In the eyes of a mainlander, life in Hawaii seems like an endless vacation, full of sunshine and surf. Even though we don’t have society’s typical nine-to-five doesn’t mean we don’t work.
In fact, the most driven people on these islands clock in at sunrise and hustle hard until the sunset. Take for instance, July’s Mermaid of the Month Chelsea Yamase.
Now if you haven’t herd of “Chelsea Kauai” do yourself a favor and step your Insta-game up.
After stumbling upon Chelsea’s IG, I instantly fell into a deep admiration (along with nearly 30 thousand other people). Partially because of her epic eye candy photos of underwater play, but mainly because of her undeniable tenacity.
This badass mermaid is on a blissful road to success building a straight-up empire out of her active beach lifestyle.
Free-diver, hiker, surfer, adventurer, yogi, traveler, designer, writer — you name it, Miss Yamase does it. She literally eats, sleeps and breathes outdoor fitness.
Chelsea is basically the CEO of her own courageous life and discovered a way to make it all work for her.
How boss is that?
As you can see I’m kind of obsessed, so you can only imagine how stoked I was when this beach babe took the time out of her jam packed schedule to talk a little story.
Allow me to introduce you to one of my beloved mermaid idols — the one, the only, Chelsea Yamase.
+ Tell us about yourself.
Hi beautiful humans! I’m a 25 year old adventure lover, graphic designer, jewelry maker, part time yogi, grammar nazi, fisherman’s daughter, model/actress, making up my own job title as I go along kind of girl.
I spend an inordinate amount of time underwater. I am more lover than fighter, more dorky than most realize, and am hugely indecisive when I have multiple food options.
+ How did your passion for fitness begin?
I grew up in a family of movers. My parents had me hiking, fishing, dancing, and swimming with them practically since birth so I’m used to being constantly outdoors and on the go, trying to make the most of each minute. I don’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t extremely active.
More than anything, though, I’m addicted to seeing new places. Now I think my passion for fitness stems from my desire to explore the world around me because I need my body strong enough to get me there. It’s the difference between running for exercise and running up a ridge line because you want to see what’s on the other side. For me there is infinitely more motivation in the latter.
+ What are some of your favorite ways to break a sweat outdoors?
+ How does an active outdoor lifestyle help contribute to your overall well-being?
Loving the outdoors is 99% of the reason why I am healthy and happy. It shaped so much of who I am. I was extremely shy as a child, but sports and all my activities introduced me to a network of energetic and like-minded people who over time boosted my confidence and outgoingness.Plus, when I’m having the worst day ever, it makes it better….and when life is good, it still makes it better.
I love to feel productive and I love to play so those are always both pulling on my heart. Lucky for me the line between the two gets blurred a lot and I get to do both at the same time.This may sound strange, but I tend to let the weather dictate the balance in my life and it seems to work out pretty well for me. If it’s rainy I stay in and do work, if there’s waves I go surfing. No waves? I go diving. Windy? Go hiking. Nature has it’s patterns and it means I never get bored. My main challenge is finding time to slow down and just chill out by myself. I love being ultra busy so I have to remind myself it’s ok to relax sometimes.
+ As a woman building her own brand, how do you make life work for you?
Time management and multitasking have really come into play this last year as I’ve gotten busier. I try to plan as best as I can, but always leave room to go with the flow (easier said than done, I know). I organize my passions and accept jobs that work with the lifestyle I ideally want for myself.
For example, I like to begin and end my day outside, but try to avoid being in the harsh midday sun. I’ve worked it out that the days I do work I go in from 10- 6:30 which means I can swim in the morning and surf at sunset. It’s all about staying flexible so that I can make the most of any opportunity that comes my way.
+ How do you unwind and treat yourself?
Laying on my porch swing with a good book and a cup of tea. Preferably on a rainy afternoon.
+ What keeps you motivated?
I have a great group of friends that feel just as stoked as I do about really trying to make the most of every moment in this blessed life. Also, I hate feeling like I’m missing out when my friends go adventuring. Nature will never be the same twice, so it’s always a once in a lifetime experience. Plus the more I explore and stay active, the better I feel.
Some days I do feel lazy, but my friends will pick me up and tell me we’re going swimming/surfing/hiking. Hours later I’ll be laying in the water watching the blazing red sunset having just found new caves to dive and having spent the day swimming with dolphins, turtles, and a really cute shark. And it’s hard not to think to yourself, yes this was worth it.
+ Who is your biggest inspiration?
Kimi Werner. Everyone knows her as an insanely talented spear-fisher woman (which she is), but she inspires me on so many other levels.She can shoot, cut, clean, and cook almost anything, makes beautiful paintings and yet is genuinely humble, thoughtful, and kind. When I’m stressed out, she always reminds me to follow my heart and not to worry so much about trying to make my life fit into a conventional mold. I think my favorite thing is that even though she has spent countless hours in the ocean, she is still so filled with this child-like wonder about nature. It’s infectious. She is also rad and fearless and travels the world, much like I would love to do.
+ What are some of your favorite pieces to wear while working out?
I have these zip up sports bras that I love from Vie Activewear. They were designed for triathletes so they’re great for the water or land and easy to change out of when I’m all wet. With Love From Paradise is an awesome local designer who makes super comfy work out shorts.
+ What’s your Mermaid Mantra?Make time for yourself. Build a life you truly love. Be brave. It is all possible.+ Any advice for fellow mermaids?I love this quote from Sophia Amoruso’s new book #Girlboss:
“Figure out what you love doing and don’t suck at, and then try to figure out how to make a living doing that. Don’t be scared. We’re all going to die, it’s just a question of when and where so be brave! You’ll never regret trying to fulfill your dream. Don’t get caught up in hanging out and drinking or partying. Celebrate when there’s something to celebrate. Take pride in what you do. Don’t do sloppy work— be the best! Have something original and special to offer that makes peoples’ lives better!”
Also, never forget to be grateful. We are so blessed.
(PC: Jake Marote)
Now can you see why I instantly became Insta-obsessed?
Nothing is more appealing than a driven mermaid who pursues her passions while staying true to her heart.
Chelsea Yamase is a true inspiration completely kicking ass at this incredible thing called life.
The way I see it, that’s why people in Hawaii don’t fall victim to typical 9-5, because our full-time job is to encourage others in the journey of achieving a happier and healthier way of life.
For some daily mermaid motivation and fitness inspiration, I highly recommend you follow Chelsea’s road to personal success on Instagram here.