Posted by: Matt | February 11, 2009

There are many kinds of fun

There are many kinds of fun. Well, I think there are really two kinds of fun. There’s happy-go-lucky, smiles and giggles fun. And then there’s “you’ll be glad you did it when it’s over” fun. We all know happy-go-lucky fun, it shows up on sunny Saturday afternoons in the summer, often accompanied by good friends and family, perhaps with a cold beer or two. I think we all know the other kind of fun as well. Anyone who’s ever spent an afternoon on a golf course invariably knows this second type of fun.

Saw Pit Gully hike in Arrowtown

Saw Pit Gully hike in Arrowtown

Liz and I are slowly becoming masters at the “glad I did it” fun format, but it’s not something that doesn’t come without a lot of practice. Liz was a member of her high school cross-country team and road cycled competitively all through college. These are both prime training grounds for “glad I did it” fun appreciation. I’m willing to bet there’s no one that looks at a teammate during a road race and says, ” golly isn’t this lovely.”

My “glad I did it” initiation took place in the form of the Appalachian Trail after college. My hiking mates and I regularly slogged 16 miles a day with full packs over a trail that took us 6 months to complete. During the route we developed new and previously unknown methods of complaining, but I don’t know anyone that would trade the experience for anything in retrospect.

Jumping for joy at the summit of Ben Lomond

Jumping for joy at the summit of Ben Lomond

To that end Liz and I have brought our “glad I did it” fun experience to New Zealand and here we’re regularly testing it to the limit. Each of the last three days we’ve been hiking or trail running through the area surrounding Queenstown. On Sunday, Liz walloped me on a trail run around a local lake, on Monday we trudged up the highest peak in the area in the rain, and on Tuesday we hiked through a gorge near Arrowtown. All jaunts that are fun as soon as they’re over, but during the outing there are times when you say to yourself, or out loud, could be sitting by the lake right now.

Speaking of lakes….I’ve recently taken up fly-fishing. This is easily one of the best examples of a “glad I did it” activity. I’m not willing to say that I am a fly-fisherman yet, unless you count catching numerous tree limbs and rocks on a given day as a successful outing. However, I will say that I’m picking up on all the colorful phrases very quickly, which should count for something. But in the end, I always come home ready to head out for the next excursion. Hoping to catch a NZ fish before we head back stateside.

Fly Fishing south of Queenstown

Fly Fishing south of Queenstown

Once we leave Queenstown we’re going to embark on a number of multi-day tramps as well as reside out of the back of our van that is quickly approaching middle-age in people years. I think it’s already well over the hill in van-years. It should be a great series of “glad I did it” activities. We’ll keep you posted.


  1. Matt –
    You will be an awesome fly fisherman. I was in a fly fishing club in middle schools (it consisted of sitting outside and pretending to cast) — so if I could do it then you will be amazing 🙂 Glad to see you two are doing well! Miss your faces!!

  2. Liz –

    You look beautiful even while hiking Saw Pit Gully!

    But don’t get too close to Matt when he’s swingin’ that fly rod around – that could leave a mark!


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