Be The Best.

Adrian Peterson and Be The Best!

It all started here.

Chris LOVED Adrian Peterson.

Chris didn’t play football of course, he played lacrosse but that didn’t matter.

Chris had a poster of Adrian Peterson in his room with Be The Best on it that he had made himself downloading the image off the web.

Cooking up a little brunch today, the football game was on in the background and Mr. Favre and the Vikings were taking on the Washington Redskins.  Just watching Adrian Peterson run the ball I knew more than ever before why Chris admired this guy so much.  He’s not the biggest player at just over 6ft, but WOW is he powerful.

But physical power aside, I think it’s his mental toughness and desire that Chris loved so much.  Quoting from Wikipedia, Peterson stated upon being drafted by the Vikings, “I’m a player who is coming in with the determination to turn a team around. I want to help my team get to the playoffs, win…and run wild. I want to bring people to the stands. I want people to come to the game to see what I can do next. Things like that can change the whole attitude of an organization. I want to win.”

Hmmm….”I want to win”.  Heard that before?  Those were Chris’ exact words on his college recruitment video.

This morning Peterson turned several 3 yard runs into 9 and 10 yard runs.  He was simply unbelievable.  He fought of tackles like a man possessed.

When he drove for a touchdown he looked up and pointed to the skies.

I know he doesn’t know Chris, but I thought, there’s one for you kid.  I know Chris would be cheering him on from his lofty box seats.

The game is still in progress and who knows how it will end.  The Vikings season isn’t that great (UNDERSTATEMENT!), and I’ll leave the circus surrounding Brett Favre to legitimate NFL commentators.

For me, this game was all about Adrian Peterson.

I just love desire of Adrian Peterson.

I love the fight of Adrian Peterson.

I love the power of Adrian Peterson.

I love the fact that although the season is not going well, the effort is always BE THE BEST!

Even with an injured ankle, you can sense the desire as the guy is like a thoroughbred horse in the starting gates who can just smell the battle and race before him and wants nothing more than to be unleashed.

It reminds me of another athlete I know very well.

Chris in Florida 2008 schooling a much larger opponent!
Be The Best.

Snow Time Like the Present

Sometimes I’m not sure why I do what I do.

I’ve learned however, that THAT is a good way to actually get creative. (wife may or may not agree with this statement)

With snow on the ground this morning I knew the commute may be long.

I may get bored.

Generally speaking after commuting for 20+ years, we are pretty used to it and use the time to sleep (if you’re not doing the driving) or simply think about the day…a chance to process some thoughts or ideas.

Then again, when you’ve got a snow commute in November…why not video it?

btw, I know exactly what the date is.

We’re not ignoring that we sit at 8 months to the day that we lost Chris.

We are however, turning the corner every month…not to forget. NEVER. Exactly the opposite.

We are turning the corner to REMEMBER.

Good times. Goofy times. Kid times. Teenage times. All those events that made the 17 years we had together so incredibly wonderful and years that will affect us in a positive way for the rest of our lives.

Chris loved the snow.  He loved to show off his muscles shoveling it.  He loved snowboarding and we had an amazing time together last New Years up at Silver Star.

I’m sure he was watching down on us today and shaking his head in semi-mock disgust of his Dad…doing one of his crazy antics and videoing the snow commute.

(don’t worry…I had a camerawoman along so everything was very safe…)

Be The Best.

Oh Mo.

It’s time for that Movember update.

This ain’t pretty.

You may want to look away.

I think Ingrid is counting the days till this thing gets removed or morphs back into the goatee or something a little easier to handle!

The cause is simple.  A cure for prostate cancer.  With what my Dad has been through this fall, it’s amazing to see what the medical community can do if they are able to get on these  afflictions early enough.  In his case it was colon cancer, but early diagnosis and treatment were key.

Whether it’s the United Way, your Church, Movember, Chris’ fund, or $2 in a Salvation Army kettle, the spirit of giving and giving to and for others is definitely in the air.

I’m just happy most causes don’t make you grow a moustache every month…or am I?

Looking at these pics again, I think I may just keep this thing…

Almost end


Be The Best.

Don’t Moc the Bulldog.

There’s a kid that Chris played lacrosse with for years here  in Langley.

His name is Bulldog.  His given name is Brendan, but I didn’t know that for about 4 years.

He’s graduating from Brookswood Secondary this coming June.

His parents, Kevin and Nauja, are TIRELESS supporters of minor lacrosse.  Managing teams, arranging officials, getting parents to volunteer (THE toughest job in the league :)) and being there rain or shine to not only support their son, but support the team which many times included Chris and Bulldog playing on the same squad.

Kevin phoned me up on Saturday.

He talked to Ingrid first as I was driving and what I could overhear sounded good.  I parked and she handed the phone over.  Great news.  Brendan the Bulldog is the first Langley student that I’m aware of from this year’s crop to be accepted and signed (it’s called a National Letter of Intent) with an American College.

Florida Sourthern Mocs

He’ll be playing and studying in Southern Florida at Florida Southern College and the teams are called, the Moccasins, or the Mocs for short.

This is cool on many levels.  Firstly, it’s a BE THE BEST moment at the highest level.  To have a goal and to see it fulfilled like this is amazing.  GREAT JOB BULLDOG!

Secondly, just the drive to be in a position to take things to a new level is life changing.  That takes focus and is something we can all learn from.

That phone call was more emotional for me than expected as of course we think of Chris and the opportunities we would have been exploring at this time.  Would it be the US?  SFU? Other Canadian Universities?  We’ll never know, but there is a few things that we do know.

We know that when anyone has a Be The Best moment whether it’s a daily push-up routine or a college scholarship, it’s another victory and another way to honour Chris’ memory.

Be The Best has become much more than a phrase or slogan.  It’s a lifestyle and a way to continue to honour Chris as we journey forward.

Bulldog, this news is awesome.  We are extremely proud of your accomplishments and wish you every success on your collegiate journey at Florida Southern starting September 2011!!

Be The Best.

29,978 reasons to say thank you…wait, make that 30,000.

We had a few amazing emails this week.

The first was from Joyce, part of our Burnaby Mountain Selects lacrosse family.

She had the official total raised for Chris’ fund from the Chris Friesen Memorial Lacrosse shafts.

Ready? $8,261.54.  Are you kidding me?  What an incredible donation from all of those who purchased the sticks, the folks at Harrow and our amazing friends Joyce, Brent and Jeff at BMS.

The good news didn’t stop there.

Just today we received a note from Wanda at Simon Fraser with a new grand total, $29,978.45!!

Our goal was 20k.  When that was smashed, Ingrid boldly told Wanda the new goal was 30k.

When I saw that number this afternoon, the first thing I thought about was hoofing it up to SFU to put in another $25 to get us over the 30k mark.

I didn’t quite get there and then I read another email.

It was from Brent from BMS to Wanda at SFU, personally committing funds to break through the $30,000 mark.

Cool eh?

In the darkest of times we have seen such warmth, light and brightness.

We are humbled and grateful and proud and sad and happy and scared and excited.

I could add more, but you get the picture.

With a fund established at $30,000, we will be helping to change lives for a long long time..forever actually, as this fund will never stop giving money away each year and will continue to grow over time.

The first $1,000 award to a lacrosse playing SFU student will be proudly given in Chris’ name in January 2011 at the Maple Leaf Awards dinner.

What a night that will be.

Be The Best.

Tall Long Pour Americano with room.

Yep.  That’s my usual at ‘rhymes with Moonshucks’ coffee house.

If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend.  The long pour pulls more coffee out of the shot and provides that crema foam.  But enough about coffee…for now.

Last week, we took a nice long walk to one of the local coffee shops for this exact drink and my Better Half’s double tall latte.

In front of us in the line-up was a Dad pulling a big red plastic wagon with his two sons probably aged 4ish and 2ish waiting patiently.  Here’s how boys wait patiently.  A little pushing, a little poking, and a little talking (ok, grunting).

I watched them as Dad gathered the drinks and sat down, somehow managing to steer that wagon through the tables and chairs.  One of the boys slurped too quickly on his milk straw and sort jumped in surprise.  Dad laughed and soon they were all laughing and you could see this Dad drinking it all in…literally.  Coffee and time with his kids.

At first I felt a pang of sadness knowing that those times with Chris on this earth are complete.

But then an interesting thing happened.  I felt an amazing sense of happiness and privilege for each and every moment I had with my two sons as they grew up.  We had so many moments just like that Dad was having with his sons.  Goofy stuff.  Like the time I took an old half rotted wooden trampoline frame, cut out the bad parts and put the rest up in a tree as a tree fort.  Working around the yard together.  Trips, sports and just having a snack.

I am so very grateful.

That Dad didn’t know it…but he was having an experience that money can never buy.  His coffee may have had room too…room for a whole lot of memories that will last him a lifetime.

Be The Best.

Rev Jake – blessed are those that mourn.

I read this latest installment when Dad sent via email.

I listened to my Dad deliver it via Skype which you can see below.

I read it again and let it sink in.

Some great words here.  Thanks Mom for the inspiration on this one and Dad for putting this together.


Leona recently cited these poignant words, spoken by Jesus, part of the Beatitudes, the series of blessings given men in response to their various conditions and life styles…

Why would you bless the mourners rather than those who seem to be celebrating life?

Jesus is obviously contrasting the passing pleasures of the present life with the eternal glories of the life to come. In Luke’s gospel Abraham wisely admonishes a rich man who has died, saying that in his previous life he had enjoyed good things, but both he and Lazarus were now experiencing a great reversal of fortunes.

One classic example of a MOURNER in the Bible is Job, his book reputedly the oldest book in the Bible. Job mourned the loss of his entire family (except his nagging wife), his livestock numbering in the thousands, his reputation, and eventually, his health. And he very much wondered about God Himself, and whether the Almighty even cared about him.

Was this man Job blessed in the end? The book of James records these pithy comments, James 5: 11, “You have heard of the perseverance of Job, and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful…”

When God revealed Himself to Job in the last chapters of the book, He did not even bother to answer Job’s questions directly, but rather made Job aware of the vastness of creation and its amazing creatures, thus making the point that the God who oversees such an incredible display of life would also be in control of the destiny of a single human being. Job got the point and confessed, “I know that You can do everything…I repent in dust and ashes”.

The work of mourning might be described as the labor of the soul to penetrate beyond the pain to catch a glimpse of the larger scheme of things, of which we are a small part; and yet to realize that we are an essential part of that bigger picture over which God presides as the Supreme Overseer, with His infinite wisdom and compassion.

Be The Best.

Concerted effort.

AC is at it again…and that’s a good thing…a very good thing!

Saturday, Nov 13 marks the 3rd of 3 consecutive weekend concerts.

The world style music blended with ancient melodies and true passion…it’s a great thing and it’s catching on!

Check out this link for a review and info on Saturday’s concert.


We may sometimes think the Valley somewhat lacking in good live music – after all it’s not Commercial Drive, Vancouver. Indeed places to find good music  – original expressions of the varied kind are few and far between. Where are the musicians?

Be The Best.

We remember.

Remembrance Day 2010

I remember several years back as young men, Max and Chris standing with us at the Cenotaph on a rainy, cold Nov 11.

We didn’t force them.  They actually encouraged us to go as a family.

We did.

It was a moving experience and one that we repeated.

Being with a large group of people.  Silent expectation.  Silent tribute.

What a great way to honour our Canadian fallen.

Quite by happenchance (or maybe not) I saw Chris’ old bulletin board last night as we were moving some boxes around.  The board was full of push pins and a boxing picture and one other item.  A poppy.  But not just any poppy.  This was Chris’ poppy from last year.  He was always keen to remember, as was (and is) Max.

Max had spied the poppy too, and proudly wore last night.  Being who I am I forced him to pose for a quick pic which you see here.

To all our fellow Canadians remembering their sons and daughters lost in service to our country, we pause today to say THANK YOU.

Your service to our country and the world is truly a Be The Best inspiration to us all.

Be The Best.

Alexa and the power of love.

If you live in the Vancouver area you’ve heard the story of Alexa Middalaer, the 4 year old who died in May 2008 after being struck by a vehicle driven by a driver who had been drinking.  Alex and her aunt were feeding a horse at the side of the road. (source: Province Newspaper page A4, Tues, Nov 9, 2010)

This post is not about blame, courts or sentencing issues.

It’s about the parents of Alexa.

You may have seen Laurel, Alexa’s Mom, and Michael, Alexa’s Dad in the media over the past two years.  They have honoured their daughter by giving and creating.  If you haven’t been there before, check the family’s website.  It’s an amazing tribute and they have given others (like us) an example of how to be proactive.

I’ve wondered a few times how they could be so strong.

Their quotes in the Province today shows that incredible ‘polar balance’ of positive and negative emotion and energy that pumps through your body 24-7 after your lives change forever.

“‘In truth, I stand before you today an inherently broken and gutted soul.” – Alexa’s Dad Michael

“Now we are merely shells of what we were before.” – Alexa’s Mom Laurel

Powerful words from such strong people.

But wait.  Laurel also states, “God, do I miss her. But I live each day by choice. I have to.”

I read that sentence and almost dumped my bowl of corn flakes…(and almond milk).

We are living each day by choice too.

The Middelaers for their beautiful Alexa.

The Friesens for their amazing Chris.

And thousands more for their loved ones.

As we head towards Remembrance Day, we stand with all those Canadian families who have lost loved ones in the service of our amazing country or illness or tragedy.

And then we choose to live on in their memories using their passion to fuel us, one day at a time…one decision at a time.