Throwback Thursday: Do You Want a Tetris Life or Super Mario Brothers?

Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from February 10, 2016 “Do You Want a Tetris Life or Super Mario Brothers?” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

I was surprised by the number of people who responded in comments and on twitter that they read my blog NOT for judo but for the general rambling on life.

So … just for you all … here is what I have been pondering lately (and it even somewhat relates to fitness).

When I look at computer games (bear with me, this has a point), they can pretty much be divided into Tetris and Super Mario Brothers.

Tetris is a game that you cannot win. It just gets harder and then you lose. The end.

It sounds like it sucks when you put it that way but it is very popular. People like a challenge and they like to see how far they can get.

On the other hand, you have games like Super Mario Brothers series, which are possible to win. You win each level and, woo-hoo, you’re done. Then, if you like, you can start all over and play again.

I realized lately that in my personal life as far as physical fitness, I have moved from a Tetris person to a Super Mario Brothers one, and that’s perfectly okay.

One day, I was working at my desk and I realized I’m starting to get those flabby grandma arms. I had been working on this latest game for months, plus writing three grant proposals and I just was getting out of shape.

At first, I thought I would start with doing 10 push-ups and then add one more every day. By the time I got to 25, though, I asked myself,

What is the point of me being able to do 300 push-ups?


It’s the same question I ask myself when I see someone doing a 100 mile race or a triathlon. It just doesn’t look very fun to me. I understand that for many people the point is to challenge your body, push yourself.

When I competed in judo, I had a great time doing it. I really enjoyed the actual physical activity of judo. I loved matwork. I didn’t mind throwing drills. I loved randori.

When I watch someone coming in all blistered from the sun and sea water after swimming 60 miles or something crazy like that, it just doesn’t look like a good time to me.

I’m at the age where I don’t think things need to get harder and harder every day. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if some things got easier. So, when I got to 25 push-ups, I stopped at that. I do 25 push-ups every morning now. Sometimes I might do 26 or 27 if I feel like it, but that’s it.


I’m 57 years old and I can lift up a 40-pound grandchild in each arm.

Woo-hoo, I win at life.

All that talk of games make you want to play one?

Check out 7 Generation Games. Fun, and they make you smarter!

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