What It’s Really Like as a Resident Tagger on Fox’s ‘Ultimate Tag’
Remember playing tag as a kid — the rush of chasing your friends, reaching out and finally grabbing them?
CrossFit trainer Brooke Ence, 30, is feeling that exhilaration again on Fox’s new series Ultimate Tag, where the game is played on a supersize field jammed with obstacles. NFL stars and brothers JJ, TJ and Derek Watt host, and she and 17 other pros act as the competition’s resident taggers.
“We basically get in [the players’] way,” explains Ence, who earned her show nickname “The Boss” due to her entrepreneurial spirit (she created ENCEwear apparel and the workout app Naked Training). Every round features a team of taggers set to take the contenders down as they try to make it through the course without getting pinched. If caught, the players face a penalty, like having to start over from the beginning of the course. Contestants typically last up to three minutes before getting tagged, and each episode has a male and a female winner scoring $10,000.
“It’s hard!” Ence says. “Your heart rate is through the roof. It takes everything out of you.” Plus, the runners and taggers all encounter tunnels, extreme monkey bars and other impediments. “The obstacles are not made of soft material,” she adds. “You have to be able to jump and land on them, pull up, flip around at full speed — it’s brutal.”
Now that her onscreen chasing is done (the season wrapped before stay-at-home orders began), Ence, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her dog, is simply trying to get a workout in like everyone else stuck at home. Sometimes even she needs convincing to get off the couch. “I think it’s important to know that everyone struggles with motivation,” she says.
Her biggest tip? Don’t do it alone. “Have a partner,” she advises, whether it’s someone at home or a friend you connect with online. “You can hold each other accountable for getting some activity done.”
On a particularly challenging day, Ence starts by simply stepping outdoors — “A little sunshine definitely helps” — which often inspires her to take a run. “One of the most important things is finding what makes you feel good and happy,” she says. “For me, that’s going outside, whether it’s to work out or do yard work — I really enjoy pulling weeds!”
Ultimate Tag, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Fox