I assumed fun is all the same. Fun is fun. But then, when I first heard about Type I and Type II fun, I had to admit there was some validity in there being different types of fun.
Type 1 fun is like eating ice cream, or skiing with ski lifts to whisk you back up to the top — you love it while you’re doing it, and when you think back on it you remember how good it was. Straightforward— sounds like fun.
Type 2 fun, on the other hand, is the sort of enjoyment you get from something like running a marathon or climibing a mountain. You often have to admit that it wasn’t necessarily all fun at the time. In fact, it could have been quite hard and might have hurt a bit (like the swimrun event I did last weekend). But when you look back on it, you think of it as often more fun and fulfilling than the Type I fun.
Type 3 fun is usually type 1 or 2 fun that went wrong. Though it was supposed to be fun, things actually got a little hairy – like you got lost, or it got dark, and it got cold, or you had to be rescued — but…it sure makes a great story when you make it back.
HT: my brother shared this with me having learned it from his mountain guide doing classic Type II fun.