Take A Walk In The Park Day!

Hey!
Did you know tomorrow is National Take Walk In The Park Day?
Yeah, me neither… before now!

Anyway, I think that’s a pretty good reason to have a special day!
Getting out in nature always makes me feel better.
In my recent book, MIND GAMES, every time I got stressed or nervous, getting outside and active really helped.
For one thing, you’re moving, (and I hate sitting still for long).
Another thing is, it’s really social! I love going for walks or hikes with my friends and family.
When we say ‘park’ to my dog, Ralph, he gets super excited!
Sometimes my friend Charlie is like, “I don’t feel like it,”… but then he’s always happy once we get outside.
So get out there and celebrate ‘Take A Walk In The Park Day’! You’ll feel great!
Bye for now!
Finn

Let’s Talk!

Hey!
Did you know that it’s a special day in Canada? It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day.
That’s when Bell donates money to mental health resources every text, call, TikTok or social media share with #BellLetsTalk.
That’s pretty cool.
It also raises awareness about mental health. People should be able to talk about it when they’re stressed, sad or anxious, or having trouble with their feelings.
That’s the cool thing about #BellLetsTalk. They raise a lot of money to help people, but they get people talking too.
Here’s the video for this year:

I just went through a hard time with being really stressed with competition. My sister was stressed about a bully, and my friends were having a hard time too. So we talked about it, and it helped a lot.
I think it’s really important to be able to talk to people, and really connect with them.
And it’s super important that if you’re having trouble, to get help. That’s a really strong thing to do.
So check out #BellLetsTalk, then put down your phone and check in with one of your friends.
That’s what I’m going to do right now!
Bye for now!
Finn

It’s All About Balance…

Hey!

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately.

In my first book, Balance It Out, I learned that you have to balance eating and activity, to be in a healthy weight range. You can have a few treats, but should eat nutritious stuff and have good habits; and you should move enough, and do sports and activities that are fun for you. Having that balance makes you healthy and it makes you feel good.

Lately, I’ve realized you need balance in all aspects of your life. My buddy Tom and I have been playing doubles in tennis. At first, I was taking everything too seriously, and he was kind of goofing around. Now when we play together, I help him focus and he helps me calm down. It makes us play really well!

It made me think of the ‘Yin Yang’ thing… so I looked it up!

Have you ever seen this symbol?

Free Icon | Yin yang symbol variant

It’s the symbol for ‘yin and yang’.

It’s a really cool concept that comes from ancient Chinese philosophy. It basically says that two opposite things can come together to make something whole.

Yin actually means ‘shady side’ and yang means ‘sunny side’. (And when you think about it, being in the sun makes you appreciate the shade, and being in the shade makes you appreciate the sun! The two opposites make something good.)

So, for example, daytime and nighttime make a whole day.

For me, I need activity (like tennis!) but I also need rest. Those opposite things come together and make me a better player. In fact, if you want to get better at something like a sport or skill, you need to train or practice, then rest to adapt and recover. Or if you’re studying, it’s good to take a break or get outside (to let all that knowledge soak in)!

I really like the idea of ‘yin and yang’.

For me, life is way better when you have some balance!

Bye for now!

Finn

 

 

 

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