Decades ago, George Plimpton became famous as a "participatory journalist," documenting what it was like to spar with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, train as a backup quarterback for the Detroit Lions or get in the goal at a preseason game for the Boston Bruins.

Today, Minnesota has its own athletic everyman willing to try outside adventures for the first time.

Chance York is the star of a new online series "Outside Chance." Produced by Twin Cities PBS, the series has York trying everything from snowkiting to logrolling to taking a dip in Lake Superior — in the middle of winter.

The show is the brainchild of two Twin Cities PBS producers, Ryan Klabunde and Luke Heikkila, who wanted to create an outdoors show that breaks out of the mold of a guy in a flannel shirt with a hunting dog.

They found a different kind of host in York, a 39-year-old Bloomington resident. York has had a successful career as a rapper and an emcee, but he's also a yoga instructor, teaches meditation and has done wellness consulting with the YMCA.

In the show, York and his producers are demonstrating that outdoor activities can and should be accessible to a more diverse community.

Many of the experts featured are people of color, including Black mountain biker Gunnar Carlson, Hmong fishing coach Xao Xiong and Janel Rieger, an expert rock climber and the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

"I think there are a lot of people of color outside doing things," York said.

And in York, the show has a charismatic, enthusiastic action hero who is game to be a serial beginner, willing to do anything the producers throw at him.

"I'm confident in my body, my health and my physicality," York said. "I make sucking look good."

Klabunde would say York is selling himself short.

"He's good at stuff," said Klabunde, who recently surprised York with a high-wheel "penny-farthing" bicycle. "This dude hopped right on it and rode off like was nothing," Klabunde said.

In one episode of the series, York puts on a wetsuit and goes swimming in the winter in Lake Superior near Split Rock lighthouse to try out wave photography with photographer Christian Dalbec.

"It's refreshing!" York announces as he gets in the 35-degree water. "It's cold, but I'm not like panic mode or anything. My lips feel a little frozen."

When he goes rock climbing with Rieger at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, he admits he's a little bit afraid of heights. Yet he scales a cliff wall.

"I feel strong, I feel capable, confident, still scared of heights, but a little less," York said.

A kite drags him through the snow on a frozen White Bear Lake when he attempts snowkiting.

"It feels like riding a wild animal," he said. "When nature takes control, it is a force."

He wasn't even sure what geocaching was when he tried that.

"I thought it was rock collecting," he said.

When he goes mountain biking with Carlson, president of Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, he takes a minor spill, but he gets back up on the bike and successfully negotiates the obstacle on the path.

"The bad shots make for good blooper reels," York said while shooting an episode recently of him golfing at Hiawatha Golf Club in Minneapolis. "They love the blooper reels in the show. I crashed the mountain bike, and they said that's going in the first five seconds of the intro."

There are eight episodes of the show currently available for viewing at and on YouTube. Each episode is short — eight to 12 minutes long — but you can expect lots of tightly edited action shots filmed with drones and GoPro cameras.

In addition to learning a new sport, York typically provides viewers with the history of the sport or the background of the outdoor recreation area he's visiting. And he does it all with a lighthearted irreverence you might not expect in a typical outdoors show.

"We're just trying to bring a newness," York said.

When he's about to bushwhack off trail in the geocaching episode, he tells the camera, "We're leaving the beaten path. If I see any Bigfoots or aliens, this will be my final account."

His GPS app leads him to an improbable geocache location: What looks like an ATM card reader and keypad hidden in the middle of the woods.

"I've seen a lot of credit scams, but this one is the most elaborate," York deadpans.

In addition to the levity, he manages to add the sort of thoughtful perspective of someone who is taking a class on mindfulness-based stress reduction at the University of Minnesota.

When he was golfing, he talked about learning with a "beginner's mind."

"Sometimes you have to come back to a beginner's mind and meet yourself where you're at," he said.

When he's getting into freezing water, he says, "Remember, don't let your comfort zone be a cage. Life is meant to be experienced."

The challenge of balancing on a floating log is "simple, but not easy."

"I use that to describe a lot of things in my life," York said. "Without struggle, there is no growth, right?"

But then there's that moment when it all comes together, and York is skimming across a frozen lake, riding the wind.

"Once everything aligns, it's a pretty awesome feeling of freedom and bliss," he said.

The second season of eight new episodes of "Outside Chance" is currently in production and will be available for viewing online in March or April. You can expect to see York try his hand at golf, wilderness canoeing, disc golfing, fly fishing, kayaking and sailing.