All about the Approach: Learning to explore your own backyard with Chris Shane

Words //

New adventures are right around the corner...or on the next block, or down that side street you pass every day but have never turned down.

When you've lived in the same place for a while, it's easy to get stuck on auto-pilot. You have routines, specific running routes, and favorite restaurants and cafes (when they're open). Those routines and default go-to's keep us from trying new things or going to those places we've always heard about but never taken the time to visit. Since the pandemic began, many of us have been spending more time than ever at home and what we typically think of as Adventure may seem impossibly far away. Maybe it just takes a mental re-framing of what exploration looks like and a conscious effort to break your routine — to literally run a different path and get out of the rut — to see things with a fresh perspective and find that Adventure anywhere.

We recently caught up with our local friend Chris Shane to hear how he's been approaching exploration around Boston. Chris is a photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor athlete who shares stories that highlight the joys of human interaction with the natural world. Hear from him below and watch a short vid he made with another one of our adventure buddies, Adam Danielson — a talented designer, Janji collaborator and Janji Collective member.



Chris Shane photographed by Chris Bennett at Baxter State Park, ME.




Chris: When the pandemic hit here in Boston I tried to stay creative with getting outside. For me that meant exploring my own backyard in the lesser known parks and preserves around the city, and coming up with fun (local) adventures on the trail or my bike that I wouldn’t have otherwise done or thought of. I can honestly say I had several great days outside even during the height of the pandemic, without seeing anyone, and stumbled upon all of these beautiful trails and roads I had never been to. I did let myself dream a little bit and spent a lot of time in Strava Route Builder building a list of runs, rides, and linkups that I could do whenever it became safe again.



Adam Danielson photographed by Chris Shane at The Fells, MA.





Running is my process. It's what I do when life gets heavy.

















I speed up so my thoughts can slow down.

















Chris Shane photographed by Chris Bennett at Baxter State Park, ME.





Adam Danielson photographed by Chris Shane at The Fells, MA.




Chris: In COVID times, I’m grateful that the nature of my creative work takes me outside where the virus is much less viable. On a deeper level, I hope the stories and images I share of the outdoors become a source of hope and inspiration for others. I think the human connection with the outdoors is more important than ever, and it’s critical that we all recognize and seek out that connection in whichever way is safe and meaningful for each and everyone of us.




Photo Credit
Chris Shane + Chris Bennett

Follow along on more of Chris' adventures @chrismshane on Instagram.

Chris Bennett @chrisbennettphoto

Chris photographs for brands like iFit, Merrell, Stio and Nevada Brewing Co and has had the great fortune of working on conservation projects with the Trust for Public Land and projects that keep him outdoors for the Office of Maine Tourism through his production company, Pamola Creative.



Michelle Woods