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The Fun Scale

Tough_Mudder_Walk_the_PlankEver since I started capturing some of our adventurous activities, I’ve been asked, “What is type 2 fun anyway?” The short answer that I give has become our motto, “It’s fun when it’s done!” Basically, it’s an activity that is not fun at the time you are doing it–but you remember it being fun. That is type 2 fun in it’s simplest form, but it can actually get rather complex, rather quickly. What is fun?  What is fun for one person is not necessarily fun for another. As you can see, it is very subjective. There are actually three types of fun. If you are not aware of this already, let me introduce you to The Fun Scale:


The Fun Scale

Type 1:  An activity that is fun while you are doing it.

Type 2: An activity that is not fun, but you remember it being fun.

Type 3: An activity that was never fun and usually involves near death experiences or conditions so horrific that your life is put into jeopardy.


Now, in my opinion, the majority of people set out in search of type 1 fun.  This is the purest form of fun and the activity is enjoyable when it’s actually happening.  People want to enjoy themselves whether it be hiking, camping, biking, running, climbing, paddling, etc.  The list goes on and on.

So, when does type 1 fun become type 2?  This usually happens when the type 1 activity has gone on too long or has become so uncomfortable or painful that you hate it.  Type 2 fun is not fun.  Normal people usually don’t set out to find type 2 fun, it just happens.  The sneaky thing about type 2 fun is that, as time passes you start to remember it as being fun — the type 1 kind.  That is a dangerous thing, as you tend to repeat the same activities that were not fun at the time.

Type 3 fun is the furthest away you can get from actually having fun.  It usually involves extremely poor planning, bad judgement, or circumstances out of your control.  The phase “don’t die, don’t die, don’t die…” is usually running through the mind of someone experiencing type 3 fun.

To help illustrate the differences between the types 1 and 2  fun, here are some examples:

Type 1: Running in a light rain in the summer
Type 2: Running in a hail storm

Type 1: Hiking in a beautiful forest
Type 2: Hiking in a beautiful forest, getting temporarily lost, and ending up doubling your planned mileage… in the cold

Type 1: Rock climbing
Type 2: Rock climbing in the dark

Type 1: Morning  jog
Type 2: Obstacle course races (and yet we keep signing up)

Type 1: Road trips
Type 2: Family road trips  🙂

Like I said before, this is all very subjective.  A lot depends on your sense of adventure and pain tolerance.  Interestingly enough, the most memorable experiences usually involve type 2 fun and are the stories that are shared  around the campfire for years to come.  The important thing is that we’re out there looking for fun.  Even type 2 fun is fun… at least we remember it being fun.

Share your type 2 experiences in the comments below!




Comments (4)

  1. […] Type 2 Fun: the kind of fun that’s moderately fun to plan, anywhere from mildly to painful to miserable while the experience is underway, and fun to talk about once you’ve safely recovered – the kind fun that builds character. Like…fieldwork. […]

  2. […] The Ragnar Trail Series at McDowell Mountain Park, Arizona, is 124 mile relay race through the beautiful desert preserve, lasting ~24 hours.  It’s hot. It’s cold. You get very little sleep.  You run amazing trails through the desert with amazing friends and have an epic adventure together!  It’s pure Type Two Fun. […]

  3. […] by the time we finally got to the condo and got a cup of hot chocolate. It most certainly was Type 2 fun; and it remains was one of my all-time favorite memories of time with […]

  4. […] training must be the purest example of Type 2 fun. It’s not fun when you’re doing it, but you remember it as fun […]

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