My friends and I are admittedly weird. We like to do distance running, running at high altitude, and training for marathons. What makes us weird is that we call these types of activities "fun", but we like to use the term "Type Two Fun". For example: Running the Mount Evans Ascent is Type Two Fun. Getting up at 5am to do a long training run for a marathon is Type Two Fun. Climbing the Manitou Incline is Type Two Fun. You get the picture? Type Two fun is the kind of fun that's not fun in the moment. It’s the kind of fun that exists in nervous excitement and hard earned accomplishment. It’s the kind of fun that hurts so good.
Having this label that includes the word fun helps, at least for me. It anchors me in my sense of choice...signing up for type two fun activities is purely elective. It anchors me in meaning and values...I know I will be proud of myself for persevering. It anchors me in creating and holding space for pain...pain is part of the deal of this kind of fun and not something to be avoided or denied.
But I’ve started thinking "what if I generalized this concept?" What if I applied it to work or relationships? How much more tolerable would life be if I remember that I'm empowered to make choices, follow values, and embrace some pain in other areas of my life?
Calling something Type Two Fun doesn’t flatten a steep inclined trail or push my alarm back to 8am instead of 5am. It won't write that report, alleviate rush hour traffic, erase that misunderstanding with your partner, or make potty training your child easy. But it can create space and might be worth a try.