by slaven brnjakovic

As long as she can remember, Lauren always loved sports.  She loved playing basically everything, from basketball, football, volleyball to athletics, swimming and gymnastics.  But one sport she loved the most was surfing. That was kind of a national sport in her country, Australia, and also in her tiny village near the ocean.  She loved looking at the local surfers as they were performing tricks on huge waves.  But, there was a problem, since Lauren’s mum wouldn’t let her surf because Lauren’s older brother got badly injured while surfing.

Lauren was really unhappy because of that.  She suffered a lot while she was watching her friends surfing and enjoying in the water.  Sometimes, she would sneak out of the house and went surfing without her mother’s permission. While surfing, she felt so special, like she can fly and be free like wind.  That feeling was the best thing she ever felt.

Her big dream was to take part in the famous surfing competition- „The wave“, which was held every July across the country.  That year, when she was 15, the competition was announced in her village too.  Everyone was so happy and excited because something big was coming.  That also meant many tourists in their little village and also lots of money for the hotels and bars.  For Lauren, this was her chance to fulfill her dream and to prove her mother to be wrong for worrying too much.

She started training every day after school.  She would tell her mum she was studying with her friends, while she was at the beach, practicing for the big competition.  There weren’t many girls surfing professionally.  She was surrounded by boys, and most of them were laughing at her for doing this.  They thought this was silly, and she wasn’t good enough to compete against them.  For them, she was just a weak, stupid girl.  But, that couldn’t discourage Lauren. Her wish was much stronger than their offenses.  Every day, she would put on her suit, took her surfing board and swim into the ocean.  The moment she stood on her board and let the wave carry her, she forgot about everything and became someone else, someone special.  For her, it was like putting on a superhero outfit and becoming one of them.

The day of the competition was really close, but Lauren didn’t say to her mother she’s competing too.  She decided to surprise her by winning some of the awards.  On the day of the competition, everything was different in their little village, from decorations, to so many people.  Lauren was at the beach from the early morning.  She was very nervous after seeing so many famous surfers coming and signing into the competition.  Soon after, the competition started.  Waves were really big and really worthy of the competition.  Surfers came, one by one, and did their little show on the waves.

Then, it was Lauren’s turn.  She took her board and went into the water.  She was swimming and went into the deep waters.  Then, a huge wave came.  She hurried to meet it.  Then, something sharp bit her, and in no time the water around her turned red.  It was a shark!  Lauren was struggling to swim and she was yelling so people could hear her and help her.

The next thing she remembers is lights and huge pain.  She was alive, but she lost her arm.  Doctors were struggling for hours to stop her wounds from bleeding, and they finally made it, 5 hours later.  She lost of blood and needed transfusion and was still in coma.  Her mother was really shocked by her accident, and stood by her bed for days and cried.  Few days later, Lauren woke up from coma.  She found out she lost her arm.

Lauren’s recovery was magnificent. In no time, she was able to do regular things by herself.  She learned how it was without one hand.  But one thing she didn’t try is to come into the water, or surf.  But one day, while on the beach with friends, she decided to enter the water and surf again.  It was like being reborn for her.  Today, she is surfing every day, and lack of a hand doesn’t stop her to be good at it.

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