Friday, 28 March 2014

Writing from A-Z

It’s that time of year again — the epic A-Z Blogging Challenge. Along with more than 2000 other bloggers, I’ll be blogging my way through the alphabet in April. That means, every day—except Sundays—there will be a new post on my blog. (Crazy, right?)

I’ve got the perfect topic this year.

Writing Tips!

It’s no secret I love writing almost as much as I love running. And over the last couple of years, I’ve been keeping a journal of some of the great tips I’ve learned by listening to author presentations or reading articles. Throughout April, I’m going to share them on this blog!

I’m kicking it off April 1 with the letter A for… psyche. I’m not telling. Not even a tease. You’ll have to come back next week and find out for yourself. See you Tuesday, right?

You can check out all the bloggers taking part in this year’s A-Z Challenge here. And if you’re really ambitious, you can sign up yourself. Let me know if you do…I’ll follow your posts!

Okay, time to start polishing up my blog posts. Gotta jet! Hope to see you in April.

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 21 March 2014

I can Haiku, can you?

I’m not a poet—at least, not a very good one. I can never figure out what makes a good poem. Like, is it all about rhyming, or the way words string together, or the structure, or…? To me, writing short stories is way less complicated to figure out.

But today is Children’s Poetry Day and this afternoon we’re going to look at different poems in class. So, I thought I’d give the “Haiku” a try. What’s a Haiku? Good question!

A Haiku is a type of poetry that uses only three lines. The first line must contain 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. And the last line, another 5 syllables. Easy, right? Well…maybe not EASY…but not too confusing.

Here’s my test Haiku. Of course it’s about running. <grin>

On the running track
Lightning tries to keep up with me
But I’m way too fast

Ha! That wasn’t too hard at all. I might even hand this in. I wonder if Lightning will write a Haiku in retaliation?

Hey! What kind of poem will YOU write for Children’s Poetry Day?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 14 March 2014

Nutrition FTW!

Lots of things happen in March — like St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of Spring. But of course, you know it’s also NUTRITION MONTH!

As a track and field athlete, fueling my body is the key to achieving my personal best. But, nutrition is important all of the time, for everyone. Sometimes it’s easy to slip off track. Which is maybe why nutrition experts have devoted an entire month to awareness about eating healthy. (I can always use a reminder…)

Every year, I make up some nutritional goals, especially as we head into track and field season (melt, snow, melt!) This year, I’m taking stock of where I’m at and what I can do to improve. Here’s my breakdown:

Protein — I almost always choose lean poultry, beef or pork, but this year, I’ve started eating a little bit of tofu, as well. Mom says when you cook it right, you can barely tell the difference. I don’t know about that…

Fruits and Veggies — I’ve got this down pat. Sure, I like my fruits a little more, but I’ve started packing carrot sticks in my lunch kit now. In the summer, I love snap peas, but they’re pretty expensive at the grocery store. For fruits, berries are my favourite. I can hardly wait for strawberry season!

Carbohydrates — Okay. Maybe I go a little overboard on these, but Coach Taylor says they’re important for training. Most days I’m pretty good about choosing baked potatoes over fries, but, I admit, I have a weakness for Poutine. (Don’t pretend you don’t love it, too!) My goal this year is to only have it once a month. I’ll also try and choose multi-grain bread and brown rice when possible.

Fats — Well, obviously I know all about the importance of HEALTHY fats. My whole family cooks with canola oil. Enough said.

Dairy — Mom introduced me to Greek yogurt. It took a bit to get used to, but when you eat it with berries (have I mentioned how much I love berries?), it’s pretty delicious. I also eat a lot of lower-fat cheese. Okay, maybe I need to cut back on the cheese.

Looks like I’m doing pretty good, right? Okay—time to come clean. I have a weakness for ice cream. My current favourite is plain old vanilla topped with raspberries. Mom says that isn’t so bad if I limit my portion sizes and save it for a treat every once in a while. I’m lobbying for once a week. Don’t judge! One step at a time, right?

Have you set some nutritional goals this March? To see what you SHOULD be eating, check out Canada’s Food Guide:

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

PS — next month, the SIXTH book in the Chase Duffy adventure series, Cut! To the Chase… launches in Calgary. Guess what the theme is? NUTRITION! Yeah, you’re going to love it.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spring forward!

This weekend the clocks move ahead—giving us an extra hour of daylight. Hurray! It’s one of the first signs that spring is just around the corner. Considering how COLD the last few weeks have been, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. (Plus, I heard the temperature is going to warm up next week!)

But “springing forward” also means we lose an hour of sleep. Ugh. Hey, don’t judge. I’m just like any other kid — sleep is VITAL. Right?

My Dad says any “consequences” from losing an hour of sleep are all in my head, but I looked it up. That hour difference can really shake up your internal body clock. Good thing there are some things you can do to minimize the effects.

It’s too late to start pushing back your sleep schedule by 10-15 minutes (that’s how astronauts prepare for space travel), but I did go to bed a bit earlier last night.

Tomorrow, I’ll get up early—no sleeping in! I’ll eat a good breakfast and go to the gym for an hour or so. Not too late though. I read an article that said you shouldn’t work out at least three hours before bed, especially right before daylight savings time.

On Sunday, I’ll wake up early again and have a great breakfast. If it’s warm out, I’ll go for a walk because apparently bright light helps regulate your body’s internal clock. Who knew?

And no matter WHAT, I will not nap on Sunday. That, my friends, may be the hardest rule of them all. <groan>

Are you excited about Daylight Savings Time? What ideas do you have to make the most of your (limited!) sleep time this weekend?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy