"Soul Surfer" Bethany Hamilton On Staying Active, Being a Bikini Snob, and her Upcoming Wedding

Hamilton at home in the surf. | Photo courtesy of Noah Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a shark, but there's much more to the "Soul Surfer." As the new spokeswoman for Tampax's Awesomely Active Girls Challenge she's working with young ladies who have the motivation and confidence to get off the sideline and into the game. The challenge will celebrate and reward girls for their healthy and creative fitness routines. We spoke to the gorgeous gal about the campaign, her passion for surfing, and her favorite fashion and beauty looks.

The Thread: So please tell us a little about the new campaign.
BH: As a professional athlete myself, I'm always active--all year long. I love encouraging young girls to get out and stay active. I know when I grew from a girl to a woman--I was a little scared--it's intimidating. But now that I'm older I've realized it's nothing to be afraid of. I like being able to just get out there and team up with Tampax and encourage and empower girls when they're going through that and to step out of their comfort zones if they're scared.

TT: As an athlete and role model who's in popular demand, what made this particular project stand out to you?
BH: It's motivating a lot of the target girls who I would love to reach out to--the teeny boppers and teenagers--but also all women. I love that it's about us encouraging each other. Whatever our passion is, in our differences we can still relate to each other and be encouraging to each other to stay healthy and to stay active no matter what's going on in our lives.

TT: What first drew you to surfing?
BH: My mom and dad both moved from the mainland to Hawaii to surf, and that's where they met each other and had us kids. Raising us out there, both of them surfed and my two older brothers surfed, so it was like, "you better surf!" But I honestly just loved it. I started surfing when I was a toddler and then I got the bug. It's such a unique sport--it's hard to even explain. Every time you go out there it's different from the time before. All my sport passions are kind of an escape from daily life. We have a lot going on and it's important to take a break and just love our bodies and take care of ourselves. It's healthy!

TT: What's your typical routine on and off the water?
BH: I surf all the time, but surfing, for me is barely a workout. I'll be out there [on the water] for an hour and a half and not even feel like it's exercise. I love to do off-water training. I'll go to the gym, go on a hike with my dogs, play tennis with my friends. I definitely love to keep the mix in there so it's fresh and fun for me. And I encourage girls to find what's important. We're all different and we all take a different approach to exercise!

TT: Do you have any tips for ladies who need a push to kickstart their fitness routine?
BH: I actually had the pleasure of being on "The Biggest Loser," and I took the competitors surfing. They were in Hawaii on vacation and the theme of their trip was "No Excuses." And that really resonated with me. Girls tend to come up with every excuse in the world. I think fighting your excuses and finding things that you like to do--whether it's walking or going to Zumba or playing tennis or just dancing in your room. We're all different and we have to find something that just sticks with us and makes us stoked to get active. Ease into it if it's new to you, and if you can get your friends to do it with you you can cheer each other on and support each other.

TT: You recently got engaged. Congrats! Any details you can give us on the wedding? And, most importantly, info your dress?
BH: It's been so fun planning everything so far. I haven't hit the Bridezilla stage, and I hope not to. But my fiancé is amazing and I'm so excited to enter into marriage and spend the rest of our lives together. Of course the wedding day should be amazing--basically I get to be Cinderella for the day! We're getting married at the end of the summer in Hawaii. I did find my dress, but it's a surprise for everyone.
Photo courtesy of Noah Hamilton
TT: Can't blame us for asking!
BH: I know! It's so funny, I won't even share it with my best friends. I want it to be a surprise for EVERYONE. But yeah, I'm staying extra active for my wedding day now, too. There are definitely no more excuses for me--I want to be ready for that dress!

TT: How would you describe your style? You must really have the beach look nailed by now!
BH: I'm kind of a bikini snob--I want good bikinis. Something that stays on and is comfortable and looks cute. I'm sponsored by Rip Curl and I actually love their bikinis--they're so good. I love fun dresses and cute jewelry. My fiancé actually just gave me this [bracelet] with a shell on it. It's simple but so gorgeous and it has an "A" and a "B" on it--"A" for Adam and "B" for me. I love being cute and dolled up and having fun with it.

TT: One last question: what are you wardrobe and beauty essentials?
BH: A dress is always in the wardrobe essentials, a bikini, a cute little wet suit for when it's a little chillier. I always have a good, natural sunscreen like UV Natural--it's one of my go-to sunscreens. I also love using coconut oil for everything. I put it in my hair overnight for a treatment, put it on my skin--it's so versatile. You can massage with it, use it as a lotion, anything! I also love Zico coconut water when I'm being active. So yeah, I have a good little system going!

To learn more about the Awesomely Active Girls Challenge, check out Tampax's Facebook profile and enter by July 21.

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