Life is full of adventures. (And I must preface this with the reality that I speak from a very grateful, first world perspective – life isn’t all adventure for most people in the world.) They are often unknown, new, fresh, always different with different groups of people, unexpected and exciting.
But, did you know that there are some pretty uncomfortable moments on every adventure out there? From rock climbing trips to day hikes, from flying to places with brand new communities of people to being out in the backcountry with your friends, there are always minutes, hours, days that are tough. Mikey and I (and many others in the outdoor community) have a name for these types of ups and downs on adventures: Type I and Type II fun. Type I fun is the kind of fun that’s amazing, smile-inducing, and adrenaline pumping just in the very nature of it. Example? Crushing a rapid and making it out alive. It’s an amazing feeling! You know the environment is safe and you’re excited to go for it.
Okay – that might just be me. That or Disneyland. Yes, Disneyland! It’s so fun and you’re happy and undeniably having a blast. 😉
…but then there’s Type II fun. This is the kind of experience where you might be: scared, uncomfortable, in some pain, nervous, or wrapped up in some level of fear that results in a great story, good memories, and times of growth. Kindal’s recent 50K race? Type II fun, you better believe it. 😉 Case in point? Going on a trip with strangers in the wilderness while sleeping on sand under the stars night after night, slightly uncomfortable but learning to embrace it as you go. That’s exactly what happens on our Survive & Thrive expeditions – people come to totally unknown environments, join Mikey and I for crazy adventures, and there are some tough moments along the way. Lots of discomfort, but not pain. Unknown moments that later result in wonderful memories and most definitely growth and change.
But the other day, I was talking with a client about how new training can be for people and I realized that Type I and Type II fun exists in other realms separate from the outdoor world too. When people begin working out, everything is new – the environment (gyms can be intimidating! new!), the routine (waking up early, coming to the gym after work), the corresponding lifestyle (making different choices in the kitchen, with friends). While there are moments of success and type I victories and fun, there are also definitely moments of discomfort and pain.
I really think that one of the keys to doing well with your fitness goals is to embrace type II “fun.” It’s not always going to be comfortable, and in fact, one of most uttered phrases is “Get comfortable in the uncomfortable,” because if you don’t embrace the discomfort, your body simply will not change. If it was easy, we would all be fit and have the bodies we wanted! So if you want to see change, you’ve got to get okay with being pushed out of your comfort zone, especially if I’m your personal trainer. 😉 Now there is a big difference between discomfort and pain, and being able to push through discomfort (NOT a pain zone) is important. In no way do I advocate “no pain, no gain,” and I always defer to my clients’ knowledge of their own bodies and levels of pain – YOU know your body best. But I’m there to help you do things you can’t, like starting an exercise program and insisting you “just aren’t a gym person.”
That’s right – Mikey is working out! His thesis is done he’s ready to bring some change to his body and energy levels! (side note: I could NOT be more proud of him!) I’m there to help push you to do things you aren’t really sure that you can do, that put you in the realm of type II fun but that you love me for afterwards. 😉
Do you put yourself in situations to experience type II fun often in your life? Do you embrace it in the gym, but not in your day to day life? Or the other way around?
I would actually go as far as to say that if you learn how to embrace type II fun, it not only helps you achieve your fitness goals, but makes you a better and stronger person in life. But that’s a whole other post entirely. 😉
(the early days – tired, loving the work we’re doing, and helping people get comfortable in the uncomfortable in cabins on remote islands, in sandy sleeping bags under the stars, in rafts with soon-to-be-friends)
Live well & be well! …and get AFTER it – in and outside the gym.