Be The Best.

Kids these days.

A gang of dudes (and Hope!) came by tonight for a little ping pong and socializing.  Talk about a great group of kids…again!  I have been so incredibly impressed with all the young people that Ingrid and I have met over the past few months.  It makes me very excited about the future of our community and country to know we have such a great group of young minds ready to take a leadership role in the years to come.  Of course we were just playing ping pong, talking about Chris, sports and catching up, but I know good character traits when I see them! btw, any employers out there in the Langley area, a few of these students still need some summer employment, so send me a message and I’ll set you up!  (no, they didn’t ask me to write that bit)

I know as a parent, you are never sure if the things that you say and model actually are absorbed by your children.  Since Chris’ passing we have heard story after story of what he was like and I have to say it has meant a huge deal to us to hear about how many of the things we taught him (and hopefully role-modeled) came through in his life and with his friends.

I know many parents reading this probably wonder if it’s happening with your own kids.  Are they really listening?  The short answer….YES.  You probably just won’t hear too much about it!

Hope, Chaz, Beau, Ingrid, Cooper, Devon, Some Old Guy
Devon smashes a return.
Chaz goes backhand Michael Jordan style.
Cooper muscles a forehand serve.
Beau tactically places serve.
Be The Best.

His band and wife.

I don’t think those wrist bands (we’re calling them Chris Bands) have left our wrists since the amazing students of Brookswood had them made a few months back.  (yah, ok, we take them off at night!!)

We began to wonder a few weeks ago what would happen once the bands break down, wear out etc.

Ingrid, the fervent researcher and knowledge gatherer, came across some leather bands that we have ordered for the future.  The bands we wear now every day and the ones we’ll wear in the future will be part of every outfit, every suit, every celebration or business meeting.  You see, they fit with everything we wear and any occasion.

It’s a gentle reminder that Chris is with us always.

Ingrid and I wear all three different ones that were made by the Brookswood students.  We love them all and in addition to reminding us about Chris, it also reminds us of how much he was loved by his friends.

As we approach the end of June, we ask all of our teen-age contacts out there to celebrate safely and have a great time.

Here’s how the bands looked tonight.

Husband and wife, wearing his bands for life.

Be The Best.

Lacrosse action

I was able to take in a Langley Thunder Midget A1 lacrosse game last Thurs.

They are in playdowns vs. Port Coquitlam.  The winner will be going to the Provincials to be held in Mission July 14-18.

It is a best of 5 and Langley is up 2-0 after Thursday’s win with a big game in Aldergrove on Tuesday at 7:30 (I believe!).

It was great to see a game as the past few weeks had been way too light on taking in lacrosse action!

I wish both teams good luck on Tues.

Obviously lacrosse brings back many memories of Chris.  This is one of the first videos I had put together from a trip to Florida to watch Chris play.  He’s in a couple of the pics (#32), but the highlight is actually the Long Pole (defensive big stick used in field lacrosse) and the bend and torque on the stick as it is applied to the offensive player’s jersey!  I just saw it tonight in my list of vids, and decided to share it here as I’m just missing seeing the kid play lacrosse.  This video has been seen over 4,700 times so a few lacrosse players out there still like it.

Although watching lacrosse reminds me about Chris, I also LOVE to see all the players Chris played with over the years getting better and better (that includes Langley and many opposing teams!).  Keep striving to Be The Best!  I know you will.  Ultimately, lacrosse is a way to learn how to work hard, be a great team member, strive to win and develop into incredible young men and women.

Be The Best.

Love Shines in Mission tonight.

Looking forward to AC (Auntie Cathy) and Friends tonight in Mission.

It’s a walk-in event with tickets at the door and concert at 8pm.

Full details on Cathy’s website.

Location: St. Andrews United Church which is used both by the Church and Mission Community for concerts.

For those of you who are newer to the blog, Cathy is my sister.  Just before she sang at the funeral she introduced herself as AC (Chris’ Auntie Cathy) and the name stuck.  She is one of my three amazing sisters all who have been so supportive of us in these past months.

Cathy recorded a song especially for Chris called ‘Love Shines’.  All proceeds of that song are going to the Chris Friesen Memorial Award Fund at Simon Fraser University which will challenge lacrosse playing students to Be The Best in their studies, lacrosse and life.

As of last month, that fund is locked in for LIFE a minimum $1000 award paid out yearly based on interest earned.  (that amount will also keep growing with time)

That means a new student each year will be challenged to Be The Best and that will continue for decades to come.

Just another example of the sun shining through the clouds.

Be The Best.

The Elephant.

You know that expression, the elephant in the room?

Today is sort of one of those days.

Many people close to us know that today is 3 months since Chris’ passing.

Many have expressed their awareness and support and many have silently acknowledged that they know.

Yes, it is 3 months to the day.  That’s the elephant.  It’s ok to say.

In three short months we’ve (that’s all of us) built a fund at SFU that will live forever in Chris’ name.

In three short months we’ve all aimed to Be The Best! in some personal endevour.

In three short months we’ve all questioned why, but have learned to look forward by proceeding with one decision at a time.

In three short months, the new normal is slowly forming.

In three short months our worlds have changed forever.

In three short months we have identified with William Ernest Henley in his poem, Invictus.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

In three short months, we’ve learned that CHOICE is the secret weapon to our amazing futures!

In three short months, we’ve learned how much we still love Chris and miss Chris and wish he was here.

We know that won’t change, but we’ve learned that we will honour him and his memory forever by our actions, choices and how we treat people.

That’s a lot to learn in three short months.

Be The Best.

Chris Friesen Inspirational Award

Chaz Williams is a student from Brookswood Secondary.

He was the very first recipient of the Chris Friesen Inspirational Award given out by the School last week.

With permission, this is from a message that Chaz sent me.

Chaz…this is awesome.  This is Be The Best!  This is inspirational.  Great work.  We are all proud of you!!


Chaz – I was the first recipient of this award given out from Brookswood. This was the speech. He says many great things about Chris so I thought you would like to hear it. It was written by our weight training teacher.

Teacher – I feel privileged to be able to give out the Chris Friesen Inspirational Award because we get to remember a student who was an inspiration to students, teachers and his community. As well, we get to recognize the recipient who demonstrates many of the same qualities that Chris showed. As a PE student Chris was one of the best. He arrived to class with a smile on his face, and he had a laugh that was contagious.

When it came time to get down to business, his commitment to fitness was second to none. Chris always worked to achieve excellence in athletics and academics. If he missed a class due to his Lacrosse schedule he would take the initiative to find out what he had missed so he could get it done and keep his “A” average. What I most admired about Chris was how he carried himself amongst his peers often joking but also knowing when the joke was over. He was very outgoing in the hallways and was well respected by the entire school.
Much like Chris, the recipient of this award has demonstrated the following characterisitcs:

-a dedication to fitness

-a drive for high academics

-kindness and compassion

-a sense of social responsibility

– accepting others as equals

The recipient of this award was not a hard person to find. He is the guy walking down the hallway with a smile on his face stopping to talk to someone before making his way on to another friend. His commitment to fitness has allowed him to be one of the most well conditioned students in the school.

This year he made up his own workout program which included 20 mins of continuous skipping and 40 mins of core strengthening. I asked him what his goals were in fitness and he said that it just makes him feel good. This past Friday at 4:00, I saw him as he was doing extra credit work to try and get an “A” in his English class. This student is truly a great inspiration to all of us.

Please join me in congratulating the winner of the Chris Friesen Inspirational Award, Chaz Williams!

Be The Best.

Be The Best. Next Generation.

Ethanator’s Mom (Selena, Frank’s wife, Frank is Ingrid’s brother, Selena is my sister-in-law…got it?) sent me this pic a few days back.

Now that is what I’m talking about!!  Great job Ethan….doing the victory pose.

My father was a speed reader.  I remember him trying to teach us the techniques he had learned at the speed reading course.  One of the first exercises was to turn pages quickly…without even reading them.  Why?  It was part of training your brain to take in info quicker than you thought possible.  In essence you were training your brain to behave in a position of success as it pertains to speed reading.  (btw, my Dad at 79 can still outread anyone in my opinion.  Call him up in Vernon if you want a race…my money will be on him!)

Remember playing road hockey as kids?  What did you always do?  Lift your hockey stick in victory for scoring the big goal…even if you hadn’t scored yet.

It’s all part of practicing to be successful.

That’s why I love this picture so much.  Sure, Ethan is imitating the lacrosse silhouette Be The Best pose from his big cousin Chris, but he is also (whether he consciously knows it or not) training his brain to be a champion.

Now that’s BE THE BEST!

Rock your week.

Be The Best.

Convocation and Be The Best!

I have a great job at BCIT.  My Marketing group is very involved with convocation ceremonies which are happening all of this week.  Part of that job is connecting with people who are being awarded Honorary Doctor of Technology degrees.  This year’s winners are incredible.  Each one of them has changed the worlds around them and strove to be the best.  If you can, check out the Vancouver Sun tomorrow (Wed) as we’re running an ad with a bio and picture of each of the winners.  I think you’ll be inspired to Be The Best!

(below via

For full bios click here.

Honorary Doctor of Technology

The Honorary Doctorate is awarded to individuals who are widely recognized for outstanding and sustained achievements in their areas of expertise.

Recipient for March 2010:

Rudy North
President, North Growth Management

Recipients for June 2010 are:

John Furlong
Vancouver Organizing Committee, 2010 Olympics & Paralympics Winter Games

Dr. Arun Garg
Medical Director
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Fraser Health-Royal Columbian Hospital

Peter Legge
Chair & CEO
Canada Wide Media Ltd.

John Munro
Labour Heritage Centre

Peter Robinson
David Suzuki Foundation

Be The Best.


We recently watched the movie Invictus.

Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela and team captain François Pienaar, is played by Matt Damon.

What an stunning movie about change and choice in South Africa.  Mandela’s ability to forgive after 27 years in prison was amazing.  And not just forgive, but move to unite a country.  Quite an incredible story with the game of rugby serving as the stage.  The poem Invictus was used as inspiration several times…especially the last few lines:

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

If that is not about the ability to choose…the ability we all have to decide how we will determine the future, I don’t know what is.

We can’t change the past, but we can change the future; one decision at a time.

Here’s the poem in it’s entirety.  For more info on the author, Henley, click this link. He knew a few things about adversity.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

— William Ernest Henley

Be The Best.

Lions, Eskimos and Fathers

Ok, perhaps a weird combination but I can explain.

Max took me to the BC Lions home opener today against the Edmonton Eskimos.

It was a big deal for a few reasons.  First, anytime Max and I can hang out together is cool.  It was also great to see so many father and son and father and daughter combos at the game today.  Great stuff for creating those memories!  Additionally, this was the first game at Empire Field, the new temporary home of the Lions and the home of old Empire Stadium which had so much history.  It was great to share some memories and build some new ones with Max today.

Thanks Bud!

Here’s a quick vid from our adventure.  The Lions have done a great job with the PNE folks.  The stadium puts you right on top of the action.  Make sure you check it out this summer!