I ran into several blog posts recently that recounted adventures with a slightly different perspective - one that described fun as an interaction between the plan, the action, and the story. Using this perspective, the authors were able to create fun out of misery. Anyone who has climbed, swam, run, or biked for hours know that fun ain't always fun. Some describe it as fun 2.0 or phun or even f*!@ (fun written in obscenities). Several of these aforementioned posts included this great graphic (credit http://www.ducttapethenbeer.com/three-types-of-fun/ for this image):
After careful study, I wasn't terribly clear on how the 3 types emerged from this tree diagram so I decided to render my own interpretation. Let me see if I get it right....
Type 1 fun starts with a good (perhaps great) idea/plan and turns out to be either simply fun or, oddly enough, hard but not miserable. If the plan comes off as expected and produces a good story then the experience gets labeled as Type 1 fun. Good ol' fashioned fun. We have all experienced this type of fun. Watching a funny movie, going sailing, hanging out at the beach, or some other relaxing and gratifying activity counts as Type 1 fun.
Type 2 fun begins as a bad idea (I believe) and then, when implemented, turns out to be painful or miserable. When you finish, you come away with a great story. So Type 2 Fun is not a pleasurable experience while doing it but it provides a great story - perhaps bar-room banter. Our summit day on Aconcagua probably fits with Type 2 fun. Right Brendan?
Type 3 fun begins as a bad idea, results in total misery, and, as a result, leaves a lasting lifelong and indelible mark on the individual. I suspect our trip to Argentina might be classified by my wife and son as Type 3 fun.
My climbs are typically in the Type 1 to Type 2 range. Rarely have I experienced Type 3 fun. Those exceptions include sailing in a hurricane when I was about 12 years old, getting disoriented sailing double-handed with my brother (ages 13 for me and 14 for my brother) between Newport, RI and Block Island, and the descent on Denali in 2011. All of these events were memorable in their own right and none were enjoyable. I recall all of them with vivid details as if they happened yesterday.
Type 1 and 2 fun might be fun and memorable but only the Type 3 fun leaves a lasting impression. Perhaps those experiences are the ones some of us seek out and try (unwittingly) to create. I sure hope not.
Stay tuned for my tune list.
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