Be The Best.

Wisdom from Mike Tyson

Ok, I’m not a big boxing fan. But Mike Tyson was a figure so much bigger than the sport. In his prime he was feared. He certainly had his share of issues (understatement!) to overcome and now does everything from acting to supporting charitable causes.

Mike Tyson fights Larry Holmes in 1988.

One of his most famous quotes was, ‘Everyone has a plan till you get punched in the face’.

Whether it is COVID19 or a family loss or both – that is a punch in the face. You were prepping for a good fight but you did not see that punch coming.

In an interview Tyson explained, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.” Heavy. Just like one of his punches.

When we lost Chris we got hit in the face and went down for the count. You are dazed, confused because you had a great plan and were executing the plan and everything was great and then you’re on the mat looking up at some referee guy yelling 1, 2 and you know if you hear 3, it’s all over. And now what.

Gonna get up? Gonna stop in fear?

Without being callous, the only thing that you can do at that moment is decide, ‘Am I getting up or am I tapping out’. You make that decision and then the next one and the next one.

Yah, I’ve thought about this quote a lot and Mike Tyson is absolutely right. When the plan goes out the window, we’ve got to decide what we are going to do. I stand with all of you in these crazy times and those suffering personal loss during these times (or any time), I get it. I know what it’s like to be punched in the face. I know what it’s like to try and get up when feeling another punch may be coming. Keep getting up. Keep going. You ALWAYS control your next decision. 😉

Be The Best.

Snow way

I told you I was going to throw every pun I could into the 2020 version of the blog and combine with as many Dad jokes as possible.

April 17, 2020. Yup.

Snow in April? Snow way! Yup, it’s true. For those of you on the West Coast – yah, you are laughing as you read this, physical distancing your way around Vancouver’s Seawall. I get it. I used to snicker at the weather in the east as well. I’m paying a heavy price now for all those years of jokes. 😉

In all reality, snow is not that uncommon in April – it just doesn’t feel right. That said, it comes and goes and we know that warmer spring and summer weather will follow. In recent weeks, I’ve had a chance to reflect and discuss Jim Collin’s leadership concept of facing the brutal facts, using Winston Churchill as an epic example. If you have 3 minutes, read this excerpt. If we are overly optimistic and have our hearts set on a date or outcome we have a much higher probability of being highly disappointed or worse. From a leadership perspective this can be a bigger concern. Leadership by personality will generally not be as lasting as leadership by facing the facts with the team. If we force ourselves to face the BRUTAL FACTS, we are more likely to be able to address those issues and then find a way to win today and then again tomorrow. It is a strange combination (duality) of having a longer term positive outcome (ie, we’ll get out of COVID, we’ll be happy again after loss) with the immediacy of dealing with the facts of today, ie, my income is dropping by x and I need to do three things per day to push forward and see how I can address that…or, I will not see my son again in this lifetime – how am I going to live the rest of my life? I know that’s blunt, but that is the kind of thing we must do, in my opinion. (Remember, I ain’t a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV).

So, weather (see what I did there?) you are facing sun, cloud, rain or snow today, I trust you can face any brutal facts in your situation and then prepare an action plan for dealing with those things.

Be The Best.


Ok, time for a COVID time-out. This post isn’t about COVID for a change. Nevertheless, stay safe, masked and gloved – ok, that doesn’t sound great. Moving on. (seriously…be safe!) 😉

SFU is Simon Fraser University and CFMA is the Christian Friesen Memorial Award. Read on.

Mason Hicks. Know the name? If you are familiar with lacrosse in British Columbia you might. For the wider circle around the globe, you may get to know Mason in the future. He is one of the recipients of the 2020 Chris Friesen Memorial Award. That means he’s a very hard worker, has a team first attitude and is the kind of guy that will continue to achieve goals and help others around him do the same.

Mr. Mason Hicks

He’s finishing up at Simon Fraser University with a Bachelors of Science as a chemistry major and is completing a forensics certificate as well.

He wrote me and stated, ‘I am very grateful to be awarded this memorial award again. Brent Hoskins  told me that I am the first ever two-time winner of this award while playing with SFU lacrosse which makes it even more special. I have had an amazing four years with SFU and am looking to finish off my final courses over this next year.  I just got drafted to the Senior A Burrards and am very excited to take this next step in my life. I hope to continue playing the game of lacrosse as long as I can and eventually give back to the game because it has done so much for me. Thank you again for all that you do for this program.’

I contacted Mason to see if he was ok for me to write about him a bit and he graciously agreed.

When I see how powerful sport and education is and the beauty of lacrosse in particular with an SFU education, we are delighted to have a small role in helping young men like Mason focus on their studies and take a little financial pressure off for a term as well as providing an opportunity for recognition of hard work and team play.

And of course when I say WE it’s the greater WE as so many of you have added to Chris’ memorial fund directly or through the store which will be active till the end of 2020. THANK YOU. Very cool that the fund will continue to provide financial awards forever and each year we’ll get to celebrate players who positively influence the circle around them and that reach will only grow over time.

Congrats Mason. Read more about Mason’s stats here.

Be The Best.

Saturday Night is Hockey Night – except for when COVID-19 changes everything…

2011: All things hockey today. A little dusting of snow on a Saturday is the perfect prelude to a Saturday night hockey showdown.

Feb 2020: It was a fantastic night for hockey. Living in Detroit these days, you can see a lot of Red Wings hockey but they are in a rebuild so it’s not great a lot of nights. My heart is still a Canuck so watching the Canucks play in Toronto was a fantastic winter reprieve.

April 2020: When I decided to rev up the blog again after 10 years, I had a few forgotten posts in ‘draft’ mode. This was one. A simple paragraph about hockey from 2011. I wrote another in Feb of this year and that’s as far as it went.

Until now.

A few things if you are dealing with a guy in your life or you’ve experienced a loss of some kind together. Um, I’m not a psychologist (duh, you say!) so these are observations of men by a man. That’s it. Opinions.

  1. Guys don’t like to talk about their feelings that much
  2. Guys are activity based
  3. Guys don’t like to face someone when talking – generally
  4. Guys will only talk to people they trust
  5. Trust is earned on the golf course, hunting trip, fishing, sporting event, beer drinking event…or simply watching a hockey game

Guys don’t have to say much to figure out if their buddies have their back. It’s a camaraderie thing.

Chris was a big Dan Cloutier fan back in the day. I LOVE this picture he drew for me.

After losing Chris, there were evenings that I didn’t want to talk about anything. I just wanted to watch hockey with Max and a friend or two. That’s it. Those same friends are the ones I talked to the most over time.

Sorry Chris Pronger – Cloutier saves another one.

Given the NHL is currently on hiatus because of COVID-19, it’s a weird time. I loved sports for the distraction of the moment but also to build relationships without have to talk too much.

Given it’s now April and the playoffs should be starting, the realization that the Stanley Cup will not happen this year is setting in. Things happen. As much as I’ll miss it, we’ll make decisions and move on. Like watching Tiger King on Netflix. (and you expected something more poignant)

Don’t worry – it’s a guy thing. I’d tell you more, but we’d have to be watching hockey together. Miss ya Chris.

Chris with Team BC at Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto