In this edition of our Active Minutes series, we decided to take a trip to the beach with Peloton Tread instructor Selena Samuela to learn more about her surfing journey. When she’s not sweating it out on the Tread during the summer, you can likely find Selena suiting up to find the flow of the ocean. Read below about how she discovered surfing and why she says catching a wave feels like “pure magic.”
When was your first experience with surfing?
My first ever experience riding a wave was on a little boogie board when I was a little booger myself–probably about 4 or 5 years old in Italy. When I would take vacations to the States and go to the shore with my family, I would boogie board. It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I first picked up a surfboard. I was 18 when I moved to Hawaii and that’s when I really got to spend every single day in the water surfing. It’s why I went out there, I just always wanted to surf. I was in love with riding waves since day one. It was impossible to get me out of the water, I could swim before I could walk.
Are there lessons from surfing that you find that you can apply to your everyday life?
Be humble, be patient and respect Mother Nature. Not only is she more powerful than you and you need to know your limits when you’re in the water, but she’s also the reason why you get to be alive. So please do your best to take care of her, and keep plastics, trash, and toxic waste out of her oceans.
What’s your normal process for getting ready for a day on the waves?
Unless it’s an unreal swell or coming from a strange direction, I don’t pay too much attention to where I’m going to surf when I’m here on the east coast. I pick a spot I know is consistent and I just go and have fun!
How do you use surfing to complement your other workouts and vice versa?
Surfing isn’t about “working out” for me. However, it’s a very physically demanding sport, and being in good shape is pivotal to surfing well. Good balance and core stability are everything, strong back muscles for paddling will help you get into waves faster and set you up for success in the lineup when you’re competing for waves.
Do you feel as though surfing has made you a better athlete?
Absolutely. Surfing has a very steep learning curve. When I was a teenager really learning to surf, it humbled the crap out of me. It takes years of patience and practice–it’s not just about being physically gifted either, you have to understand the way the ocean works, the way waves move, and the way you move with the wave. Learning patience has made me a better athlete in general, learning that if you want results, you have to keep working at something even if it frustrates you to the 10th degree.
Similar to Peloton, is there a feeling of community around surfing?
Surfing has a great community of folks who love the ocean and love the earth. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice I post a lot about the environment. The surf community shares a passion and love for our oceans and our earth that is powerful and inspiring. We all advocate for a healthier planet, and we all share a sense of camaraderie with the life living in our oceans.
When you catch a wave can you describe the feeling?
It’s unlike anything else in the world. Pure elation. Pure joy, pure magic, 100% love. I think it’s the closest thing to what I imagine “perfection” must be. Wholeness, otherworldly almost…something heavenly.
What’s the element of surfing that you love the most?
Being connected to the ocean. Feeling connected to the pulse of the waves, the heart of the earth, it’s pure energy. I find that I’m my best self in the water. I feel most whole there.