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This Is How I Play #3 - QM Tag

Game: This next game is called QM (Quadrupedal Movement) Tag. It's a popular variation on regular tag, except you have to stay on all fours the entire time. These game is a lot of fun, but also is quite the workout as it encourages some mad scrambles to get away.

Rules: The rules are pretty simple. Usually I designate a specific area the players must stay in. This keeps the game fast and intense, and prevents people from spreading out too far. In order to tag someone, you must tag their elbows. This makes it a bit more difficult to tag other players. Goal: For the player who is “it” to tag another player's elbow.

Physical Benefits: For anyone who hasn't tried it, QM is a fantastic full body exercise. Essentially, walk around on your hands and feet with your hips and shoulders low to the ground – the lower the harder! Once you've walked around like this for a while, try doing it backwards. And then do it up and down stairs, or all around the house. Once you're comfortable with walking around like this, try to balance (not while playing tag though!) and walk on a railing or on top of a fence on all fours.

Other benefits: In addition to making you stronger, compound, full body movements like this teach your brain how to use muscles together, instead of just individually. Whenever you learn a new movement, whether it's QM, juggling, or playing piano, you are actually constructing new neural pathways in your brain. People, especially children, who stimulate their brains in new ways will continue to develop more neural pathways. These people tend to have more active, creative, and powerful brains. By learning how to move in new and creative ways, you can actually get smarter!

Observing the Pain


Flames erupted through my lower body, shooting from my calf to halfway up my back.

I'd been training pretty hard lately to get back into shape - every day at least 15 minutes of exercise, closer to an hour most days. I'd mix up the form, a little walking, jogging, hiking, swimming, or training with weights. Now I was having a masseuse in Hong Kong break up the lactic acid and knots in my muscles, and I cried out when she dug her elbow into my already tender thigh.

Focus. Focus. I read a lot of history, and greatly admire the warriors that wouldn't cry out even when wounded or being interrogated. I was just reading a story a samurai who faced torture for a day straight without crying out once.

I try to go into my head, separate the pain from myself. Like I'm sitting on top of a cliff and watching pain battle my body down in a valley below. I do roughly the same thing towards the end of a workout when things start to hurt - I don't try to tune it out. I observe it. I try to enjoy it - time is slowing down and becoming harder? That's good, it means I get to experience more time. And the hurt is proof I'm alive.

I do the same if I'm ever feeling sad - I try to reflect and appreciate the sadness. It's an emotion, it's something natural to be felt, and can be enjoyed like a bitter type of food or an acidic glass of wine. It burns a little, but acknowledging transforms it in a way. Instead of something to be fought, it can be accepted, acknowledged, and appreciated for what it is.

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