Where the forest grows: Sel

 I love the feedback we are already getting from this series. We all crave to hear stories from those that make us feel like someone else out there gets us, someone is out there saying, “Hey, me too!”… Hopefully, you can find a little bit of you in these stories.

Check her out:

Instagram: @seldelamora

This week, I interviewed Isela, but we call her Sel for short. Sel is an adventurous girl who recently sold off many of her belongings, bought an RV, and her and her fiancé are hopping around Oregon, not dependent on a single location but exploring these forests that contrast with her home town, San Diego, CA. She’s formed ways to live life the way she wants and brings her passions on the road with her. I can’t wait for you to meet her.

 Bio: fitness coach, adventurer, dog mama, future nurse, RV decorator, soccer addict, non-stop dancer, avid smiler. 

1. Tell me about yourself. When you’re not outside exploring or traveling, tell me what we’d find you doing?

When I am not off spending my weekends finding new Oregon waterfalls, or snowshoeing with the pups, I am working on my business that I have as a fitness coach. My goal is to help make women feel confident as what they are…WOMEN. No matter what shape, size, story, or what that scale says, I want women to love being them. I want them to feel like financially, fitness level, who ever they are, they belong in the fitness world. You know, I think that’s why I love the outdoors. I love that all types of ethnicities, genders, even your different levels of adventure you enjoy, you are allowed in to come and soak up the same waterfall, the same sunset, the same starry night sky. This is the kind of fitness business I want to build.

I recently paused for a few months on seeking new clients. I wanted to reorient my business.

I want to be a business that doesn’t just post ab photos constantly, but I want my clients to love their bodies.

I want them to have self-love and learn to encourage others with that same love.

I want to lower the level of women comparison we naturally see in social media and often times while we work out in the gym or when we run the trails.

I want to build a company that doesn’t add to that, but stops the cycle.

I also live out of an RV as of this year. You would find me making ways to decorate and make this place feel more and more like home! We love it because we get to pick up and move it to wherever we feel we want to go and explore next. We are currently stationed in Bend, Oregon. To be honest, this may sound romantically wanderlust like, but this was no where near in the plan when we headed to Oregon. We came to Bend to buy a home, the traditional steps most almost married couples begin to take. When we arrived, inventory was low and there was nothing that fit for us. We were unsure about this life at first, but the more and more we live this way, it just feels so right. Being in nursing school, we can move wherever we want! We aren’t tied down to one location or even a mortgage. We’ve met so many people our age that are living life in a way that beats against the normal path most would take next.

I also have these pups that are my best friends. My pups love to be active and get me outside. Their favorite activity is mountain biking with me!

My newest adventure has been joining a climbing gym that is about 5 minutes from the place our RV stays. I used to climb back in San Diego, but I am beginning to pick it up here in Oregon. The climbing community is an incredible one. It’s place where everyone is welcome. Each single person I meet is never too cool to take time with an amateur like me. There is no hierarchy of who can climb the most advanced routes. I have people who stand beneath me and will take time to help me find routes and cheer me on each step up a climb! This is a place where we are all brought together and really, climbing makes me feel a part of something. As an ex-soccer player, it just feels good to be a part of a team. Whether its climbers, soccer, my coaching, hiking, camping, those people beside you at the campsite, I crave that sense of belonging…that sense that we’re in this together.

 2. What is your favorite adventure story you love to share when swapping stories with friends over a cup of coffee?

My fiancé and I packed up our truck with two of our friends and decided it was time for a weekend of camping. Our plan was not to backpack this time, but instead, to drive out to our destination and camp out of the truck. The truck was loaded full of supplies, with no regards for weight or size as most backpacking trips have to keep in mind. We were on our way to a Lake in Tahoe, but as all good stories go, something went wrong. There was more snow then we thought and the truck got stuck in snow before we could make our way in. After 4 hours of trying to free the truck that teetered on the edge of a cliff, we decided instead the trip wouldn’t be ruined and we could hike the rest of the way in and camp from there. Our packs were now loaded full of food and supplies and were way too heavy for backpacking, but we headed towards where we thought we were headed! We hiked 7 miles and still found no sign of this lake we’d heard about so we just kept walking with no plan. I remember we would say, “Okay when we hit that tree ahead, if we haven’t found it, we turn back.”

When we finally did this for the fifth time, we arrived and what we saw took our breath away (and was no where near the lake we were trying to find). The dense forest and high packed snow opened up to a blue lake with beautiful mountains whose peaks were packed with snow. There were no signs of people as far as the eye could see. Even today, I wonder how did we just stumble upon this lake? (Fun fact: We came back here years later and got engaged at this very breathtaking spot!)

My favorite adventure stories end up being the ones that go no where near as we planned. Its the stories we couldn’t plan, the scenes we didn’t predict, the days we ended up far off course. This is where we find the most beauty.

 3. Why is getting outside important to you?

Nature is the place where I can get away from reality now and then. I have an incredible life, but we are all guilty of getting caught up in our work, our goals, and so many other pieces of life that scream to make busyness overpower all. Getting outside makes me slow down. It allows me to realize how gorgeous this world is and that I am in control of making life as fast paced or as slow as I would like it. Simplicity is forced when you are living out of an RV. You don’t realize how much we forget simplicity until you are taking a chance to make sure you have it. We often forget simplicity and its call to us get clouded by the sounds of our children, the list of our due dates, or the pressures of school as we reach towards our goals. The more my life becomes simple in this RV life, the more I see getting outside reminds me to be me. My attitude and my whole body changes as we hop in the truck and head down that road out of the city. I feel a sigh of relief come over me as my body slows and I finally remember to smell those powerfully scented pine trees that were always there waiting for me.

4. What is your favorite thing that being outside hiking, camping, exploring, traveling, or whatever you love, brings out in you?

I feel like exploring brings out my true self. It finally drops all masks that are so easy to wear and I become who I really am. It’s so easy to get caught up in social media, what everyone else is doing and whats going on in this world that can feel out of my control sometimes. But when its all taken away, that’s when I feel it. I feel I can just fully be present and enjoy Tyler (my fiancé),the pups, and the starry sky above me with no distraction. I can fully express me and see clearly where I am headed. I can 100% be present and notice all the details of these beautiful moments that can easily keep slipping away if I don’t take note of them.

5. What is your number one go-to “You must Visit this place” recommendation?

The first would be from my previous story of the lake we found in the middle of getting lost and stuck in the Tahoe Snow. It’s called Bowman Lake. It is a remote spot in the middle of Tahoe, California and it will always impress.

About two weekends ago, we went searching for Proxy Falls in Oregon. I am not a huge crier, but when we finally found these falls, I cried out of shock of their beauty, majesty, and how powerful the water was. Please go check it out yourself. You won’t regret it.

6. Anything else you want to share with these women?

It’s okay to cry at the base of the waterfall. Being outside pushes you there, wants you there, and feels so powerful when you let yourself be there. When the sunset amazes you, or the way the wind blows your hair makes you giggle, do it. Be fully present.

It seems people think that you have to be hardcore backpackers to be an “outdoorsy” person. People think you have to be extreme to get outside. I would say get outside in any way you can, whether its a walk down the street, a picnic in the park, a two day camping trip or a month on the road. Just get outside and do it. Take advantage of the outdoors that we have. Take it from me, everyone I talk to gets outside and their world changes. Get out and see what these beautiful places have in store for you…

I look up to Sel and her honesty. She’s honest with her body image journey, her vision for her business, and the way this world moves her to tears. She makes me want to feel things fully and dance often. I hope her story reminds you to soak up this world and take advantage of every moment you have doing it.

Photo Credit: Sel

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