How’s Your Pandemic Going?

Hey!

I haven’t posted for awhile because Sue and I are working on my new book.

And yeah, it’s going to be awesome!

It’s been a really weird time with this whole coronavirus, but I feel like everyone is stepping up. Like, my coaches have given us different exercises that we can do at home, and lots of people are posting cool online stuff from tennis drills to dance lessons to cool skills and drills in different sports. There are even art lessons and virtual museum tours! (They even have a tour of NASA in that list!)

Also, everyone is reaching out to each other to make sure they’re okay, and I think we’ve all realized how much we appreciate our friends and family, and all the great people that make a community run smoothly.

The big thing is that we’re pretty resilient. All my friends have made the best of the situation, and nobody’s really complaining. That’s pretty cool. At home, we started cooking and baking some new things, and we have some fun family game nights with my relatives.

We’re all in this together, so we might as well be good to each other. We’ll all be back to our activities, a little smarter and kinder too!

See you soon!

Finn

 

Resolutions? Really?

Hey!

Happy 2020!

One thing I notice every January is how active and healthy people get. My friends are all really sporty anyway, but some of my classmates (and tons of our teachers) get all into eating ultra healthy and exercising… for about a month.

Then they start complaining about how they can’t stick to their new routine, and they quit.

That’s why I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.

I think people should just skip the whole ‘New Year’s resolution’ thing, and just make little changes. Like, line up some healthy after school snacks, so they don’t get tempted by junk food. Walk a bit more. Drink a bit more water. (Soon it becomes a habit.)

Or get into an activity that’s fun.

If it’s not fun, how can you be expected to stick with it!

If you don’t have any sports or activities that you like already, try something new! (Our tennis club had a ‘Come Try Tennis’ afternoon, and it was really popular.)

The big deal is to not get down on yourself if you have a day that you eat a bunch of junk food or act like a sloth (that is, lay around).

Just try to have healthier habits the next day. (And the next!)

So, if you’re trying to feel great this year, take it easy on yourself… and just take a step at a time.

Bye for now,

Finn

Are You Really Connected?

Hey!

I can’t believe we’ve been back to school for so many weeks! Did you have a good summer? Mine was awesome! It’s nice to be back with my buddies though. We’ve been hanging out a lot.

Which brings me to my blog: feeling connected with people. Not just getting on Instagram and Snapchat and liking a bunch of your friends’ posts – really connecting.

There’s a definite difference.

I saw this cool TEDx Talk, about how technology connects us in a surface kind of way, but really isolates us.

My friends tend to hang out at my house, or we play basketball in one of our driveways, or whatever. And I always feel better actually talking to them than just commenting on a post they made.

I found an interesting article about how teenagers are starting to realize that being on their phones all the time isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Lots are ‘unplugging’ completely.

A couple of things you can do are:

Set a time limit for checking your social media.

If you start to feel blah after being on your phone, turn it off. (Think about all the cool and positive things in your own life!)

Try unplugging for a day. (Start with half a day if you need to!)

Leave your phone at home sometimes.

Text or call a friend (or friends) to hang out. (If you do something active, it’s even more fun!)

I’ll bet you’ll notice how much better you feel! 🙂

See you soon!

Finn

Brrr! Keep moving!

Hey!

Only a few more weeks till springtime!

My cousins in Canada were telling me they’ve been spending a bit more time inside, and on their phones, because it’s been really cold and stormy outside.

Here in North Carolina, it’s pretty easy to be outside throughout the year. But in some places, where winter means cold, snow, and ice, it can be tough to get outside and be active.

Unless you’re like this guy, and skate over to get some hot drinks! (Love this by the way!)

When Sue and wrote ‘It’s Your Move‘, we talked a lot about different sports and activities.

It’s really important to try to be active everyday. The thing is, you don’t have to be in all kinds of organized sports all the time. You can also do lots of things like walking or biking to school, (I can’t believe I’m saying this:) helping out around the house, playing with your pets or walking your dog… anything where you’re moving.

Also, take advantage of your conditions: When the snow is good in Canada, my cousins go sledding (which is crazy fun, and great exercise because you have to walk back up the hill), or help shovel, build snow forts, go skiing, and stuff like that.

I found a pretty cool article on being active for teenagers here. They call the unplanned stuff ‘incidental activity’. It’s actually really easy to work it into your day. My buddy, Charlie, went from being super lazy (sorry!) to pretty active throughout the day. Just don’t ask him to do another yoga class…

Bye for now!

Finn

Happy New Year, Happy New Activity!

Hey!

Happy 2019! In PE class, this rowing club came in with a bunch of rowing ergometers (these indoor rowing machines) and taught us… you guessed it: rowing! It was really fun!

In the spring, anyone who’s interested can try out rowing at their club, in a real boat on a lake. A bunch of us have already said we want to sign up to try it.

A couple of people in my class loved it so much that they want to join the rowing club. That’s pretty cool because they may have found a new sport. One of the girls in my class competes in rowing, and she told us that it’s so beautiful on the lake – even when she has early morning practice. Most of my friends and I already have sports that we’re really into, but it’s always fun to try something new. It’s win-win.

I wasn’t all that familiar with rowing. Maybe you’re not either. Here’s Rowing 101 from US Rowing in case you’re interested.

I also looked up a couple of videos. Check this one out with Stu Woo (a reporter) and the Winklevoss twins (who are former Olympians)!

Anyway, whether you’re still looking for your favorite sport or activity, or you’re happy with what you’re already doing, hopefully you’ll be open to trying something new, too!

I wonder what you’ll try this year?

Gotta get to the tennis club! Bye for now!

Finn

Who Are You Cheering For?

Hi Everyone,

It’s Sue here. Finn is letting me do a guest blog. (Thanks Finn!)

I was at a cross country meet a few weeks ago. It was classic x-country weather here in Nova Scotia: the wind was blustery and the sky was kind of dark. The leaves were blowing all over the place. The runners – from local junior and senior high schools – were toughing it out on a difficult course.

As a former x-country runner, I cheered for the top runners, who were really impressive.

But, do you know who I cheered loudest for?

The runners that were at the tail end of the race. They were the ones who might have been pretty new to running, or perhaps participating to fill out their school team. Maybe they were having a bad day, and not having a great race. One girl I saw looked like she had a cramp, but was finishing it out.

While these runners weren’t the ‘stars’, I was in awe of their determination and grit.

It brought me back to my first race, back in grade 9. I ran the 800m at the district championships, coming last… by a lot.

Encouragement goes a long way.

I wanted to give up – during the race, (I was mortified,) and after – but there were people on my team who convinced me to hang in there. I figured I’d stick with it a little longer anyway.

I’m glad I did.

I ended up running x-country and track in high school, ran varsity here at Dalhousie University, competed in Canada Games, and lots of national championships. It was awesome. I made my best friends through running. (I’m number 3, below.)

Now, years later, it’s some of the start line moments that stick with me:

In high school, I remember lining up for a provincial cross country race, incredibly nervous. The top runners, Robyn (Robyn Meagher, who would go on to be an Olympian in track), Alexa, and Lucy turned to the rest of us and said, “Okay girls, let’s all have a great race. Good luck!”

At Dalhousie, Lucy and Annick, our top runners (and national team members), were always positive and friendly toward more novice (or slower) competitors. Our team always wished everyone in the race good luck and a great run. We supported each other. The faster runners would always cheer in the slower ones from various teams.

These kinds of sportsmanship mean a lot. You never know who you’re going to inspire, or influence in a positive way.

So, next time you’re at a game, or a race, or any kind of competition, cheer for the ones who aren’t the stars. Someday they might be.

Either way, it’s going to make you a better sport, a better friend, and someone that gets the most out of sports. And that’s the best of sports.

Thanks for reading!

Have fun out there:-)

Sue

 

 

Are You Sick of Your Phone?

Hey!

How was your summer? Mine was awesome:-)

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I was playing lots of tennis, visiting relatives in Canada, and hanging out with my friends.

Speaking of friends… Charlie, showed me this interesting article on how teenagers and kids are getting off social media. Or at least taking a break.

I can believe it! I don’t love just scrolling through my phone, seeing what my friends are doing. I’d rather be doing stuff with them! All my close friends are on the same page.

Plus, in my house, we’ve always had rules with our phones:

We never bring a phone to the table when we’re eating, and never upstairs at night.

We all have a drawer to put our phones away (even my parents), so they don’t distract us and pull us out of family activities, like movie night. (Although, with the last couple of movies we’ve picked, I could have used some distraction! Yeah, they were bad.)

I never thought much about it until we were on vacation, and my cousins were constantly on their phones. It was kind of a bummer. We were waterskiing (or at least trying to – I did get up for three and a half seconds), and my cousin was in the cottage on her phone, posting crap on Instagram, and checking to see what all her friends were doing. She totally missed out. (She also missed out on my spectacular wipe out, but that’s besides the point!)

And they all had their phones at the dinner table. I thought my mom’s ears were going to start spewing steam, she looked so miffed. (It was kind of funny.) I could tell that my little sister, Fiona, was disappointed too.

Finally, on the second last day of our visit, Fiona proposed an experiment: Everyone put their phones away, except to check them here and there. Everyone agreed, probably because Fi’s the youngest cousin, she’s cute, and everyone wanted to humor her.

But, you know what happened? Everyone had the best day of the whole vacation. My cousins, who are really cool, and all my relatives had the best day! And supper that night was hilarious. No one wanted to leave the table. My stomach actually hurt from laughing at all the great stories.

(The next day was fun too, but then we were leaving to come home, so everyone was bummed. Hey, we can’t help it if we’re popular!!)

I hope you’re having an awesome September! Don’t forget to put your phone down and experience it:-)

Bye for now!

Finn

 

 

Tennis Etiquette… Please!!

Hey!

Okay, so I don’t usually rant about stuff in my blog, but… here goes:

We were playing doubles today against these two guys from another club, and they were so brutal to play with!

I don’t mean they were bad players – they were actually pretty good.

But, they were total jerks on the court. They were getting mad at each other for missed shots, and called some balls out that were definitely in. They were pumping their fists and pointing at us after they got a couple of good points. One of the guys did a number on his racquet, when he bounced it off the court. (They’re not built to do that!)

My buddy, Tom, and I felt like walking off the court, but we kept our cool. We kept our focus, and told each other we weren’t going to let those guys rattle us.

We ended up winning, by a lot.

After, we were talking about it with a couple of our teammates (who were watching the match), and we all agreed: Being a jerk on the court doesn’t pay. (Everyone knows the two guys we played, and no one likes them. That’s kind of brutal.)

One of the big things that our coaches teach us (translation: ram into our heads) is good court etiquette and good sportsmanship. It sounds old-fashioned, but being a good sport on the court (didn’t mean to rhyme that) makes the game way more enjoyable. People want to play with you. And you play better.

I looked up tennis etiquette, and found a cool guide to from Tennis Australia. (You Aussies are the best!) Check it out here.

So, whether you’re playing tennis or another sport… be a good sport. Whether you win or lose, it will make the experience more positive and fun!

Bye for now!

Finn

M is for Moderation!!

Hey!

I’ve gotta show you something that I found in the news. My mom showed us, and asked my sister and I what we thought:

It’s a ban on juice and chocolate milk in schools, in a province in eastern Canada (near where my mom’s from). Check out the article here.

I get it.

But I don’t like it.

Yeah, I understand the ‘limit sugar’ thing… But chocolate milk also has all kinds of awesome nutrients. I drink it after practice, mixed with some white milk.

And juice has got lots of good stuff in it too. We eat tons of fruit and veggies. I never drink much juice, and I usually add a little water. Sometimes I have a little in a smoothie.

Anyway, the thing that bugs me about this ban is that they’re not teaching kids to use moderation. Like, don’t have a huge glass of juice. Just have a little glass, or a half a glass.  That’s called portion control! Or, mix your chocolate milk with white milk.

They’re also not getting them moving enough. If you read the article, those students hardly have any phys ed! That’s crazy. And, they sit all day in class. Maybe they sit around when they get home too. That’s bad!

One of my friends used to come over and drink about a half a carton of chocolate milk, because her mom wouldn’t buy it at home. So it became, like, this taboo thing that she went crazy on when she got here. (Not naming any names… Chris!)

Then my mom and her mom got chatting one day, and Mom said how we talk about healthy amounts of different things, like chocolate milk.

So now, chocolate milk isn’t this big deal anymore.

So, maybe, instead of imposing all these limits on kids and teenagers, people should teach healthy choices more!

Let’s start with moving more in schools, and showing kids that you can have balance with exercise and healthy food!

Sue and I wrote about how easy it is to have balance – after my buddy Charlie had some weight issues – in our first The F.I.T. Files book. Check out Balance It Out on my website. It’s really good!

Bye for now!

Finn

Try It! You’ll Like It… Maybe

Hey!

How’s it going? I’m pretty pumped. We’re planning our summer! For me, that means lots of tennis, and also going to visit my cousins in Canada! I’m going to try sailing with one of my cousins in Nova Scotia!

What are you doing this summer? Are you doing your favorite sport? Or trying some new activities?

If you want to try something new, make sure you can try it, without having to stay in it all summer if you don’t like it. I mean, give any new sport or activity a good chance. But talk to your parents (or whoever takes care of you) about trying it ‘risk free’. That means you can check out a new sport or activity, without having to stay in it for a long time, if you don’t like it.

If kids (or anyone) feel like they have to do an activity they don’t like, it will make them not even want to try in the first place! My buddy Charlie tried a bunch of activities, and he ended up really getting into dance. You never know what you’ll like til you try…

Okay, Finn out!