Be The Best.

Lacrosse and Chris

I just miss seeing that kid play.

I just miss seeing that kid run.

I just miss seeing that kid get so excited at scoring a goal.

I just miss that kid so much.

Field Nationals 2009
Be The Best.

Nature, naturally.

These past two weekends have both involved trips to Vernon to see Dad and Mom.

One of the side benefits is driving through some of the most beautiful country in the world…even if I’m a little biased.

This weekend was extra special in that Ingrid and I were able to take in a little time with friends as well.

Whenever we were out with Max and Chris in nature, we’d like to remind them of how small we are compared to the mountains, lakes and oceans.  It was a good chance to gain perspective and think about those things that were bigger than us.

This weekend as I looked again at the rolling hills and mountains and lakes, I was reminded at how small I am in the scheme of things and that the amazing art is rarely just created by happen chance.  Usually there is an Artist involved.

Some of the most interesting pieces of art and music are ones where I listen over and over again or view time and time again, only to find something new…something different.

Perhaps that is part of the painting of our lives.   We have yet to see all that is in the work.

Interior British Columbia - Sept 2010
Be The Best.


Who are friends?

Friends are people who stand by you.

Friends are people who stand behind you.

Friends are people who go before you and clear the way.

Friends are people who believe in you.

Friends are people who are with you when the chips are down.

We recently spent a weekend with friends that have exemplified these traits and many more.

To our many friends we extend our continued thanks for your friendship.

Plain and simple.

Friends forever.

Be The Best.

Dad and the too fast kiss.

When my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer a couple of weeks ago it was a shock to the system…particularly his system but those shocks were felt throughout the family and circle of supporters.

I showed you a video of me and Dad the morning of his surgery and our walk together…me in Chris’ shoes and Dad wearing Chris’ trucker hat.

The surgery went well, but just as Dad was to be released yesterday, the Docs found some leakage and fluid in the abdomen and he had to go for a second surgery.

He is doing ok today and getting stronger.

Dad was in the hospital just a year and a half ago getting a new hip.  In true Dad form he wrote a 4 page list of 32 points called, ‘Humor, and reflections relating to Hip surgery, which took place January 9, 2009′.

This didn’t really surprise me as Dad had completed a list a nine years earlier entitled, ’70 things to do now that I’m 70’.

Love it.

This is a guy who ‘retired’ at 65 and then decided to get some more training to become an ESL instructor even though he holds several degrees already.  He made the trek from Abbotsford to Douglas College for several months to make that happen.

I am fully expecting another 32 point reflections document and a list of ’80 things to do now that I’m 80′ when that birthday comes around in February.

I’ll leave you with this little video tonight.

My Mom and Dad have really shown us how to face adversity.  They haven’t panicked or asked why or become angry.  Instead they’ve made decisions with their family, acknowledged their belief in their strong faith and continued to use humor and warmth in their relationships.

You can see what happens when Dad received a ‘too fast kiss’ from Mom.  Poor Mom…we like to tease her!  Check out this little bit of fun shot just before we took Dad to the hospital for surgery number 1 last Friday.

Be The Best.

Chris’ stick gets game time in Saskatoon.

Some people who get the Chris Friesen lacrosse stick are going to use it as a display and hang their medals from it.  Cool.

Some people are going to just keep it as a way to remember Chris.  Cool.

Some people are going to actually tape it up and play a little lacrosse. Cool.

Blaine Boomer did just that on the weekend in Saskatoon scoring 2 hat tricks on the way to helping BC compete for the gold against Ontario.

You can see the Be The Best stick complete with Chris’ signature.

Blaine was kind enough to don his game worn jersey and pose with his Chris Friesen stick when the Boomers dropped by on their way home to the Loops yesterday.

Love the stick.  Love the way people are going to use it.  Love the fact that it will help raise so much money for Chris’ fund which exists to help challenge lacrosse playing SFU students to Be The Best and ultimately make the world a better place through their lacrosse experience and their chosen profession.

Jim Boomer with sons Blaine and Colton
Be The Best.

Go to bed…it’s a school day tomorrow!

Ok, you can stay up to read just ONE blog post.

Well, here we are.  The start of a new school year is just around the corner, or just one sleep away.

This Labour Day weekend was so very different from the last one.

I missed being in Saskatoon for the Field Nationals (lacrosse).  Instead we had an impromptu semi family reunion at my Dad’s hospital bedside as he went in for colon cancer surgery that had not even been on the radar 2 weeks earlier.

He’s doing very well by the way, and hopefully heading home Tues or Wed.  Our family appreciates your continued thoughts and prayers.  I’ll have more on that situation and some things I learned there later in the week, but now back to lacrosse.

Both the BC U16 and U19 teams played for in the gold/silver game against Ontario on Sunday afternoon.

Imagine an Ontario team that has thousands of kids try out and picks one team of the best.  BC does the same with a fraction of the numbers.  It’s hard to measure heart size however.  These young men on Team BC wore the mighty CF on their jerseys and I know Chris was yelling like crazy during both games.

If you can believe it, Ontario won both games, but only by ONE GOAL.

To give some perspective, the U16 BC team lost to Ontario by over 10 goals in the round robin.

This result is nothing less than amazing to me.

Remember the ’94 Canucks and their Stanley Cup run?

Remember Trevor Linden hugging Kirk Mclean in that epic photo after game 6 of the Finals?

Yah, those New York Rangers and their big money (pre-salary cap!) won the cup.  Sure.

But the Canucks won our hearts.

Our BC boys just did the same.  Although for us, our hearts were already printed on each jersey in each CF.

That’s Be The Best and a win in my books anytime.

Thanks for doing us so proud.

Tomorrow:  Chris Friesen’s lacrosse stick scores multiple goals in Saskatoon!

Rhys, Blaine and Mitch with their silver medals and the Chris Friesen lacrosse stick. (the black paint is to help with glare) Photo courtesty of Burnells. Thanks!
Be The Best.

Ontario, BC and the run for gold.

In just a few hours from the time of writing this post, The U16 Team BC Field Lacrosse Team will be fighting for the Gold medal against Team Ontario.

From what I can see from the web stats, the U19 BC Team will also be playing for Gold against Ontario this afternoon.

Ontario is always dominant…but they can be beat!

Team BC proved that a few weeks ago at the National Box tournie in Coquitlam, beating Team Ontario in the round robin portion of the tournie.

For many of these boys, as it was for Chris, these games and this experience this weekend, will be a life long lacrosse highlight and another stepping stone towards playing at the collegiate level and beyond.

The hope of course is for all these experiences to help these young men develop not only as sportsmen, but as people.  One day soon, some of them will battle together as Team Canada taking on other nations.

For our family of course, today is significant as the entire BC squad (both U16 and U19 teams) are wearing a CF remembrance on their jerseys.

I KNOW Chris will be watching very closely today.

Good luck to all!!


I took some video at the BOX nationals a few weeks back.  This is the most intense bodycheck I have ever filmed.  You can do your own analysis, but from my perspective the Team BC player was very smart to not turn into the boards, but instead turn his shoulder and absorb the hit.  His helmet and pads protected him as the hit took him hard into the boards.  I would like to think that the Ontario player wouldn’t have had to make that hit in the first place, but it is the intensity of the game that gets in players (and fans) blood and that is what keeps them playing!  btw, the referee as you will see does not call a penalty and was clearly in a very good position.  Anyhoo…a little lacrosse talk for your Labour Day weekend.

GO TEAM BC GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be The Best.

Trucker hats, running shoes and walking the new normal.

First, a thank-you to all of you for the thoughts and prayers and support for my Dad going into surgery today.

The Docs were pleased with how things went and Dad (Jake) will be spending the next 5 days or so in the hospital getting stronger.

He was already joking with the nurses with some bad puns tonight…hmmm…wonder where I get that from…

So what do you do before surgery?  Go for a walk of course and get some exercise even if you haven’t eaten in 2 days.  Of course you do….if your name is Jake Friesen.

We had a great walk today and I realized that Dad was wearing the trucker hat Ingrid and I had given him from Chris.  This was Chris’ favourite hat at the time of his passing and his Grandpa was the logical person to wear it.  If you haven’t yet, you can see Chris trying it on Grandpa last New Years and the related blog post.

I also was wearing my hand-me-up sneakers from Chris that I wrote about the other week.

So here we were having a little stroll and Chris was with us as Dad prepared for his fight with cancer and surgery later that day.

Couldn’t imagine a better Be The Best moment.

And as I put at the end of the little video, anytime is a good time.

In other words, anytime is a GOOD time…ie, even though our family is together here to support Dad through his battle (and Mom with hers), we can still have fun, laugh and get a little exercise.

The other meaning of course is that ANYTIME is a good time to go for a walk, have a chat, build a relationship, play tennis, go skiing, go hiking, play scrabble, have dinner with family, play ping-pong or anything else you can think of.

I loved that Chris joined us today too.  Love ya kid.

Be The Best.

Be The Best rolls into Saskatoon

Chris, 41 (middle), gets ready for action in Winnipeg 2009

One year ago this weekend, Ingrid and I along with other parents and families followed our sons to the National Field Lacrosse tournie held in Winnipeg.

That tournie rolls into Saskatoon this Labour Day weekend.

Chris LOVED this tournament.

When he won a place on the national all-star team, announced at the tournament banquet, it was a moment of achievement that was the culmination of goal setting, hard work, practice, and more hard work.  It meant the world to him…although he would not say that publicly.

When I got a call a couple of months back that both the U16 and U19 teams from British Columbia would be wearing a CF on their jerseys, our family was both humbled and proud.

Boys, when you put on those jerseys, know that Chris will be there with you in spirit.  It was the shoulder to shoulder combat that he loved.  He wanted to win badly and he knew that winning came from hard work on the defensive end of the field and taking care of each other.

He knew that winning was much more than adding up the collective skill level of each player.  It was about working together as a team.

He knew that leadership is something you didn’t talk about, you DID.  If you wanted your team to play hard, you played hard.  If you wanted your team to be physically fit, you were physically fit.

We wish Team BC all the very best of luck (remembering you make your own luck!) this weekend.

One of my favourite pics of Chris in action. (Winnipeg 2009)

To all the other teams, Chris would love to strip the ball from you, race down the field and pass to an Attack for the winning goal.  He’d then be the first one to take off his helmet at the end of the game, flash you that million dollar smile, tell you that you played a good game (and mean it) and talk about staying connected.

All the very best to each Provincial team represented this weekend.  That’s Be The Best.

Be The Best.

I know a Noah.

Noah rocks out Be The Best poster in his room. Great look!

I met a young man earlier this summer named Noah.

He came over with his Dad, Mike, and his friend Tyson.

I had never met Mike before or Noah or Tyson, but it was like we already knew each other.

You see, Noah and Tyson play lacrosse for Langley.

They hadn’t met Chris but they knew him.  They knew Be The Best.

Noah’s got a Be The Best poster in his room.

Mike has been doing push-ups in Chris’ honour for months.


What’s amazing to me is the inspiration I feel from hearing these stories.
It helps to drive me forward.

Noah and gang represented Langley at the Provincials and although they didn’t win a medal, they played hard and learned a lot.  As we’ve said many times here, Be The Best is not always about winning.  It’s about learning how to win.  Learning how to get better at whatever…lacrosse, school, work, life.

Mike, Noah and Tyson…thanks for being part of the Be The Best family!

Noah's jersey with the Be The Best patch. COOL!