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shark lady

Inside: Inspiration from women: The story of Eugenie Clark, aka The Shark Lady

In the 1940s and 50s, a woman was a homemaker and a wife.

And while both of those are important and noteworthy, it is not the only way.

Eugenie Clark challenged the status quo.

Eugenie Clark, better known as the Shark Lady, was the ocean’s most fearless scientist.

The ocean is even more uncharted than space. The ocean is vast and endless, filled with mysterious creatures and worlds underground.

Thus, the combination of a woman during that time period mixed with the aquatic world provides immeasurable inspiration.

Inspiration for this post started from the children’s book: Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist.

A few facts about the Shark Lady:

  • Eugenie stood up for sharks when people assumed they were nothing but dumb killers.
  • Eugenie studied advanced degrees at a time when women were supposed to be studying homemaking.
  • The Shark Lady was the first scientist (not just a woman, but a scientist), to train sharks (yes I said train, like dogs)
  • She discovered several never before seen ocean species.
  • She hitched a ride on the back of a whale shark!!! (Amazing! I once swam with dolphins and I thought that was amazing, and it was a tourist trap. )
  • She made over 70 dives up to 12,000 feet deep!
  • The year before she died, she celebrated her 92nd birthday by scuba diving at age 92! (Now that’s how you celebrate a birthday!)

She dared to dream against the norm. She is a great example for all women and our young daughters to keep dreaming. Let’s teach our children to dream.

Most importantly, Eugenie decided how she wanted to live without the approval of others.

She was born in 1922 and died in 2015 so you do the math on what she lived through. She followed her passions.

Her story encourages me as a mom to look for the interests my children show and encourage them in those interests, and it inspires me, as a woman, to keep dreaming.

Lessons learned from the shark lady:

1. The only approval we need is from God.

2. Sometimes our dreams may seem crazy to others.

3. There are many things we may never understand. It doesn’t mean we stop trying.

4. God works his greatest miracles when we choose to trust in him despite our fears or weaknesses.

5. Celebrate life until the end

6. The world is full of amazing beauty yet unexplored that God has given us.

I want both my children to follow their dreams.

But many times we say these words, but fail on our follow-through.

At some point in life, we become practical. I wanted to get a degree in English, but I am practical by nature and chose a more secure path. I’m not sure this was the best decision for me. I’m not saying to throw away security, but sometimes the security may be in not knowing.

Related: Unexpected Inspiration for When You Feel Stuck in Life

Sometimes when we are the most scared or unsure is where God can work his greatest miracles.

I’ll leave you with the following quote:

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.

Cynthia Kersey

What are your dreams or how have you encouraged your children to dream?

As always, thanks for reading, and if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing.

You may also enjoy:

How an Ordinary Woman Found an Easy Way to Think Positive

9 Authentic Ways Clementine Hunter Inspires You to Dream

Unexpected Inspiration for When You Feel Stuck In Life

If you were inspired by the Shark Lady, check out these books for more to enjoy!! (Full disclosure: The links in this post do allow me to have a small commission.)

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist.

Lady with a Spear

Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark

Websites with more info on Eugenie Clark:



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