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  • Writer's pictureErin Spineto

The Mega, the Mini, and the Micro

Not everyone wants to go on an eight-day endurance adventure. Not everyone can find the time or money. That’s where the Miniadventure and the Microadventure come in. Almost anyone can take on a Mini- or Microadventure a couple of times a year.


A Microadventure is something that takes very little advanced planning and doesn’t take a huge chunk of time. It probably doesn’t even take you away from your home, but it does wake you up from your usual routine. It usually can be prepared for and accomplished over the course of a month.

I am now two weeks into my major training block for the 2017 One Drop Caicos Adventure and I am having a hard time shifting from my pre-season mindset of training when I get a chance, to my regular training, where my workout has to be done when it is written and can’t really be put off or excused away.

But my discipline skills are weak so I have a very difficult time making this change. To fix it, I need a microadventure. This one is a bit weird, but exactly what I need.

Before Feb 28, I will put in thirty-four 42-minute sessions on the treadmill. That is nearly every day that I am not doing my long weekend paddle or ride.

Why is it 34 sessions of 42 minutes? I am in the middle of season five of my all-time favorite, totally-embarrassing TV show. So embarrassing, I’m not even going to mention the title. There are 34 episodes left from where I left off in season five, through all of season six, and the two-episode series finale.

And I really want to watch all of them. At one episode a treadmill session, it becomes a fair trade off. I use the desire to watch the next episode as a driving force to get me going since I am not allowing myself to watch any of them unless I am on the treadmill.

And the ever-present deadline keeps the stakes high and makes it so I can’t put it off until tomorrow if I am just not feeling it today. Making it a microadventure gives me a sense of purpose and increases my motivation to do it. I can’t wait to mark off each session in my One Drop App as I make progress toward my 34 sessions.

Microadventures are great for when you need a little kick in the pants to get going. They are not a huge commitment so they can be entered into on a whim. They also won’t take a major sacrifice of time or money to accomplish.

I can for sure spare 42 minutes each day to gain huge health benefits. And I have already seen the benefits in my blood sugar numbers, my momentum to get back int he workout habit, and my overall sense of well-being.


A miniadventure requires some advanced planning and training. It is something that doesn’t require time off from work and can typically be done in a weekend. It is within driving distance and doesn’t take any more money than a little gas and some food.

Both of the miniadventures I have planned for this year will go right along with the training I am already doing for the One Drop Caicos Adventure in June, but will provide a great quick getaway to keep my motivation high throughout the long training block.

In mid-May, my adventure buddy Michelle and I will be cycling to from my home in Carlsbad to my hometown of Seal Beach and then to Michelle’s hometown of Malibu over the course of two days. We will cover roughly 60 miles a day. This will be a good chance to get a feel for what my legs can handle just six weeks before Caicos and to get two days of head-clearing adventure just in time for the last five week push of school.

The other miniadventure will be a two-day paddle from Seal Beach back home in late August. This should be roughly 60 miles of paddling, with a little camping in between that I am thinking I might attempt solo. There is still much to work out in the way of details and feasibility on this one, but I like having something on the calendar to strive for after my mega adventures so the dreaded post-mega-adventure blues don’t set in.

Because of the size and scope of the Miniadventure, they are a great place to start if you are stuck in a rut and are looking to add something wild to your life. I usually like to start my planning about six months out. This gives me plenty of time to enjoy the hope of the adventure. It is this hope that motivates me to take great care of my diabetes and it brings me through the long, dark times that come with life.

Four to six months of physical training also keeps me strong and keeps my blood sugars in check. And it means that I can oftentimes do three to four of these in a year (with some overlapping of training).


A Megadventure is a multi-day long-distance event. It typically involves a good deal of travel to get to the location and brings with it the beauty of a new location you probably have never seen before. It takes about a year or more to plan and carry out the trip.

It may involve a team of people, but doesn’t have to. But because of the amount of time

and money invested, it will require a real assessment of what you will have to sacrifice to make it happen. These are the once in a lifetime, forever memory builders.

I try to do one of these each year, although some years, I have not been able to make the sacrifice. Those are the tough years for me mentally. When times get tough, I love relying on the thought that soon I will be on a wild adventure. It makes everything else so easy to take. So in the years I have had to miss a Megadventure, I have felt the loss.


If you are just beginning to think of adventure as a way to manage your diabetes, it is best to start with a Microadventure. Because they can be easy, cheap, and quick, you will find success easier. Then that first success will drive you to go bigger and take on more. it will also give you the confidence that you can adventure.

If you are already pretty adventurous, it is time to take on more. Expand your horizons. Pick something that is just beyond what you think you might be capable of. And go for it. Maybe that’s a miniadventure. Maybe that’s a Megadventure. It really doesn’t matter what you call it as long as it inspires you to take amazing care of your diabetes and makes you excited to get up and get moving.

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