Be The Best.

It’s not too late…

…to make your 2012 goals.

As we approach the end of January, statistically over 80% of New Year’s Resolutions made just 30 days ago have ended in failure.

However, I think it’s a great time to look forward to 2012 and confirm what our goals will be.

As a family we sat down a couple of weeks back and put our 2012 goals down on an electronic note system.  Paper works well too!

I’ve been told again and again and again by students, business people, staff, colleagues and family how their lives have changed for the better by the act of writing down goals.

You’ve heard the saying, the journey starts with the first step.  Writing goals is that first step.  It creates momentum and energy.  However, goals without further action is useless.

Breaking down goals into bite-sized junks is the way to go.  Goal is to run a marathon?  Don’t run one this week.  Maybe enrol in a training program or begin with dry land training with the goal of the first 5 k run in 3 weeks.  That’s where this all becomes real.

At a recent sushi dinner, our tea came in these mugs with 10 steps to greater health.  They are all good and a little fun as well.

What I liked about the mug is that instead of just saying ‘eat less meat’, it actually had the first steps in making a goal a reality…ie ‘eat more vegetables’.

The only thing the mug didn’t do was go to the next stage of detail…ie, cut out one red meat dinner per week for example.

(btw, I think I’m writing to myself on that one and a few other points on this mug)

Anyhooo…to conclude, our server came by and asked if we wanted a macadamia nut covered coconut ice cream thing for desert.  I asked which of the health rules on the mug that suggestion followed…

Good luck with those goals!

Be The Best.

CFMA Y2 2012

Acronyms are so warm aren’t they?

Chris hoists BMS teammate Jamie Spagnuolo at Florida tournie.

Tonight is the 2nd annual Christian Friesen Memorial Award presentation.

As a family we are so proud to be associated with the BMS (Burnaby Mountain Selects) program and SFU (Simon Fraser University).

If you’ve read this blog over time you’ve seen many references to both of these organizations.

It’s worth mentioning again the MEGA MAJOR (MM) impact that the BMS camp had on Chris as a young teen.

He saw these university athletes and how hard they worked and it shaped his entire focus on eating habits, studying habits and work-out habits.

In so many ways, the Be The Best thinking started right there…and it didn’t stop.

SFU and the SFU Foundation office have been simply wonderful (understatement) to Ingrid, Max and I.

We are proud to have Chris’ memorial fund help push the dreams of a lacrosse athlete attending SFU.

So if you’ve just joined us, what is BTB (Be The Best)?

Be The Best is a way to live our lives.

It’s using Chris’ passion to fuel us.

It’s making positive decisions about fitness, education and life.

It’s not settling for second best.

To this year’s award winner (still a secret at the time of writing), this award goes way beyond the financial implications.  It’s about carrying the Be The Best banner.  It’s about being associated with a kid who would pound out 200 push-ups a day at 16.  It’s about setting goals, breaking them down into measurable tasks and then working hard.  It’s all of that and more.

We were so proud when Luke Genereaux won the award last year.  He had coached Chris and was one of these young college-age guys that had helped shape Chris’ world.

btw, this is not a commercial for the BMS program, but I guess it might as well be!  If your kid places lacrosse in British Columbia, it’s an amazing program that help takes kids and form them into young men.  To see a number of these players now enter university at SFU and beyond, is super cool.  Jamie, (in picture above) is a great example as he’s in his first of McGill University in Montreal.

You see, at that point it becomes way more than just lacrosse.  This is really about changing lives in a positive way and continuing to make the world a better place…but I think you sort of got that already.

TWITA (That’s what I’m talking about)

Be The Best.

A plain billionaire

I had a few hours on a plane recently and had this thought.

I typed it into my iPad.

If you fear the future you won’t live the present.

The next day I read ‘Screw it, just do it’ by Sir Richard Branson.

It’s a great read and I would highly recommend.

The book revolves around the idea of making decisions and taking on challenges without knowing all the details. What I found most interesting however was that although Branson takes risks, he doesn’t take chances.  In other words rolling a dice or making a pure gamble doesn’t make sense but taking a calculated risk does.

Interesting difference.

When bad things happen, it’s easy to fear the future.

But fear is the biggest disabler out there.

By continuing to make decisions calculated on risk not chance, it is the future we must claim and then absorb the present on our journey.


Be The Best.

Dan Cloutier, Chris and Be The Best

Goaltender Dan Cloutier with the Vancouver Can...
Image via Wikipedia

I was doing some filing today.

Yah, I know.  Great times.

In any event, I stumbled across a file that had some drawings from Max and Chris.

I just had to share this one.  Dan Cloutier and Be The Best maybe don’t sound like they fit anymore, but he had his very best years as a Canuck goalie and the kids loved him.

Max and Chris spent hours drawing these guys.  I think Chris was 9 or 10 when he drew this one.

Notice Pronger taking a slapshot and Cloutier flashing the leather for a great save…(even if it looks like the puck is going wide…)

But then I saw the title, ‘The Best in The Business’.  This wasn’t something we talked about.

He was already relating the success of Cloutier as an NHL goalie to being the Best in the Business.

Not quite, Be The Best…but some early signs of what was to come as he strove to realize his own goals.

Notice the artist’s signature in the lower right corner.

The Best in the Business.

Be The Best.

Love it.

Be The Best.

Another lesson in perspective.

I got another lesson in perspective from a very reliable source.

Image via Wikipedia

My iPad Scrabble game.

Yah, that’s right.  I said it, Scrabble.

I was involved in an intense fight with my arch nemesis, the iPad computer.

We were locked in a tough duel and I was determined.

I stared at my tiles for 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, then my screen went grey.

I refreshed and stared again.

I couldn’t see an option.

Then I hit the reshuffle button.

Same letters.  Exact same, just different order.

There in front of my eyes was the obvious solution.

This has happened again and again.  Just changing the perspective was the key to getting the solution.

There’s been a lot on perspective lately and one thing I’m learning is to hit the reshuffle button and then look at the letters again.

Same letters, different approach, solution.


Be The Best.

When the going gets tough…

When the going gets tough, the tough make decisions.

Have a great week!

Be The Best.

Happy Birthday Christian

19 years.

We thought about tonight many times.

The dinner we would have at the Keg.

The first official beer together.

The waiter doing the obligatory id check.

The laughs we would have.

Tonight I’m not laughing.

If you ever have a problem that you think you can’t face, you can.

If you ever have a mountain you think you can’t climb, you can.

If you ever think that getting mad at yourself solves a problem for others, it doesn’t.

I wasn’t planning on being this direct tonight, but after spending  a bunch of time thinking about it and at Chris’ wall, this is the only place to go.

If you are needing help………..REACH OUT!

If you are in pain….TELL SOMEONE.

If life’s issues have you overwhelmed, PLEASE let someone know.

What can appear as a solution, is a complete lie….a complete and total lie.

I’ve had many (young people especially) let me know how the BE THE BEST theme helped them overcome and persevere.

I would encourage anyone reading this tonight to keep believing.

And yah, that goes for the writer too.

Chris…we love you so terribly much.

How I wish I could share a beer and prime rib dinner with you tonight.


Be The Best.

Walk a mile in his socks.

I started this blog in July, but was one of those that got abandoned along the way.

Maybe a good thing, because I got a few more months out of several pairs of socks.

Chris played lacrosse as you know and the ‘adrenaline’ brand of socks were quite the rage in 2009/2010 and I believe are still very popular today.

They are thick, comfortable and designed for athletes. (yes, you can insert your own joke here about why I would be wearing them…)

For the past 21 months I’ve used them as a default slipper and ‘sock with jeans post work’.

We had found one pair, then 2, then 3 and eventually the 4th.

As you can see from the pic (taken this morning), I’m still stretching out the 4th pair, but we’re on the last threads…literally.

I’m not sure the pictures show it clearly, but each sock is worn right through at the heel or toe and they are done.

Anyone got a creative idea for used clean and washed but worn out socks other than sock puppets?

Many of Chris’ items have been donated or are with friends, but there was something about those socks.

I’ve walked a mile or two in them and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Be The Best.

Old school meets new school.

English: Apple iPad Event

Every Christmas I look forward to a few days of non work time that I can use to work.

Let me explain.

With a very busy schedule there are many times when I don’t get the chance to just think or explore or let an idea lead to another idea or just experiment.  One thing that I’ve found helpful for me is to use technology to push my own boundaries and that learning can lead to further creativity, new ideas and…wait for it…additional perspective.

So, this year’s Christmas ‘project’ was iPad exploration.  I’m in love with this thing.

However, technology can come with a cost.  There’s a learning curve and so when I got an iTunes gift card I dutifully loaded it into my laptop account and the next day proceeded to download some other apps and music on my iPad and realized a credit card had been billed although a credit should have remained from the iTunes card.

Old school thinking: I probably loaded the card up wrong, so I better find the card now in the kitchen garbage from 2 days ago mixing nicely with the other garbage outside.  Yah, that was fun, but after a little CSI rubber glove investigation, I found it. When I reloaded the card info, I was told the card had already been used.


Newer school thinking: Actually think through the scenario and begin to dig deeper.  Could there be a technology problem and solution?  As it turned out, I had created a second Apple ID and although the devices were syncing together, they were accessing iTunes with different ID’s one of which had the gift card credit still on it and one that had a credit card number on it.

After 30 minutes of invoking the humbling ‘wife can you help me clause’ in our marriage agreement and some interesting searching through online tech chat sites (not), we discovered and fixed the issue.

Why am I telling you this?

Years ago, before iPads and iPods, I told myself that if I could learn ONE new technology item every year and really try to master it, I could continue to learn and grow and push both my efficiency AND effectiveness levels upwards.

For example, one year spending a couple of hours trying to figure out my OLD cell phone and actually program in speed dial numbers was an incredible help.

Today it’s the iPad and the investment of a few hours of initial frustration (some of it self-created!) is part of the learning process that I look forward to every Christmas…just a couple of days where you can relax a little, dig through some garbage and learn some new tricks!

I wish all of you a very meaningful, productive, and inspiring 2012 with many BE THE BEST moments!

Looking forward to sharing those as we go.