Be The Best.

Irony, golf and Be The Best.

In several of my golf un-retirements this year, I played at the Drive for the Cure event in Langley and then again in Victoria at the amazing Olympic View Golf club.

For 13 years, Kirk Fisher from the Lark Group and friends, have been holding the Vancouver/Fraser Valley tournament and for the very first time an event was held in Victoria as well.

Talk about Be The Best.  Using volunteer labour and volunteer everything from sponsors, over one million dollars has been raised for cancer research and equipment.  That is fantastic on its own.  Amazing really.  But what I really love is their approach.  Taken directly from their website, ‘a group of individuals made a decision to change the way cancer has touched their lives. To channel the negative energy into something positive and to ultimately make a difference. The ‘Drive for the Cure’ was born.’

You saw that part right?  Made a decision. Fantastic.  You can’t change the fact that cancer comes and visits or even that  a mudslide is headed your way.  You have some control however on how you decide to react.

Why the backstory?

It’s a great story on its own and it has Be The Best all over it.  However, things got even a little more personal.

Along with a business colleague and golf partner Gord Klassen from Sitelines Architecture, we had just completed the round of golf in Victoria and were heading back to the clubhouse.  My Blackberry was going nuts with calls and emails.

I looked at the email from my Dad.  During what was supposed to be a mainly routine colonoscopy, the docs had found cancer.

My Dad appreciates irony and we’ve talked about the timing of this one.  It may top the cake Dad!

Several years back, my Mom had beat a form of leukemia into submission, but it has returned for a visit too in the past year and I was joking with Dad that he did not want Mom to have all the attention.  Hardly!

The docs want to move fast, so surgery is planned for this Friday, Sept 3.

Why all these stories?

Firstly, Chris LOVED his Grandpa and I know he along with all the other grandkids and family would want to extend the group of people to remember Dad (Jake) in your thoughts and prayers.

Secondly, it again reminds me that although I can’t control the event, I can control my response.  That response will be first to support my Mom and Dad and family and then to continue to help battle cancer through the support of amazing events like the Drive for the Cure.

Be The Best.

Grief Philosophy meets Greek Philosophy

I came across a few quotations of a Greek philosopher named Epictetus.  He lived from Ad 55-135.

How do I know this?  Cause Wikipedia says so and it never lies…

In any event, Epictetus was an interesting fellow.

Try these quotes on for size.

No great thing is created suddenly.

Or this:

It is your own convictions which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.

Or finally:

God hath entrusted me with myself.

All interesting on their own.

When you take them together, I think even more interesting.

Remember way back a blog post about my thoughts of humans being different from the animal kingdom on the basis of the opportunity to choose?

Epictetus seemed to have that figured out a few thousand years back.

God has entrusted us with choice.

We make choices.

No great thing is created suddenly.  It’s really a series of small choices.

What I really like about this thinking is that when I make a bad choice it’s the body of work that is really what will be looked at, not one decision.

I think that is what makes Chris’ life so powerful.

When you look at the body of work, it’s a few poorer choices (that so many of us have made during our teenage years and beyond) but many more amazingly powerful positive choices.

That’s the Be The Best philosophy at work!

It’s not about winning or losing.  It’s about Being The Best.  That means, learning from mistakes and making more choices.  Simple philosophy…a little harder in action, but that’s the goal!

Making choices and decisions with our God-given human ability and working towards that ‘great thing’ that is never created suddenly.

Have a great week.

Be The Best.

Fight Night

Beau Brooks, on left, prepares for debut match against Mat Andreatta.

Two teens from Brookswood Secondary are getting into a fight tonight.  This is the school both Max and Chris attended.

No, not behind the school.  No, not in the hallway.

This is an amateur boxing match where Beau Brooks is making his debut against Mat Andreatta.

Beau was a very close friend of Chris.

Beau joined our family this past New Years at Silver Star for a few days of skiing and snowboarding.

Beau, I know someone who is going to have a virtual ring side seat for this match and going to be going crazy for you!!

Having a dream of being in the ring, going after it, training hard and then getting your first fight along with the front page of the sports section in the paper…that’s Be The Best!

You’ll have a little something special in your corner tonight Beau.

For the full story in the Langley Advance article.

Where: Coast Hotel and Convention Centre – 20393 Fraser Hwy

When: Fri, Aug 27 starting at 7:30pm

Be The Best.

Boys and their toys.

I had a phone call today with Tom Golden from Maryland, USA.

You may remember that name from a blog post a week or so back titled, ‘For men only…yah right’.

It was a very interesting conversation as we explored topics about men and the grieving process and how men react differently to loss and honouring a loved one.

We are looking at doing an interview via Skype in the future so stay tuned!

There was one very interesting thing though that I couldn’t wait until that interview to share.

Tom again had some great insights into the male perspective on communication and how that relates to the grieving process.

He told me some amazing stories about sports stars and musicians…but I’ll keep you waiting for those and let him tell you.

I had told him about an example of ‘man communication’ that I relayed on this blog a few months back.  Going on a golf weekend with ‘the guys’ is usually about 90% having fun, letting your hair down (ok, you know that hurts seeing as my hairstyle is a Number 1 with a razor…) and DOING STUFF.  There is usually some (maybe 10%) sincere and deeper conversation, but not predetermined or predictable.

This was not news to Tom.  He stated that it is the ACTIVITY itself, the ‘shoulder to shoulder battle’, that bonds men.  That ties into everything from war to sports.  It was the next comment Tom made that really hit home.  He said that it is the joined activity (fighting an enemy, conquering a mountain, driving an ATV around) that combines some danger and challenge that provides a SAFE ZONE for men to talk to each other.  ie, if this guy has my back, I may be able to have a deeper conversation.

I found that very interesting.

You see in the vid attached a little fun with ATV’s courtesy of Drake with Wayne and Brad driving and yours truly filming while trying to hold on.

Thinking about this another way…four hours of golf to have a 2 minute serious conversation.

It’s all making much more sense now.  Maybe I will unretire from golf after all.

btw…I know it’s 5 months today that Chris passed away and we continue to thank you for remembering us in your thoughts and prayers.

Be The Best.

Those sunsets.

Those sunsets still get me.

I can’t see one without thinking about Chris.

Whether it’s the sun streaming through the clouds or punching out that silver lining or just glowing as it nears the mountains or horizon, I love it.

These pics were taken during an evening of friends and fun (thanks Melody and Drake!).

The sun will set.

The sun will rise.

And more decisions will be made.

Be The Best.

Chris scores a goal!

During last week’s Midget Lacrosse Nationals it reminded me of Chris at the 2007 Bantam Box Lacrosse Nationals in Ontario.

btw, Team BC lost in their bronze medal bid this past Friday night.  A tough way to end after that epic battle with Ontario to beat them in the tournament round.  From Ontario’s perspective, I’m betting they had a little payback on their minds and with BC having to play an extra game Friday morning, they took advantage.  All that being said, some great lacrosse by all and some great development as players and young men going through all of those emotions and experiences.

Back to 2007.

In order to help with the trip expenses to Ontario, the players were allowed to raise private funds to help make the trip a reality.  I recently uncovered the one-pager that described the program and gave potential donors an idea of who Chris was.

Here is how it opened:

Know many teenagers who write down their goals?

Know many teenagers who then break down their goals into actionable work plans and don’t quit until they’ve made it?

Meet Chris Friesen.

Along with excellent grades, this 14-year-old wrote down a goal of making the top-tier lacrosse team (A1) in Langley.

He served as team captain and the team completed an amazing season in first place heading into the Provincial championships in mid July.

In addition to league play, he was selected to Team Fraser Vally and then to Team BC.   He will be representing our province in Ontario this August.

Chris and buddy Brett celebrate BC’s bronze medal at Nationals in August 2007.

Specifically, I will always be thankful to my Wardell clients and friends at Mainland Machinery and Sitelines Architecture respectfully, for their major support of Chris during that program.

I’ll never forget Chris writing down that goal (a practice we’ve done as a family at New Years each year).

It was achievable, but a stretch goal for sure.

  1. Goal.
  2. Action plan.
  3. Don’t quit.

I got it son.

I’m listening.


There are over 300 photos on-line of that 2007 trip.  Click here to view.

Be The Best.

I got a blister…and I love it.

I always told that kid to use Odour Eaters or Febreeze or something...!

Ingrid and I went for a walk this morning.

I have some video and after the runaway success of ‘Therapy from Birds’ from a few months ago, I may put together the footage at some point!

In any event, this walk was a first with some new shoes. Not totally new mind you…just new to me.

You see they were Chris’ shoes.

I was going to get some new running shoes and it reminded me that for the past year I had been the recepient of a few ‘hand me ups’.

This is what happens when your kids get as big or bigger than you.

Chris always wore his shoes with tucked-in laces…except for lacrosse shoes.  So these sneakers still had the laces tied together with his knots but tucked into the shoe so they appeared untied.  Ingrid deftly untied the knots and we were off.

With any shoes, they’ll need to adjust to my feet.  That’s a bit of discomfort I don’t mind a bit, in fact I love it.

We miss that kid so very much.

I’ll remember him with every step.

Be The Best.

Team BC and Be The Best.

Team BC played Ontario on Thursday evening at the Midget Box Lacrosse Nationals.

Just another lacrosse game? Nope.

Firstly, Ontario is always favoured.  Consider this.  Based on population alone, Ontario (at 13 million+) could have three lacrosse teams for every one from BC (population 4.5 million).

Do I want some cheese with this ‘whine’?

The point is Ontario is always big, strong, tough, confident and ready to win.

The Iroquois had just beaten Alberta in the late afternoon game setting the stage for BC to get into serious medal contention and relegating Ontario to a bronze finish at best.  That alone provided a huge motivation factor for the Ontario team, but it was BC who seemed inspired.

BC hit hard, but weren’t stupid.

BC played strong defence which leads to goals.

BC scored when they had chances to score.

BC played like a team!

In the end, BC won the game 7-4, pulling away in the 3rd period.

FANTASTIC.  That’s Be The Best!

I think of Chris often when I watch.  He LOVED this game.  He loved the passion that it evoked.  He loved playing for his local team and club teams, but there was always something special about representing your Province.

As the boys get ready for a showdown at 11:30 this morning (Aug 20), I will be thinking of them.

Depending on the outcome of the late morning game against Alberta, BC will go for gold or bronze later tonight.

The bronze and gold medal games are at 6pm and 8pm.

Have a great day.


2pm update! Team BC lost a close one with Alberta so they play Ontario for Bronze at 6pm.

Team BC player (Chris Nasato) in blue BC jersey with gold trim breaks away from the Red and Black Ontario squad.
Be The Best.

Lacrosse Alert!

Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy, Hiawatha Belt
Iroquois it.

The Midget National Tournament (BOX LACROSSE) is being held this week in Coquitlam, BC.

We saw BC take on Iroquois on Tuesday afternoon.

Although they lost that game, they still have a good chance at getting after some hardware.

If you want to see some of the best players in Canada at the Midget (age 15/16) level, you can watch four of the best go at it tomorrow (Thursday) on Poirier Street.

Coquitlam has just rebuilt this facility and it’s a great place to catch a game.

Iroquois takes on Alberta at 3pm and then BC plays Ontario at 5pm.  Full schedule here.

Aside from lacrosse, what is the personal connection you ask?

Chris played at the National Bantam tournie in Ontario in the Summer of 2007 with BC winning a bronze medal in a tough show down vs Alberta.  We loved watching the Iroquois play as well and they eventually beat Ontario for gold that summer.

As one Iroquois supporter told me in that very calculated vocal pacing after a disallowed goal back in 2007 against the much bigger and favoured Ontario squad, “You’ve got to score 3 to count 1”.

Sometimes that’s true…sometimes that is true.  The point is to NEVER give up.  They didn’t and they won gold.

James Rahe breaks in on net.
Be The Best.

Chris took us to the movies today…literally.

No, I’m not crazy…(well sort of, but only part of the time).

Chris literally took us to the movies today?


Back on March 22, just 3 days before he passed away, we went out for dinner as a family.

It was a Monday night and very unusual for us to go out on a weekday.  Like VERY unusual….maybe once a year if that.   But there we were, Max and Chris in a booth sitting across from Ingrid and I and we were laughing all night.

You’ve seen blog posts referencing that night before so I won’t get too detailed, but the occasion was Ingrid’s birthday and Chris had got her a movie gift card for $50 and the suggestion of a mom & son movie that coming weekend.

Fast forward four and a half months.  With a very hot day and some time off, it was a perfect chance to get to the movies along with Max.

Thanks Chris.

We laughed.

We had fun.

We thought about you.