According to the Fun Scale, there are three types of fun. Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3.
You may have heard the term "Type 2 fun" somewhere out in the world while you were rock climbing, skiing, hiking, or any other activity that is demanding, yet gratifying.
In a nutshell, Type 2 fun is the type of fun you're having when you're suffering in the moment, but in hindsight, thought it was fun.
Here's an example:
Our Subaru Forester was packed full of climbing gear, sleeping bags, snacks, and a tent my parents bought from Walmart 15 years ago. It was time to hit the road.
After spending the day climbing classic routes at the New River Gorge, we headed to the campground to set up for the night and make Sarah her first-ever s’mores. Everything was going great until...tropical storm at 3AM. Sounds fun right?
Turns out, we’re Type 2 Fun addicts and our soaking wet night falls smack dab in the middle of The Fun Scale.
Everybody loves fun. That’s just a simple fact of life. But if we asked our friends “what is fun?”, we’d probably get a bigger variety of answers than there are products at IKEA.
This is where The Fun Scale and the three types of fun come into play.
This Fun Scale was designed by rock climbers, for rock climbers. Whether you’re in it for the crag snacks, chossy approaches, or multi-pitches in a raging storm, there’s a place on The Fun Scale for you.
Type I Fun
Fun in the moment
You know those experiences that just feel good while it's happening? Like sitting around a campfire cracking jokes, going to a concert, or enjoying your favorite snacks under the shade of a tree?
That's Type 1 fun. It's the type of fun you have when things are going well, the weather is great, and you are having a truly enjoyable time.
We don't think there's anyone out there who doesn't like Type 1 fun, and it's the most common definition of "fun" used out there in the world.
Good food, good sex, 5.8 hand cracks, sport climbing, powder skiing. Margaritas.
Type 2 Fun
Suffer now, enjoy later.
Okay, so here's where things get a little complicated. What's the difference between Type 1 fun and Type 2 fun? Well, if Type 1 fun is the jolly good time we all know and love, Type 2 fun is when it seems awful in the moment. It's when you feel terrified on a rock climb or you get a face full of ocean while trying to learn how to surf. It's when you think, "this SUCKS" at the time, but give it a few days, or even a few hours, and you'll look back on the memory and say, "Hey, that was actually a great time."
Popular examples of Type 2 fun include backpacking, rock climbing, and really any kind of activity that involves suffering, but is in hindsight, very gratifying.
If you think it's fun to push yourself or overcome challenges, we'd say you fall into this category.
Type 3 Fun
Not fun. Now, or later.
There are times our ideas for fun don't go as planned. Unpredictable things happen, like bad weather or accidents. These are events we truly don't want to happen again, and even when we look back, really weren't fun at all.
There are however, a few Type 3 fun connoisseurs out there who can look back on these experiences and weave a great story. That's why we include Type 3 "fun" on our Fun Scale.
DO I HAVE TO BE A CLIMBER TO HAVE TYPE 2 FUN?
Absolutely not! Other examples of Type 2 Fun are things like a cross-country road trip or walking up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower for a selfie. Anybody can have Type 2 Fun. You just have to believe the mantra: suffer now, enjoy later.
Step out of your Type 1 comfort zone and go on a few good ol’ Type 2 Fun adventures. Who knows? You might just realize that waking up in a soaking wet tent turns out to be one of your favorite memories.