The Fun Scale, or Three Levels of Fun concept has been around the outside community for a long time. I first heard about the three levels of fun on The Dirtbag Diaries.
Level One Fun
Just a fun activity, you are having a good time doing it, no worries, like skiing, or running in the mountains. Just a cool day in the outdoors, normal fun stuff.
Having fun at the Black Hills 100K
Level Two Fun
Level Two Fun is being over your head and miserable. It really sucks being in the middle of it, but once it’s over (and didn’t turn into Level 3 Fun) it turns into a good story to be told. You kind of forget how badly it sucked.
My finish of the Wild Oak Trail 108 miler would be a good definition of Level Two Fun. An excerpt from my blog when the fun was Level Two teetering toward Level Three:
“Of course, I am getting colder and colder. I slip chemical handwarmers into my gloves, as I can’t feel my thumbs. But now my thighs are getting cold. My thighs never get cold, I can feel the cold on the outside. I’m getting genuinely concerned for my well being.”
“Everything hurt, mostly due I believe, to the calorie deficit, and the tense body contracted against the cold. I was so punch drunk from the sleep deprivation. I felt awful.”
But spoiler alert, Level Two Fun led to this..eventually: ” I felt more beat up mentally than physically. Jill mentioned “it was all between my ears” and perhaps, 95% of this event was for me. I’ve had several private mental reviews of the weekend so far. It’s amazing what you can do and what you perceive you CANNOT do. “
Level Three Fun
It’s not fun when it’s happening, you still aren’t laughing about it afterwards, and it’s still miserable to discuss. Level Three fun could possibly involve search and rescue, or becoming the subject for a case study. You don’t want to go there!
You think you can’t encounter Level Three Fun in your backyard? Think again. My Type Three Fun happened in my local state park:
“The mud on the trail was shoe sucking awful, so I decided to go off-piste. I follow a creek bed downhill. But my path is short lived, as the creek goes off a precipice.
I scrambled around the drop off and crawl back up the creek bank. This is fun until some logs are blocking the creek, and I have to hike through the greenery beside the creek.
I’m hiking through these plants, and realize my legs are on fire with little tiny stinging bites-all over! I realize I am covered in tiny bites! It feels like I am being bit by tiny bugs over and over again! It hurts enough that I want to cry!
Multi Flora Rose
I go up in the woods to escape the nettles. Now I am running into multi flora rose. This is where it all starts going south. I run into groves of multi flora rose bushes. Multi-flora rose is an invasive species, a perennial shrub. It can grown into impenetrable walls. Ask me. I tried to go through them.
I would follow a deer trail, which would then go through a thicket. Then I would try to find another way. I was frustrated and irritated. I was lost, yet I wasn’t. I was between the lake and the bridle trail. I was trying to get back to the trail, mud or not!! It was truly hideous. I was so irritated at myself, for getting stuck in this mess, for not bringing the compass (if I had the compass I could at least tell if I was wandering in circles). I tried to pretend this was good training for Barkley, good heat training. My legs were getting shredded. I had blood all over my legs.
I finally made it back to my vehicle. The legs are still warm and inflamed. It’s lucky I’m still on an antibiotic due to my teeth!”
That my friends, is Level Three Fun. It is now amusing to reread, a few years later, but it was never fun.
Do you have any Level Three Fun you are willing to share?