Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pain to Pleasure Ratio

I recently spent many hours in planes, airports and cars to go kite for a couple of days. I've been thinking about the ratio of "travel time" to "fun time". So I asked the kids this morning for their opinions: how many hours and how much effort is justified for a few hours of fun?

No easy answers but a good discussion... We concluded that it depends on how special the fun is. For example, some people will train for months and spend millions of dollars to go to space for a few hours. But going into space is obviously VERY special. The other factor is the nature of the effort. For example, C trained for months to climb Mount Whitney (a 16 hour ordeal). But the months of training were part of the experience, a net positive, as opposed to being stuck in planes and airports, which is obviously a huge pain.

We also spoke about the risk that all the effort might be wasted, such as when there is no wind in a kiting trip or bad weather in a climbing expedition. The same principle applies: if the end goal is really worthwhile it is worth the risk.

I asked the boys to think of something special they would be willing to spend a lot of time on planes to do. N said going to Yosemite. Then Cabarete. P said snowboarding. A said doing an awesome free climb.

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