|Positive-Thinking Walkers at Oak Park in North Port, FL|
This year, I’d decided my 2022 project was to have at least one “microadventure” a week and blog about it. What is a microadventure, you ask? Well, Alistair Humphreys, who coined the phrase, describes it this way:
A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.
Though Alistair’s microadventures seem to always involve overnighters.. often without even tents! .. mine are going to be walks, hikes, or excursions in different locations.
Admittedly, this doesn’t seem like much of a stretch goal since I’ve been in the habit of walking daily for years now. My criteria is, though, that I have to go to new places with someone else AND I have to write about it! That means, I can’t just do my standard 5-mile neighborhood walk every day and call it done.
Since I’m relatively nomadic for the winter, it also might be a challenge to be able to find someone to go with me.
As I wrote about once before, one of the first things I do to make new friends when I’m exploring a new place is to find a Meetup to join.
Marianne from the Sarasota Walkers group hosted the perfect Meetup event for my first microadventure of the year:
POSITIVE THINKERS HIKE + DISCUSSION 3:30pm NORTH PORT @OAKS PARK
Positive thinkers need support in these times. Please join me for a discussion + hike/walk every Sunday at Oaks Park in North Port. We’ll gather at the picnic tables for intros and a 30 min guided group discussion. Afterwards, we walk/hike the Myakkahatchee Creek trail in North Port’s lush urban Wilderness. 2 miles RT, rated EASY PACE/EFFORT but more demanding than walking on level pavement. Not for folks with limiting balance issues. Wear closed-toe shoes.
A hike in a new park AND a discussion about positive thinking? I hit gold! Walking and positivity are two of my obsessions! And even though when people talk about “in these times” they’re referring to Covid, I’m still reeling over the Superior fire, so this was a welcome reprieve.
Marianne led the discussion, starting with introductions and a name-game where each person has to repeat the names of everyone who went before them. (I love those kinds of ice-breakers and memory is another one of my interests.) She then gave us all a hand-out about optimism with tips and things we can do to be more optimistic. These were all related to brain health which I’m always talking about such as learning, trying new things, and developing healthy habits.
Of course, walking and being in nature are two of the best things you can do for your health, so after our short discussion, we were on our way!
The Florida trails are different from those I’m used to in Colorado.. they are typically flatter and the plants and wildlife is different. This trail was lush with palm trees and some small streams we crossed along the way.
Though it was a bit humid, I marveled that I could be taking this hike in January with shorts when back home in Colorado, a snowstorm was going on.
My favorite part, though, was meeting new people. Most of us were retired and several were snowbirds and semi-nomadic, like me. I finally remembered to hand out my little “Carpe Diem” business cards I’d made up, and I even got some new Facebook connections and texts!
Marianne called yesterday and asked if I might be interested in leading the discussion at an upcoming Sunday, and I said, Absolutely! I’m going to talk about Everyday Joy on January 16!