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The three types of fun

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

It's said that there are three types of "fun".  There are some more details here, but

  • Type 1 Fun is fun while it’s happening
  • Type 2 Fun is not particularly enjoyable at the time, but rewarding after the fact
  • Type 3 Fun is not fun at the time, nor will it ever be. The experiences that encapsulate the premise of Type 3 Fun represent a net loss for your time and energy invested in the enterprise. You’ll finish these experiences with the ardent desire that they never happened

 

Anybody have some good stories of "Type 3 fun" that they're willing to share?

 

I think the closest I've come to "type 3 fun" was a couple years ago hiking the North Tripyramid Slide in New Hampshire.  The NTS rises about 1300 vertical feet in 0.5 miles.  You don't need any special gear other than standard Vibram soled hiking boots, but there is very little in the way of handholds or places to rest with your feet on anything approaching level ground.  i.e., it's a long friction climb.  Portions are covered in loose small rock which the hikers ahead of you periodically dislodge.  You're not really in mortal danger, although it feels like you are (it's arrow straight, so looking down or back provides the impression that you're "up there").

 

I haven't met anybody who has hiked the NTS who hasn't admitted to being scared at some point on it.  I admit to being reduced to tears on it.  It is both one of the most memorable hikes I've ever done and the one that I have absolutely no interest in ever doing again.  It also provided one of those "life experiences" that I wouldn't trade for anything.  I'm glad I did it even though it was absolutely not "fun".

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

It's said that there are three types of "fun".  There are some more details here, but

  • Type 1 Fun is fun while it’s happening
  • Type 2 Fun is not particularly enjoyable at the time, but rewarding after the fact
  • Type 3 Fun is not fun at the time, nor will it ever be. The experiences that encapsulate the premise of Type 3 Fun represent a net loss for your time and energy invested in the enterprise. You’ll finish these experiences with the ardent desire that they never happened

 

.......  It also provided one of those "life experiences" that I wouldn't trade for anything.  I'm glad I did it even though it was absolutely not "fun".

Sooo ....  sounds like type 2, not type 3??  OK. maybe 2.63

post #3 of 18

No if you're happy to talk about it it was still Type 2 fun.  The guide I know who uses it most describes it as" stuff that is pretty much a pain in the arse at the time but gives you a great story to talk about in the future".  Funnily a lot of his trips turn into Type 2 fun and none of his customers seem to care.  I'd reserve Type 3 for the seriously bad - people on your trip get killed or maimed etc. 

post #4 of 18

In the ten years that I spent windsurfing (or trying to...), I had a total of two minutes of enjoyment.  I consider that Type 3, even though nobody died.

post #5 of 18

Next time I'm lying twisted and broken after a hard fall skiing or mountain biking I'm going to shout 'I'm having Type 3 Fun!'

post #6 of 18

I did the Minturn Mile side/back-country route from Vail’s inbounds Game Creek bowl to the town of Minturn this past Feb.  Three miles, 2000’ vertical.  The first half mile is a nice blue/black hillside, the final 2.5 is mostly runout in slushy, dirty shape on the day I skied.  I got three college age kids to agree to let me follow them.  The leader was a girl who went like a bat out of hell.  I kept up and even helped one of the others retrieve a dropped ski pole, but by the end I was dripping in sweat.  I would rate the experience about half way between your fun types two and three.  Gives me a story, but probably not worth repeating unless someone like Kevin is with me who promises to buy me a bunch of food and drinks in the saloon afterward;)

 

 

I skied Breck Peak 6 terrain Elysian Fields with Fatbob one day in low visibility snow-day conditions.  That was kind of a 2.5 experience too, but then we got a little lower on the mtn and it went to definite type 1!:jedi: 

post #7 of 18

I've had several type 2 funs skiing and one memorable type 2 backpacking in Yosemite.  When I say in Yosemite I mean sort of in Yosemite as we became separated from the trail we thought we were on and when we finally realized it made the bad decision to continue following the river we had been following.  After a couple of days we tried to climb up, over and out of the ever narrowing canyon we were trapped in.  No dice. We were lucky to get back to the canyon floor without injury.  After a while we had no choice but to hike in the river as the ground around it was too rugged.  At the end of day 3 We ended up somewhere in the Hetch Hetchy wilderness and back on some trails that lead back into the park.

 

My only real type 3 fun was a point to point sailing race off the coast of southern California.  I remember being on the foredeck of a small 24' boat in the middle of a very dark night, trying to reef the jib in about 35 knots of wind.  The deck was completely awash the entire time while waves randomly slapped me around.  Being a small boat beating into strong winds and high seas we made little progress and once the gale blew itself out around dawn we found ourselves in a dead calm outside of San Clemente Island with a long way to go to get to San Diego.  We were also wet, tired and DFL.  Ain't sailing fun!

post #8 of 18

I guess I'm having a hard time agreeing that Type 3 is a category of fun, where there is nothing remotely fun about it.

 

On a somewhat related note, I've had plenty of great ski trips where the actual ski trip itself was the least fun part of it when compared to the expectation leading up to it and the great memories afterwards.  For example,

 

August - December: Plan, organize, day-dream, repeat ad nauseum...

 

January/February/March: Ski Trip

 

April - Death: Reminisce

 

The ski trip itself, though great, doesn't hold a candle to the excitement leading up to the trip and the lifetime of remembering back to all the fun that was had (while weeding out all the mundane events that occur while actually doing the thing).

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

Sooo ....  sounds like type 2, not type 3??  OK. maybe 2.63

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

No if you're happy to talk about it it was still Type 2 fun.  The guide I know who uses it most describes it as" stuff that is pretty much a pain in the arse at the time but gives you a great story to talk about in the future".  Funnily a lot of his trips turn into Type 2 fun and none of his customers seem to care.  I'd reserve Type 3 for the seriously bad - people on your trip get killed or maimed etc. 

 

I'm not sure what exactly rates as "type 3" fun outside of somebody dying which seems to be a little extreme in terms of the definition and a thread kiler.  You could argue that Shackleton's Antarctica adventures qualify as "type 2" fun as it provided Shackleton himself a reward -- he achieved the everlasting fame that he craved in the first place.  I doubt he'd agree with you.

 

Maybe we need a "type 2.5" definition.  Fun to plan, absolutely no fun whatsoever in the execution.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
I skied Breck Peak 6 terrain Elysian Fields with Fatbob one day in low visibility snow-day conditions.  That was kind of a 2.5 experience too, but then we got a little lower on the mtn and it went to definite type 1!jk.gif  

No way the zero vis stuff was still solid type 1 for Scotland.
post #11 of 18

This is as close to your Level 3 I can remember. 

 

5th and last day of hang gliding lessons with a solo flight off of the top. All is well and good till I flared out to land, a thermal developed directly under me (a dust devil). The thing shot me up what seemed like 100' and dropped me out sideways going pretty much straight down. Pushed the control bar as far away as I could to try and get lift and start flying again. Only missed by this much. Came in parallel to the ground going way faster than I could ever run and augured in, in a truly grand style. The frame was bent, the wing was ripped, and I was bleeding from half a dozen places. Drove the frame of my glasses into the bridge of my nose and pretty much looked like an extra from The Walking Dead.

 

The story actually ends well. Had a date with a really cute young lady that night and showed up at her door with most of the bleeding stopped and the wounds pretty well scabbed over. We were married 8 months later, and she is still my bride. Think this was kind of a 'better or worse' test.

 

Seriously thought I might die doing that one. Never went hang gliding again, that was a promise kept. 

 

Pretty much anything else would have involved animals that were interested in eating me.

post #12 of 18

Me and a buddy backpacked up Mt Katahdin in July of 1984. I was 21.

 

We drove from North Jersey to Baxter State Park in my 1 month old Honda Civic CRX (loved that car) in a straight shot, and crashed in a lean-to for the night. The next morning at approximately 8:30am we shouldered our 60+lb packs, and started up the Hunt Trail; 5.2mi, 4188ft elevation gain. The skies were overcast, with light sprinkles throughout the day. I was in decent shape at the time; running 40-50 miles a week, and probably the lightest I've been in my adult(ish) life at 125lbs, but with a 60+lb pack, it was a slog.

 

The hike was grueling, and the official state bird of Maine (the black fly) was well represented. We broke several times, and might even have camped half-way if the forest had not been so dense, and the slope of the trail not so steep. Instead we plodded on towards our summit objective. We arrived at what I think is called the Tableland Traverse sometime between 5 and 6pm, and set up camp; planning on hiking the Knife Edge Trail to the summit in the morning.

 

Part of the reason for the excessive weight of our packs, was my buddy's and mine insistence on each bringing our own tents. My buddy had a Eureka Timberline, and I a Eureka Alpine Meadows; sturdy and reliable backpacking tents, if not the lightest. As we sought to find purchase for our tent stakes in the scrub grass and rock, we felt the weather changing as high pressure pushed in, clearing the cloud cover, and making way for what stands out as the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen in the Northeast. Once camp was set, we began preparing the evening feast; for me, it was spinach fettuccini with white clam sauce. My buddy probably had something equally elaborate, since we both packed enough for a small family, and saw no reason to combine resources. At this elevation, probably 1000 feet above tree-line, we would have no campfire, and relied on our stoves (both had brought our own) for cooking, and our sleeping bags for warmth. The temperature had dropped with the arriving high pressure, and we turned in shortly after dark, which probably would have been after 9pm at that time of year, as the wind started picking up.

 

I remember not being able to sleep very well as the wind buffeted my tent. I was exhausted, but the wind was relentless, and created a cacophony of nylon flapping which made sleeping all but impossible. After a while I gave up trying, and just hoped for an early dawn. It was probably only minutes after reaching that acceptance that my buddy came to the door of my tent, half naked, with his tent, and whatever else he could tackle before it blew off the mountain bundled in his arms. "Holy shit dude, the wind blew my f'ing tent down, and almost took it off the mountain before I tackled it! Can I sleep in your tent?" "Sure" I said, thinking having both of us in my tent might keep it from suffering the same fate as his. He unraveled his bundle, took a quick inventory, and settled in. The settling didn't last very long.

 

Within a half hour, one of the side support poles of my tent was bent to the point of breaking, and while Jeff tried to support it with his body, it became clear that we and our equipment weren't going to fare well if we continued on this course. It was at this time that Jeff and I decided to break camp, before it was broken for us. We gathered our gear under the moonlight, with some assistance from a waterproof Tekna Light, and a disposable flashlight that one of us had brought along "just in case". By midnight, we were ready to begin our descent, at least to tree-line, where we planned to spend the remainder of the night.

 

If any of you have ever hiked Katahdin, or the Hunt Trail, you might be familiar with the boulder field above tree-line. Suffice to say, this really isn't a place that you want to be fumbling through by penlight. There were probably better lighting kits available at the time, but this was still decades before high-intensity LEDs, conveniently strapped to your head. I made do by clamping the end of the Tekna light in my teeth, especially for backwards stepping down steep boulder faces, and tried to preserve my batteries for as long as possible. The disposable flashlight was dead within an hour, and we still had a way to go to reach tree-line. Jeff and I took turns spotting each other with the Tekna light, and eventually we reached the shelter of the trees.   

 

We soon realized that it was going to be next to impossible to find a flat spot to lay down, let alone set up a tent. It had probably taken us 4+ hours to reach our current spot, and as we contemplated our situation, we noticed some lightening in the sky with the approach of dawn. After chowing down some peanut butter and honey on 12 grain bread, we made our minds up to go for the car.

 

The remainder of the hike is very fuzzy in my memory. I remember it seemed endless, and surreal, with birds chirping in the early morning hours, and Jeff and I expecting at any moment to be charged by a bull moose, with nowhere to escape due to the narrow trail, and dense forest on either side. We made it back to the car and lean-to without further incident, and decided we'd had enough of Katahdin and Baxter. We loaded the car and drove to the first motel we could find, which was still probably 90 minutes away. We arrived just after check-in/out, and passed out almost immediately.

 

We woke up somewhere around 5pm, and took inventory. It turned out that the motel had a restaurant attached to it, that happened to specialize in seafood. (I know, right? In Maine of all places; what are the chances?) I can't remember what I had for an entrée, but I do remember having the best damn New England clam chowder of my life! Then I remember beer, then in-room HBO, then watching Bill Cosby: Himself before passing out again.

 

The next day we drove to Bar Harbor, and spent the remainder of the week day hiking around Acadia, car camping, drinking, and eating seafood. Definitely stands out as the most memorable vacation of my life, and the hike and failure to summit Katahdin as my number 1 type 3 fun experience. Number 1 type 2 fun; climbing Haleakala on Maui on my mountain bike. Number 1 type 1 fun; a tie between descending Haleakala on my mountain bike, and taking 2nd place over-all on qualifying day for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge at Killington in '96 or '97. (got sat down in the first round of duals on day 2).

post #13 of 18

My type 3 moment also took place in the Presidentials.

 

I had skied down a chute to the South of Airplane Gully with my brother. My pack was at the top because the conditions and number of people descending didn't merit carrying avi gear; it was late spring skiing with very stable snow. I was teleing back then and the ski down was steep, challenging and type 1 fun. I started to climb back up and the bills on the boots made toeing in difficult. With my skis and poles in one hand I felt very exposed with the poor footing. My brother down hiked, took my skis and poles and I then made it up on all fours. I was gripped until I got rid of the skis, then I was just frightened. We continued to Airplane and some more comfortable terrain for hiking in teles.

post #14 of 18

I think the 'fun' part of type 3 is that we were there in the first place with the anticipation of fun but the actual execution resulted in tension/terror/discomfort that brought the recreation into the realm of (at least perceived) survival. Perhaps it is fun gone serious/bad.

 

I was going to mention my broken back experience, but I look back fondly on everything that lead up to and followed the accident that it is type 2. Both type 2 and type 3 are learning experiences whereas type 1 is shear joy. 

 

Edit: added:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/74102/list-your-ski-injuries/90#post_1903614 for the story of my back and perhaps an understanding of why it was type 2 in the end even if for a few days it might have seemed like type 3

post #15 of 18

Remember, even type 3 starts with the expectation of type 1. 

post #16 of 18

I've been aware of Type 1, 2, 3 fun for a long time.  And I vaguely remember an article elaborating on type 2.5 fun.

Fortunately, I don't have anything above a weak 2 in my personal history.

 

Does anybody know where or when it originated?

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

 

 

Does anybody know where or when it originated?

From a Type A person.

post #18 of 18

There are multiple references to the three types of fun.

I like lists of three.  Three is a very good number.

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