The Trail Dancer,
Outdoor Lover, Rio Lakeshore

Can you tell us about yourself and your story
I am Rio Lakeshore, Earth empath, embodying movement by way of terrestrial locomotion, trail-dancin’, words, visuals, and soul. My main passion practice is trail (running) dancing; But I love the ocean, meditating, hiking, and on occasion cycling. Anything to ground myself outdoors.

Did you grow up in a rural, suburban or urban setting? Where did you get outdoors as a kid? I'm somewhat of a hybrid. I began in Inglewood, CA, but my metamorphosis into a human of the outdoors commenced in the vast Mojave Desert in my preteens, and my wings ensued in the Pacific Northwest where I attended high school. City, desert, forest (naturally). I started running at 13 years old as a means of transportation. My mom commuted to LA from the Mojave every day (6hr round trip in that LA traffic) so I was left to find my own way of getting from point A to point B as fast as possible. I found my body was just as adequate as any bus and transport by foot allowed for an elevated consciousness and heart rate and my passion was spawned.

Have you always had a passion / connection to nature and the outdoors? 
How did that evolve over time?  
Nature was always there. But she really caught my attention once I moved to the Mojave. I saw stars for the first time and I understood at that moment that she was greater than I ever comprehended. Through different terrains I was able to explore the diversity and interconnectedness that all aspects of nature can provide. Whether it be the softness of a damp pine needle forest or the harsh vastness of a Sunkissed desert. Even in an urban dwelling nature manages to find a way to continue to thrive and encroach on human existence. With the cultivation of my running practice, I spent more and more time outdoors and I came to understand aspects that initially felt daunting were actually a part of the natural state of the world and instead were to be respected as I found my own sense of belonging within it.  

How has the outdoors inspired and supported you over the years?  
The outdoors has enlightened my whole viewpoint mind, body, and soul. I realize how much we as terrestrial beings are in fact of the earth. All that lives within me resides on the planet and I will ultimately physically be intertwined with her when I transition, as will we all. It has provided a safe space for contemplation and meditation, for release and acceptance.   

Simply put, why do you run?  What draws you to it and keeps you going?
I don't run, I dance onward. I was born for this movement, I can cry, laugh, suffer, and my body can symbolize what the Spirit wants to express through my physical form.

Tell us how you interweave running with your creativity and how this all came about?
All of my ideas come to the surface during a trail-dance. Words, visuals, sounds, and concepts. Over time I have learnt to harness these experiences and thoughts and carry them through to my moments of stillness. Re-creating movement through art forms.

The videos you make are very cool and avant garde – do you have a background in video art?  Has social media helped with this?
Thank you! I don't a have a formal background but I am a student of film!  I love David Lynch, Jean-Luc Godard, Spike Lee, and 90’s skate tapes, and I have found all of these have heavily influenced me over time. Social media has allowed me to rebel against the standard running content and punch the envelope toward what I feel this movement looks and sounds like.  

What is the most important thing for you to communicate in your videos?  What do you want people to take away from them?
It's bigger than sport. The movement is the spirit's physical manifestation. Heed my words, sounds, and visuals.  

Tell us the story of how you started running - When did you start running and why? Was there one moment where you knew it was something you wanted/needed to do?
At 13 years old I ran to basketball practice one day and have been running ever since. But I didn't take it seriously until my first son was born. Parenting is time of transition and running game me a space to reflect and process.

Do you see any relation between creativity and being in nature?
Nature is the ultimate creative source, constantly adapting and displaying the most beautiful and the most brutal aspects of life in an ever evolving landscape.

Can you talk about the importance of connecting to nature and give examples of your favorite ways to connect?
I believe the connection between us and nature is incredibly crucial. It is our intended dwelling, a place to ground, a place of self-discovery and a better understanding of existence. I have the privilege of connecting to her every day as I trail dance. She is accessible to all, in one way or another. A simple breath or a mountain climb. There is a nature all around us at any given time we just have to learn to see it.

What ways if any has running, nature and the outdoors helped you through life?
Movement in nature is cathartic and lends insight and answers to the trivial human experience. It is the backdrop for deep meditation and in times when life feels overwhelming it can put even the darkest of thoughts into stark perspective.          

What advice would you give to others if they wanted to start running or make another outdoor activity a part of their lives?
Take it slow enjoy the journey, be present, and see it as a witness, as if it is the last time you will ever catch sight of it.

What are your skincare essentials? Do you do anything specific for your skin when you’re spending long periods outdoors?
Sunscreen is crucial. I used to think my melanated abundance was good enough but over time I've learned I too need sun protection. Reapplication for best results and keep the skin young.

If you had to pick one, are you team Utu Moisturizing Sunscreen or Sunscreen-Stiq?
Team Sunscreen-Stiq is easy to take along for a 2-3hr trail dance. It is light enough to pack in for those longer runs for reapplication. It keeps my skin protected, soft and doesn’t disappear with heavy perspiration. There is no residue, white layers or purple undertones, blending well into my darker skin. A rare find for a melanated man.

You can find a selection of Rio's work on our Instagram or even more of his work on Rio's Instagram!

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