Rec & Wellness promotes small adventures, big impacts


The Center for Recreation and Wellness is encouraging students to enjoy the outdoors as Spring begins. (Courtesy / GVSU)

Autumn Pitchure, Staff Reporter

Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer who graduated and set off on his bike to travel the world. He didn’t get back home for over four years, and during that time traveled 46,000 miles, experiencing over 60 countries.

He went on adventures involving riding across the Atlantic ocean and walking across deserts. In a realistic sense, Humphreys took a step back and realized that not everyone has the time in their busy schedules to go on big adventures every day.

“People stare at websites and watch films with adventure and think, ‘Oh man, I would love to do that,’” Humphreys said. “There are so many things that stop people from doing such things as walking across deserts. Perhaps the difficulty is getting going, or starting, or knowing even how you get going on a project that is big and daunting.”

With these thoughts, Humphrey decided to try and make adventure easy, small, attainable and short on people’s time. He did this so there was no reason people could have not to get started. He started doing microadventures, which are small adventures that have a big impact on how people view and experience the world around them.

Humphrey isn’t the only one interested in this concept. Grand Valley State University’s Rec & Wellness’ Outdoor Adventures program (RWOAP) is hosting, “Microadventure March” to try and get students out into nature, exploring their surroundings and experiencing the beauty that life has to offer.

They are asking people to share their microadventures in the newly-formed Outdoor Adventure Collective, which is a growing group of students who engage in a Facebook group. The mission of the Collective is to provide an online space for students to ask questions, connect with each other and learn new skills that can be brought into the outdoors.

For Microadventure March, RWOAP offers a variety of weekly content that explores the concept of microadventures. Each week, there is a new challenge for people to incorporate adventure into their everyday life.

“With travel being restricted in many parts of the state and country, we wanted to ensure students had ways to seek adventure closer to home,” said coordinator Marc Poole.

Each week, the RWOAP is focusing on a different theme that gets to the heart of microadventure. Examples of themes include: a sense of wonder, the adventure mindset, local perspective and adventure as habit.

“A microadventure might look very similar to something you already do, like visit your favorite coffee shop or go to the park,” Poole said. “Maybe you decide to forgo driving your car and decide to bike with a friend to your favorite coffee shop. Then you bike to your favorite park to toss a frisbee. With a little creativity and perspective, you can turn almost anything into a microadventure.”

There are a wide variety of opportunities to participate in for Microadventure March. What makes microadventure so stimulating, is you can do them on your own with friends. Throughout the entire month of March, RWOAP will be rewarding students with prize bundles for completing lines on their bingo-style, Microadventure March card that can be found on the Rec Well Outdoor Adventures webpage.

“My favorite part of this event is challenging students to break from their normal habits and to instill some fun into their everyday lives,” Poole said. “Microadventures can be life-giving, and at the end of the day it’s all about having fun.”

Some activities included on the card are having a picnic, biking on a local trail, growing your own veggies and unplugging from electronics for 24 hours. Every activity is meant to inspire and get students outside, enjoying what the area has to offer. It gives them a chance to bring their inner child out while rediscovering a sense of adventure.

“We will be highlighting the significance of thinking small and opening your eyes to the world immediately around you,” said Poole.

By the end of the month, RWOAP hopes to have demonstrated that microadventures, while small in scale, have a big impact on overall health and wellness.

“Microadventure March runs the entirety of the month of March, but we hope students will choose to add microadventures to their days and weeks as a habit to be practiced,” said Poole.