Running with Mind, Body & Soul

An introspective exploration of where movement intersects with mind, body and soul.

Written by
Rio Lakeshore
min read
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I awake before daybreak creeps over the horizon and paints the room. From a state of deep slumber, my mind transitions to catch a beat of meditation. My ritual of choice evokes mindfulness in a peaceful, clutter-free space of my humble dwelling. Laraajis's mystical melodies drift into the atmosphere, inhale, exhale, as one thought subsides, another arrives merely to be set free again.

Creating space for introspection is advantageous in my role as a father, to sail a smooth ship across turbid seas of parenting. A gentle nudge and breakfast for two youths as one barely eats and instead tells a story of mischievous subject matter, and the other quietly inhales two breakfasts within quick succession. Off to school, the morning's bustle dissipates with a warm embrace and goodbye kisses.

On the car ride to my trail of choice, I envision the opening of the gambit to which my feet will dance upon a course, mind already charting the path, tall stance, hands and jaw unclenched. An orchestrated symphony of movement, a melody of foot strikes, birds chirping, each breath drawing in an aroma of Eucalyptus and Petrichor. The sun and sweat conspiring to shimmer on my skin, up and over peaks, familiar faces, and trees alike, ultimately reviving my body with ample hydration and my mind with considerable reflection.

Photo credit: Rob Schanz

As my truck rolls slowly over the gravel, parking under the shade of a tree, I step out of my mind and into the physicality of the here and now.

I planted a seed of visualization in my senses and nurtured it over many moons to blossom into the vital element innate in my practice of running presently. A journey of cultivating the commencement of the mind that the body would deliver, following in its footsteps.

My continuous pilgrimage into mindful running has been an exercise that is not always blissful but one I have embraced wholeheartedly. Initially, getting in the flow and embodying mindfulness as a lifestyle was a crucible moment in my journey. However, as I continued to foster and nourish it, it became an innate component. It ultimately transformed into a powerful tool that allowed me to tap into my inner force and push beyond my perceived boundaries. The images became vivid, the sensations more real, and the connection between spirit and temple evolved stronger. Now, a vital ceremony, navigating me toward my pursuits and helping me overcome barriers in movement and beyond.




The body is a vessel, an energy conduit, and a receptacle of reason. It hauls me through rivers and over the highest of mountains. My mind and body are inextricably linked. One without the other would leave me adrift. My body calls on my foresight to be the compass, to guide the path of taxing feats, giving way to a robust physical manifestation of my reason and essence. Through my biological soundness and perseverance, I can set in motion barriers and challenges, both material and cognitive, and reach new altitudes of triumph.

"My mind and body are inextricably linked. One without the other would leave me adrift."

Nonetheless, my body is also a source of vulnerability, prone to injury and illness, reminding me of my mortality and the significance of self-care. Ultimately, my body is a gift, a precious inheritance that allows me to partake in and steer the earth beneath my feet, the world around me, and the universe beyond. It is a miraculous creation, capable of healing itself, acclimating to new environments, and performing incredible accomplishments of strength and agility. From the microscopic cells to the most significant organs, every element of my body plays a vital role in upholding my vitality and quality of life.

Photo credit: Rob Schanz

My flesh and bones are more than just a material container. It carries emotions, senses, and wisdom. Every sensation I feel, every recollection I store, is stowed in the depths of my being. An echo of my life's journey, marked by scars, lines, and creases, tells the story of my past. Each cell is a testament to my strength and power, a reminder of the challenges I have overcome.

As I grow older and the seasons of life unfurl, I am increasingly aware of the importance of taking care of my body. It is a delicate balance, one that requires attention to both physical and mental health. Nourishing my body with healthy sustenances, my ritual practice of trail running, and sufficient reprieve and recovery to maintain its optimal operation.

In the end, my body is my most priceless possession. It is a vehicle that permits me to experience the world around me, but it is my soul that gives me wings to soar through the voyage of trail running.




As I lace up my shoes and envision my dance, my eagerness to hit the trails never goes awry. Even in brief instances of trepidation, I am filled with a sense of curiosity and astonishment. The magnificence of Mother Nature surrounds me, and her splendor humbles me. But it is my soul that helps me connect with this beauty on an in-depth level. It is the part of me that knows that I am but a speck, a single grain of sand in a world of wonder too vast to understand, a tiny part of something greater!

Every stride is a reminder of the power of the human spirit. The ridges and ravines before me are a cue of life's ups and downs, and the physical keeps moving forward. But it is my soul that aids in finding the muscle to keep going, even when the path ahead seems perilous.

As I run, I feel the rhythm of my breathing and the pulsing of my heart. It is my core that guides me, supporting me to find my footing and stay enraptured as I traverse ahead while in the eye of the hurricane. It is the part of me that knows that every step is a testament to my serenity and my willpower.

"Every stride is a reminder of the power of the human spirit."

When the course onward is steep and unsteady, and my body enters the pain cave. It is my soul that reminds me of the beauty that awaits to greet me at the peak where the earth meets the sky. It is the part of me that knows that the trek is as important as the destination.

I am filled with a sense of harmony and tranquility. The world around me wanes, and I am left with only the sound of my exhalation. Yet it is my heart that helps me remain grounded in the present moment, prompting me to relish the journey and appreciate the magnificence of my surroundings.

Photo credit: Rob Schanz

Trail running is not just a physical activity but an expansion of spirituality. It is a prompt for the capability and soundness of the human spirit and the wonderment of the natural world. It connects our capabilities with the greatness of life.

Till the time my being fades away and my physical frame can no longer dance along the trails, I will let my soul guide me towards the path of liberation, where my body feels light and my mind finds solace. Each breath is an oath to my soul, each step a materialization of my mind. Running for Mind, Body & Soul.














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Author Bio

Rio Lakeshore

Residing on the sacred land of the Tongva people, Rio is not just a family man and writer but also an avid ultra-distance runner who thrives on pushing his physical limits. Embracing the art of "trail-dancing," he passionately encourages others to liberate their minds and trust in the power of their spirit and feet to guide them forward. Follow his journey @rio_lakeshore and @roarkrunamok.

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