Tis the season for Type Two Fun
Posted on 2nd December 2021 at 14:47
It’s been two weeks since I ran the Wolds way, the aches and pains are gone, and I’ve started running again, my “recovery” calories excuse is starting to wear a bit thin and I’m having to drive past various fast food chains, bakeries and other establishments of fine gourmet food and console myself that perhaps the ten thousand calories I expended on that long distance run have been more than made up for by now, and also.... pitching up a tent outside a drive through and insisting they bring out seasonal specials on the hour isn’t normal behaviour.
Whilst returning to my healthier meals of rice and various vegetables I resumed reading Damian Halls excellent book ‘In it for the Long Run’, and a few chapters in I came across the phrase “Type two fun”.
I’ve not looked for an explanation in the book, because I think I get it. For those who haven’t come across Type One and Type Two processes allow me to amateurishly explain.
Phycologist Daniel Kahneman along with his colleagues Amos Tversky and others, won the Nobel prize in economics in 2002 for his work in the development of prospect theory, a mathematical concept which explains human behaviour in light of loss aversion and skewered judgement calculations.
Expanding on this work in 2011, he released a fascinating book, ‘thinking fast, thinking slow’. It’s these later phrases which explain Type one and Type two thinking and behaviour.
Type one is the fast automatic system, the first and immediate response to stimuli which causes a chain reaction to hopefully keep us safe and away from danger. Type one brain processes have been invaluable throughout human history, when walking across the plains searching for prey, the Lions roar would have activated the fight or flight response necessary to help us get the hell out of dodge.
But it might also be the system activated quickly when we need to plan ahead and don’t want to think about it in too much depth, such as when deciding what to get someone for Christmas, expending energy going through the things they like and considering what they might have already seems too much effort compared to just giving them that spare bottle of champagne that someone gave you last Christmas (which may or may not have come from the person you’re about to give it to).
Type two is a slower process, more drawn out, it’s thanks to type two processes that we built society’s, passed on knowledge, planned forward and eventually created the modern world.
This over simplified explanation forms the basis of our understanding of many aspects of human behaviour, and if you’d like to learn more, I recommend the extraordinary podcast by Mentalist Derren Brown available on Amazon Prime called Bootcamp for the Brain
Type One thinking is easy, it’s often about instant gratification, the unintended and impulsive purchase of a cream cake in the supermarket shop, relies on type one sales placement.
To better explain these two processes consider the following example, you have two options this coming Friday evening, you can stay at home and watch the finale of a series on Disney Plus, as recommended to you by your favourite Personal Trainer from Hull ( Dopesick, you can thank me later ;) ).
Or you can go visit an elderly relative you haven’t seen for a while. You, know that they make rubbish tea, and that the conversation might be a little more toned down than your usual friend’s banter, and it also means a long drive across town in rush hour traffic.
You opt for the latter, and it turns out you have a lovely evening, you rarely get to see this relative, and when you arrive other people you haven’t seen for a while are also there. You spend a long evening catching up, laughing, and begrudgingly drinking the rubbish tea (why so much milk?).
A few months later, the relative in question dies, and for the rest of your life, you have this special memory to cherish, long after any memory of that final episode of the drama you were going to watch instead has vanished.
Type Two activities are not necessarily the things you want to do, but they are often the things you’ll remember most fondly.
When people ask me why I run these crazy events, in all kinds of bad weather, I wish I could explain more succinctly how I felt whilst running in the middle of hilly countryside at night-time with a headtorch on, the houselights visible for miles around, and whilst people watched my dot during the race, with a warm hot chocolate and the fire blazing, perhaps feeling sorry for me out in the rain, I wish I could explain how much I would want to share this breath-taking and beautiful experience with more people.
Although to be fair, sometimes type two fun isn't even fun at the time, the phrase is often ironic, it's fun when you think back on it but at the time it feels almost traumatic. Like the time my wife and I climbed Kinder Scout on the one day in summer when blizzard conditions forced us to nearly get blown of the top, I love thinking about that experience, but at the time it didn't not feel like fun at all.
The memories from these events will stay with me for a lifetime, whilst perhaps many reading this cant even remember what they were doing on the same evening I ran a few weeks back.
As Christmas approaches, I hope you take the opportunity wherever it presents itself to have type two fun, visit people, go for walks no matter the weather, play boardgames with family and perhaps even sign up for something that might challenge you in 2022.
I’ll personally be enjoying lots of type one fun also, could mince pies count as recovery calories?
Tagged as: diet, exercise, Exercise Hull, fitness hull, gym hull, nutrition, personal trainer, Personal Trainer Hull
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