HANALEI, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Surfer Bethany Hamilton's life story has taken her to places far from her home on Kauai, and now she has stepped into a new chapter as a newlywed.
"I was only going to marry a surfer. And then I met Adam, I was like, maybe I'll change my plans," she said.
You get the sense Bethany Hamilton's good at going with the flow. Like riding a wave, she adjusts and adapts.
"Every wave you catch is unique from the wave before. I just love the freshness of it," she said.
Ten years ago Bethany lost an arm in a shark attack. Her quick recovery, upbeat outlook and Christian faith have kept her in the public eye. Her story was told in a book and a movie. But Adam Dirks knew little about her when he moved to Kauai from Kansas. They met through a friend.
"Whenever she was home from traveling we'd go on long hikes or go surfing. None of the dinner and movie type of dates. A lot of good, quality time together," he said.
"Adam and I have been married two months now. It's awesome. It's really just special and exciting to be able to share life so closely together," she said.
Staying close to her roots is important. Kauai's North shore is still home base. The nearest surf break is five minutes from Bethany's front door. But she's away nearly half the year at surf meets and public speaking engagements, so finding balance is a challenge.
"People are always pulling at you and wanting, wanting, wanting. It's important to give back but you also need to take some time to spend with God and spend with your family," she said.
Bethany began competitive surfing when she was eight years old. She's now 23. Chasing titles isn't as important as it used to be.
"I'm definitely not as driven in the competitive aspect of surfing but still driven to always get better and better at surfing," she said.
Bethany takes her role as a role model very seriously. She's writing a new book that's a fitness guide for teenage girls.
"My heart behind that is just to encourage the girls to make healthy decisions and get outside and get active and find the things that they have fun doing. And also to know God and His love for them," she said.
Bethany has shared her story around the world. She has become an ambassador of hope. Her foundation encourages shark attack survivors and amputees to look beyond the present. That's what she's doing as a wife.
"Eventually we want to have a family and settle down a bit here on Kauai," she said.
"That's the beautiful thing about being married is that we get to share all these experiences together," Adam said.
The soul surfer is no longer solo.