May 25, 2017

Fun. Its something we all talk about and everyone claims to have, but I think enjoyment is too broad to talk about with just a single three-letter word. I like to think that fun for me involves four key elements; danger and suffering, friends and goals. The proportions of which determine which kind of fun we’re having. Type 1 fun is high in friends and low in the other three elements. Dinner parties, road trips and concerts; all low in danger and suffering but high in friends. These activities are the type 1 anyone can enjoy. Turn up the suffering and goals and you get into a rarer type of fun. Type 2 fun involves setting a goal knowing that it will take some pain and suffering to achieve, but some part of the adventure will be a great time. Long approaches and early starts to summit a mountain, with great skiing on the way down. Hiking heavy packs miles and miles to enjoy a few sends on a highline or digging snow for days on end to create insanely fun backcountry jumps that you only get to hit a few times. These are type 2 fun activities, the enjoyable goals make the pain and suffering worth it. You look back on the adventure and you really only remember the great times, the suffering seems out of focus. Crank up that suffering and danger and we’re talking type 3 fun. Spending weeks in a tent trying to summit a huge peak for mere moments of good views, of which you’ll certainly be in no shape to enjoy. Days of sleepless, food-less slogs through unmapped jungles during an adventure race. These are the adventures people embark on just to prove to themselves they could. You truly enjoy yourself for very few, if any moments at all. These adventures only brings pleasure in memories. Looking back at self-induced, goal-driven misery brings confidence, pride and accomplishment; all enjoyable feelings. These feelings might not set in for weeks, months or even years, but like a wise old man reminiscing about the things that shaped his character in his youth, he remembers the suffering with great fondness. A respect for the adventures that really teach us about ourselves. Those type 3 adventures, god bless em’.

Go get yourself some new types of fun.

Ari is a professional athlete, author and filmmaker living in Bend Oregon. He and his wife organize adventure travel trips around the globe.

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