off, and adhere to whatever it is that you do.

Bethany Hamilton next to the surfboard the shark attacked, age 13

Potholes to Overcome

Kevin Ware, a former Louisville Cardinals NCAA player, showed resilience after his biggest injury. It happened in the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship, not even in the second half of the game!

As Ware jumped to block a 3-pointer, his leg slightly rotated, so when he landed on it, it shattered. It was enough force for the bone to break through the skin. The bone was his tibia, and it was a compound fracture, which might as well be a break, because it's just as bad, if not, worse.

Soon after the injury, Kevin was taken to the hospital. It was a very overwhelming situation, for him, and the fans. He underwent a 2 hour surgery that put the bone back in place. A rod was placed in his leg to stabilize it by his tibia as well. Luckily, doctors knew how to fix it because this is common in car accidents, and also if someone falls from a high height. If they hadn't of treated it right away, it could develop a deadly infection.

Kevin Ware had a short recovery time, and soon enough he was ready to play in the final four. This shows resilience because he dealt with the injury and quickly bounced back to play more basketball.

Kevin Ware, on the ground, right after his big injury

Unexpected Twists and Turns

Derrick Rose has one of the worst reputations in the NBA. He is known for ALWAYS being injured. He absolutely HAS to be resilient if he wants to succeed in his career.

His first major injury came on April 28th, 2012. He tore his ACL, which is one of the worst injuries anyone can get. He was receiving a pass from one of his teammates, Carlos Boozer. He jumped to make another pass and his left leg collapsed inward, and he landed on it in a bad way, tearing his ACL. The effect of this injury was that he was out for 50% of his 2011-2012 season.

His next injury appeared on November 22nd, 2013. Derrick tore his medical meniscus. The way he tore it was the same as before, coincidentally. This injury was brutal, but it wasn't as bad as his torn ACL. This led to surgery, and more time out. Out of 82 games, Rose only played 50, missing 32 games total.

The latest injury occurred on February 24th, 2015. Once again, Rose tore his meniscus because the surgery failed. He underwent another surgery, and more rehab. The effect on his career was he couldn't play 20 games, but he returned strong. "We know when Derrick’s back right, he takes our team to a whole other level." ("Bleacher Report"). Which is exactly what he did.

If Rose were to yield after his first injury, he would be nowhere today. Resilience is key when you get injured, especially if you are in a professional league, because A.) you would let down yourself and others by quitting. And B.) you would face rejection and hate by fans. I don't think ANYONE would want either of those things, so he has to be able to make a comeback after he has fallen.

Derrick Rose's latest injury

The Drive to Achieve

Background Information

Eldrick Tont Woods, AKA "Tiger Woods" was born on December 30th, 1975, making him 39. He kicked his golfing career at a whopping age of...2! Yes, 2. Woods was even on the Mike Douglas Show going against Bob Hope, comedian. From then on he played in tournaments, championships, and more.

Tiger's big injury

3 weeks before the 2008 US open, Tiger had to get arthroscopic knee surgery, and then he got stress fractures. Yikes! Woods, however, was determined to play, and win, the tournament. Tiger kept playing through the pain, so the injury never actually healed. He was less and less able to practice and he could barely walk. At least its just golf, so it would be easier to play on because it isn't a contact or running sport.

2008 US Open

People noticed that that Tiger was in pain for the first few rounds, scoring many strokes over par. for those of you who don't know or have no experience with golf, par is the number of strokes a golfer should take in order to get the ball in the hole. At the third round, things started to get weird. Woods started playing great, but still noticeably hurt. He made his way to the top, from 18th place, remarkably. One last putt would determine if he went into the playoffs. It turns out that through all of the adversities and hardships no surprise, he made it! After a long, hard battle in the playoffs Tiger Woods won when his opponent couldn't make one shot. This was one of the best moments in Tiger Woods's career. For those who want to know, tiger had surgery eight days later and couldn't swing a club for more than six months.


Tiger Woods knew he couldn't quit. He was determined to win the title and he did. His coach new, also. He said "I always believe in Tiger and never think that anything is out of reach when he puts his mind to something," ("ESPN"). His conviction was proved when Tiger went on and won! Like the other athletes, he showed all the qualities of a resilient person. Fighting through pain, making a comeback, and also doing his best, even at his worst.

Tiger Woods's triumphant win on a broken leg


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Bane, Colin. "Women of Action -- Amy Purdy and the Debut of Paralympic Snowboard Cross." X Games. X Games, 21 May 2014. Web. 31 May 2015.

Hamilton, Bethany. "Bethany Hamilton | Born / February 8, 1990." Bethany Hamilton. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.

Sifferlin, Alexandra, and Alexandra Sifferlin. "Kevin Ware’s Awful Break: How Could It Happen? |" Time. Time, 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 31 May 2015.

"Long-term Questions after Derrick Rose's Meniscus Repair | Dr. David Geier - Sports Medicine Simplified." Dr. David Geier. N.p., 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 31 May 2015.

"U.S. Open: Reliving Tiger Woods' 2008 Torrey Story." N.p., 15 June 2009. Web. 31 May 2015.